Hungarian Studies Program
The Hungarian Studies Program at the University of Florida was founded in 2004 as an undertaking of the Center for European Studies. The program was the first of its kind in Florida and the University of Florida was the first university in Florida to offer Hungarian language training at an institution of higher education. The goal of the program is the development of an innovative curriculum of courses in Hungarian language, culture, history, and business with an eye on practical application. The program places a special emphasis on the culture and society of contemporary Hungary.
From the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989 to its entry into the European Union as one of ten new member states in 2004, Hungary’s geopolitical position has shifted radically. The new Hungary is no longer engaged in a nationalist struggle against the communist state, but instead serves as an important new European political and economic partner, not just to other countries in the EU but also to the United States.
The country’s cultural landscape has undergone no less a significant transformation. While the nation no longer has to contend with Soviet dominance of Central and Eastern Europe, recent social and political events have demonstrated that Hungary is still dealing with issues of national identity and socio-economic and cultural concerns.
Finally, the achievement of cultural and academic freedom has given rise to the project of rethinking and rewriting Hungarian national history, and it is particularly concerned with the history of the turbulent nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The curriculum of the UF Hungarian Studies Program has been designed to reflect this sea change in Hungarian culture and society and to offer students a deeper understanding of modern Hungary.