The Cultural Affairs Office of the Public Affairs Section fosters mutual understanding between the United States and Hungary through person-to-person academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships. The Embassy’s cultural programming builds upon the diverse experiences of the people of the United States as a starting point to encourage dialogue on current bilateral and global issues.
The Cultural Affairs Office is responsible for overseeing and administering many exciting exchange opportunities. These programs involve youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and rising leaders in the United States and Hungary. The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) sends mid-career Hungarian professionals to meet and network with their U.S. and international counterparts. The U.S. government also supports a number of programs for high school teachers, including the Study of the United States Institutes summer courses and the Holocaust Teacher Training Program, and for high school students, such as the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship (BFTF) summer leadership camp.
One of the best known academic exchanges is the U.S.-Hungarian Fulbright Program for lecturers, researchers, and graduate students. With funding from both the U.S and Hungarian governments, Fulbright exchanges have occurred since 1978, and the bilateral Fulbright Commission celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2017. Each year, scientists, artists, professors and professionals from each country engage in scholarly and cultural exchange. The Fulbright office also houses student advising facilities, as well as a test center for computer-based standardized tests, e.g. TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, and USMLE.
The Cultural Affairs Office works closely with alumni of exchanges programs, including Summer Work and Travel participants, after their return to Hungary to support mutual understanding between the two countries. Alumni can register to be part of the international alumni network and have access to special programs, including grants and other funding sources for projects building bridges between the United States and Hungary. The Embassy is very proud of the contributions of Hungarian alumni to their country, communities, and incredibly diverse fields of study.
The Cultural Affairs Office also coordinates the Embassy Speaker Programs, which organizes outreach opportunities for visiting U.S. experts, Embassy officers, and Hungarian alumni of U.S. programs. Each year, the Embassy arranges presentations on topics ranging from the history of American music to the role of volunteerism in American communities. These visitors as well as Embassy officers regularly meet their counterparts and audiences at academic institutions, government offices, professional organizations, and artistic venues around the country, including the Embassy-supported network of American Corners.
In Debrecen, Budapest, Veszprem, Pecs, and (as of 2018) Szeged, American Corners are public spaces working in cooperation with the Cultural Affairs Office to introduce the United States, its culture and history, and American English. They offer programs for both children and adults and supply information to those interested in studying in the United States.
To further bolster this dialogue, the Cultural Affairs Office administers the Embassy’s Small Grants Program, which offers up to $25,000 to Hungarians planning sustainable projects promoting professional and cultural exchanges and increased trans-Atlantic connections between the United States and Hungary. Past grants have supported Hungarian music and dance festivals, art exhibitions, conferences on history, workshops on entrepreneurship, camps teaching leadership and communication skills, and much more. For more on the Embassy’s cultural and educational activities and opportunities, please follow the Facebook page or send an email with any questions.