Health & Wellness

Update: Full Support for Visa-Seeking Students

The staff of McDaniel College’s campus in Budapest aims to help all of its students travelling from countries around the world to Hungary to join us for the Fall 2020 semester. No matter where you are from, you should not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns regarding the process of entering Hungary and the European Union. All of us realize that the Covid-19 outbreak has complicated this process, and this means all the more that you should not feel alone but instead should contact us if you have questions.

Your main contact for information regarding entry into Hungary, obtention of a visa, housing in Budapest, and health insurance:
Ms. Zsuzsi Elekes
Assistant Director of Student Programs
zselekes@mcdaniel.hu
+36 30 485 9308

For questions concerning the semester calendar, and the Fall 2020 academic semester:
Dr. Matthew Adamson
Director of Academic and Student Affairs
mhadamson@mcdaniel.hu
+36 30 495 9420

Update, June 1, 2020

Our Commencement exercises and summer 2020 plans


On May 22, at a time suitable for students from California to Sudan, McDaniel College’s campus in Budapest, for the first time, held its commencement exercises online. While we all regretted not being gathered together, we took comfort in the fact that we could share the moment of graduation across many time zones and include the president and provost of McDaniel College in the ceremony.
This summer, our activities will continue online. We will hold open-house webinars for prospective students on June 16 (in Hungarian) and June 18 (in English). Please send anyone who might be interested to our Facebook page. The SAC has recently reinvigorated our Instagram page with student takeovers, and we hope to continue adding content about student activity and daily lives. Our professors, alumni, and special guests will continue to voice their views on important topics of the day in our Perspectives series, which you can catch on our Youtube channel. Finally, students in our journalism program continue to produce articles on the webpage of The Messenger, our student newspaper.


The Fall 2020 semester and Covid-19


The fact that our Commencement exercises--usually held in-person, together in our Assembly Hall--had to be held online due to the Covid-19 outbreak served as a reminder of how unsettling a period we are currently in. However, as Dean Frenyo reminded all of us in his address to the graduating students, with these difficult times comes opportunity for renewal of purpose and the possibility of innovation. At this time, we are cautiously hopeful that we will be able to begin the Fall 2020 semester here in Budapest in person, on our campus. However, we are prepared for all eventualities, including ones that do not permit this immediately to happen.
Our first priority is to take every step necessary to ensure the health and safety of our campus community, to minimize the possibility of person-to-person transmission, and to safeguard the health of those among us who are most vulnerable. This means that, firstly, we are complying with and will continue to comply with all directives and recommendations of the Hungarian national health authorities regarding social distancing, disinfection of shared surfaces and other practices on our campus. Secondly, in the event we cannot convene in person, then we will begin our semester online.


Scenario planning for Fall 2020


In-person vs. Online instruction
In the case that we are able to meet in person, then instruction will begin in Budapest at the beginning of September.
If we determine that meeting in-person is not possible at the start of the semester, then we will begin instruction online.
As you know, we managed to complete the Spring 2020 semester online. This was partly due to the creativity and flexibility of our faculty, and partly due to your willingness to adapt to new circumstances: these courses would not have been successful online without your engagement and cooperation. A heartfelt thank you from your faculty and administration!
We will spend the summer improving our faculty’s familiarity with and access to online teaching tools, so that they will be even better prepared to teach online, should we find ourselves in that situation at any point during the Fall 2020 semester. Your responses to the Student Check-in Survey conducted in April, as well as your evaluations of Spring semester courses gave us enormously helpful feedback for this process. If you have additional feedback or suggestions for online instruction, please feel free to communicate that to Dr. Adamson or Dr. Labov.


Hybrid semester


Due to the uncertainty of the present situation, your professors at McDaniel College’s campus in Budapest are also preparing this summer for the possibility of a hybrid semester, during which some instruction might be in-person, on campus, and some instruction might be online, both synchronous and asynchronous. We are flexible and ready to make sure your personal education requirements are met in either case. Therefore, courses will begin for all new McDaniel College Budapest students whether we are fortunate enough to meet in person or whether we need to start the semester online. This is true as well for individual students who cannot immediately travel to Budapest--again, in such cases, we will begin the semester for you by providing instruction online.

If you have any further questions about studying at McDaniel Budapest during the 2020-2021 academic year, then please do not hesitate to contact either of us (Dr. Matthew Adamson & Dr. Jessie Labov) for more information.

Sincerely,

Matthew Adamson & Jessie Labov
mhadamson@mcdaniel.hu
jlabov@mcdaniel.hu

Fall 2020 semester

For Fall 2020, McDaniel College is making preparations to re-open and conduct the customary academic semester beginning August 31. However, we are very aware of the exceptional situation and the uncertainty due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, in the event we are unable to open the semester in person in Budapest, we will conduct courses online for as long as need be. Under the difficult circumstances of the COVID-19 situation, the College has demonstrated that it is able to offer courses successfully when need be online, such as it is currently doing. In short, we are satisfied to note that we can approach the fall 2020 semester with maximum flexibility and will offer an academic life either in person on our Budapest campus or online.
movements

Announcing weekly exercise classes on zoom with our kinesiology faculty Andrea Sándor (yoga, Tuesdays 11am) and Réka Ranky (aerobics, Thursdays, 12pm). For those who missed the live session, links are below:


Yoga from April 21 (w Andrea Sándor)

Aerobics from April 23 (w Réka Ranky)

Maintaining positive mental health is especially challenging during periods of an exceptional health alert such as the one we are now in—and it is crucially important. With that in mind, please note the following:

  1. Please find attached a PDF of information about maintaining good mental health during this period. All students should read and consider the important principles behind your mental and physical well-being.

  2. During this time, our mental health counselor, Levente Somogyi, remains available. Please do not hesitate to reach out to him. He is available online and by phone. He is maintaining both his regular Monday hours (12:00-3:00) as well as irregular hours when need be. During this period especially, his counseling will be very valuable and he is flexibly ready to speak with all students.

Mr. Somogyi adds the following: Due to Hungarian national emergency regulations related to COVID-19 on-campus student counseling services are shifting to two online platforms in regular office hours on Mondays between 12:00 pm and 3 pm. Since counseling is traditionally a face to face service offered by the College, we are now temporarily switching to an online format while government restrictions are in place. You can set up meetings through our online appointment booking system at www.mentalhub.hu but sessions will be conducted via skype or doxy.me online platforms for the time being. Once you set up a meeting, you will receive detailed instructions what to do, how to go about initiating an online counseling session.
Thank you for your understanding!

Announcement


In light of the recent statement issued by the Hungarian authorities regarding continued operation of higher education, we have decided to move all instruction to an online environment starting on Monday, March 16. The school building will not be available for regular instruction as of Thursday, March 12. Classes this Thursday and Friday will be cancelled.

For the last four weeks, our campus administration has been preparing for the possibility of offering all instruction online. We have designed several methods and protocols to help both students and faculty handle this new situation, and will be communicating more specifics in the upcoming 48 hours.

We have every confidence in our close-knit community of faculty and students to rise to the occasion and continue with the semester in this new situation.

Health update

Cases of the COVID-19 virus continue to be reported at a rate which is increasing gradually but not overwhelming Hungary’s health care system. The virus is reported in every county of the country and the official count of infected people is at 1,579 (April 15). A national sheltering-in-place order has been issued by the government and is to continue indefinitely until the situation eases. Residents of Hungary should only leave their homes in cases of shopping for essential goods or carrying out essential work. Our local authority on best practices, the Hungarian representative of the World Health Organization, reminds us that in addition to this, while sheltering at home we should maintain best practices involving frequent hand-washing, frequent disinfection of shared spaces, and other practices of good personal hygiene.

Academic support

Our professors are all cooperating in this regard, and providing necessary course material to students at home, as well as extra attention and meetings upon the students’ return. In some cases, students will be able to skype into classes, upon request. Please bear in mind that all absences due to recommended self-isolation will be excused, and we will continue to work with professors to make sure that remaining off campus during this period does not harm students’ progress in any way.

Mental health counseling
(now available remotely)

At this time, our mental health counselor, Levente Somogyi, continues to hold his regular Monday appointment times (Mondays, 12:00-3:00pm). In addition, please note that he is available remotely for students who either are unable to meet with him Mondays or who are confined for the moment to their apartments. For these online appointments, he is currently available Tuesdays between 10:00am and 2:00pm. He can use any of the following platforms: Skype, FB messenger, doxy.me, and vsee based platforms.
If you would like to make any sort of appointment with him, then please email him at lsomogyi@mcdaniel.hu.

Travel

The College continues to advise students and faculty to limit international travel to urgent situations. Due to the current coronavirus situation in Europe, and following McDaniel College’s updated travel policy, we are going to have to cancel the planned study tour of Prague and Vienna from April 3-7, 2020. The College strongly advises against travelling to countries considered at higher risk (Italy, Iran, S. Korea, China) and in general notes that risk of transmission rises in environments such as crowded airports and airplanes.

Announcement (March 6, 2020):
Campus Closure for the Weekend

The McDaniel Budapest campus will be closed the weekend of March 7-8. All rooms, floors and spaces are to be cleaned and disinfected. We apologize for any inconvenience to students; however, in light of the current coronavirus situation in Europe, the campus will be taking this precautionary measure.
If you should have any questions, please contact Dr. Labov (jlabov@mcdaniel.hu) and Dr. Adamson (mhadamson@mcdaniel.hu).

Coronavirus Update

The College would like to remind all students and faculty about some of the precautions to take concerning the coronavirus.

    1. As noted last week, there are some basic hygiene measures one can take to lower the risk of getting coronavirus and other infectious illnesses. Please find attached a series of powerpoint slides (in English) produced by Dr. Tamás Pandics, Director General of the National Institute of Environmental Health in Hungary. These slides provide you with basic thorough information about the coronavirus, its transmission, and so on.

 

  • Students and faculty are recommended at this time to minimize their travels. Risk of transmission of the virus is increased in confined spaces like airplane cabins. In addition, it is important to be aware of which countries are experiencing severe outbreaks of the virus, including Italy, Iran, South Korea, and China.

 

For updates on the situation, you might try these websites:
CDC (US): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
WHO (UN): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
WHO (UN):https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
WHO (UN): Coronavirus FAQ_PPT

 

  • Likewise, students and faculty who have recently encountered people travelling to Hungary from these countries (Italy, Iran, South Korea, China, etc.) should be especially cautious if they begin to feel sick and exhibit flu-like symptoms (headaches, fever, etc.). In that case, the individual should stay home, get rest, and drink plenty of fluids. These individuals are welcome to call or email the College if they have any questions or concerns. If symptoms persist, these individuals should contact their doctors. Students who are not from Hungary can call the number of the Unimed medical insurance card (+36 1 461 1590). Unimed has established a special protocol for anyone who reports coronavirus-like symptoms.

 

 

  • Students remaining at home can expect to receive a daily email or phone call in order to provide an update of their current health status. If need be, the College will provide additional support for any student staying at home.