"I am a student of Jewish History and I moved to Budapest for an internship in my field of study. Moving to Budapest was my first time ever living outside of Canada. My family has been in Canada for generations so we don’t have any family abroad either. Leaving home was scary for me. I found moving to a new place entirely to be intimidating and the language was especially difficult. Language is the most challenging part because it’s the way you connect to people. I remember going to Starbucks in my first hour of being in Budapest just to experience something familiar.
I am lucky to come from a privileged background and I prepared my accommodations before arriving. Having a Canadian roommate and knowing other Canadian students in Budapest was extremely helpful in making me feel safe and comfortable. The organization I work for also made an incredible effort to make me feel included and helped me sort out taking trains across Hungary and other practical matters. This support system has been essential to helping me integrate here.
I soon found this would be the best experience for my personal growth. As much as it has been intimidating, it’s also been an adventure and a great learning experience leaving home. Moving somewhere new has given me a new sense of independence. I know I can still be me, just me somewhere else. I miss my family of course, I don’t think that will ever change. What I miss the most about home is the familiarity and ease of getting around, which is something I hope will happen in time here in Budapest."