Fall 2018

Trading places

Sam Newell in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest
Courtesy of Sam Newell

Studying abroad ranks high on the to-do list for most students, but the rigorous curriculum in the College of Science and Engineering can make it difficult for some to have such an experience. 

So when biomedical engineering student Sam Newell, ’20 B.S., learned about the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE) exchange program, he went for it. 

“BUTE is the largest engineering school in Hungary,” says Newell, who studied there in the spring of 2018. He took as many classes as he could and volunteered teaching English at a church, cultivating an interest in international relations.  

The donor who created the exchange program, Zsolt Rumy, ’66 B.S., was only 14 when his family fled Hungary and came to the United States after World War II. He became a leader in the carbon fiber industry and credits the U with giving him a strong start in his career. 

His generous endowment covers tuition, airfare, and basic living expenses every year for two U of M and two BUTE students. Since the exchange began in 2016, 12 students have benefited. 

Newell recently got to meet Rumy and convey his appreciation. “He understands the value of cross-cultural perspectives,” Newell says. “I’m grateful for the opportunity.”