School: Hungary VS America

Tuesday of this week, I accompanied an English teacher to her job in Pilisvörösvár, the next town over from Piliscsaba. (It’s less than a ten minute drive from my host house.) The school teaches children for 8 years; it’s basically an elementary + middle school. We met with five classes, each of them asking me a series of questions to learn about {my perspective of} American life and culture from an actual American.

(They weren’t the only ones who learned something though–I did too!)

Some of the questions they asked me were:

  • What kind of music do you like? What’s your favorite song? Who’s your favorite artist/band?
    • These questions was super hard. Literally every song and band I knew flew out of my head. When I finally managed to remember Panic! at the Disco, they all had blank faces. Most did know Shakira though.
  • What’s your favorite color/food/animal?
    • Green, potatoes and cheese, cats
  • Do you have any pets.
    • Not currently 😦
  • Do you have a boyfriend?
    • *laughter*
    • No
  • What’s your number?
    • 123456789
    • I don’t think some of them understood that I didn’t actually give out my number…
  • What’s your Instagram handle?
    • 123456789
    • This time, they understood I was joking. I think.
  • Do you like Hungary? Are you studying Hungarian?
    • Yes and yes, a little bit each day.

Typical questions. Strangely, no one asked my age, though when I asked one class to guess, I got a range between 18 and 29.

And then some of the other questions they asked were…

  • Do you own a gun? What’s your favorite gun?
    • No. No idea. And, no, not everyone in America owns a gun.
  • What’s the difference between our school and schools in America?
    • Great question! More on that below.
  • Who do you like better: Trump or Obama? Why?
    • Obama, and I decided to tread lightly and not answer the “why” part.

Primary

So! The differences. For starters, the kids don’t really leave the classroom. Each class has their own room where they wait for the teachers to come and go. However, I think that there are “hall supervisors” for when class is not in session.

When the teacher does enter the room, there’s a designated student who announces who is missing. One class had two, and in unison they went, in English, “Miss Teacher, there is no one missing from the class today.” It was only a little creepy.

Also, right after their first class, so around 08:45, the students got a snack: warm milk and some sort of apple pastry. Lunch wasn’t until 12:45.

And I don’t know if this is common all around or not, but this school had 45 minutes classes and 15 minutes breaks in between.

University

Technically, being at the university isn’t one of my official site placements (and I haven’t gone in a while…oops), but I was invited to attend by two of the people in my folk dance group way back when I first got to Piliscsaba and the English professor extended the invitation for the rest of the year! (I’ll go back…one day…)

Also, because out dance group now meets at the university dormitory, I was able to compare and contrast both the {English} class and the dorm!

Dorms:

  • The rooms are super small, smaller than the smallest dorm room in LR 
  • There’s a kitchen on every hall containing several fridges
  • While there’s {free} washing machines on every hall, there’s no dryers
  • A public gym is in the middle of the first floor
  • There are some classroom-like rooms; when I asked about if there’s classes that take place I got both “yes” and “no” so idk what’s going on with that

Class:

  • I’ve mentioned a few on this post already, which included:
    • Students tend to dress better than American students, though they still joke about how sleep deprived and messy they look
    • Even when you can’t speak a language, you can kinda tell what’s being said based on everyone’s reaction
  • It’s British English they’re learning, so some of the words I’ve never heard of/don’t use often
    • i.e. Bosom pals
  • Grades make no sense
    • “That’s a 5. A big 2. Small 3. Big 3. Small 4.” -Professor when handing a quiz back out
  • This professor makes this English class The Best. Here are some quotes:
    • “My first husband is buried under a pier.”
    • “The Road to hell is paved with…whatever.”
  • People here tend to go by how far something is kilometer wise rather than hours. That was a two-fold problem when I was asked how far something was because 1) I only knew the number of hours away it was and 2) Even if I did know the miles, I had no idea how to convert it into kilometers. #awkward

Side note: on September 25, the professor kept calling her students (and me by default) “ripe.” The topic of the day was romantic relationships. I was highly uncomfortable.

So I don’t have any pictures about my time at the primary school, or the university, but that doesn’t mean this post will be without some pics! Below are some of the ones I took during my Fall Retreat, plus one from when I got back to Piliscsaba 🙂

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2 thoughts on “School: Hungary VS America

    1. Yes, they do! I watched some of them dash outside during their 15 minute break to play, and whenever I would go to pick up two girls to take to Tonada on Wednesdays and Fridays, there are many kids playing outside, even though it’s cold.

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