Building International Bridges
The Central European Institute (CEI) builds bridges between the United States and the nations of Central Europe by fostering relationships in three main areas: academic, business and culture. Within the university the CEI is an umbrella organization under which country-specific endowed chairs are established to develop relations between the United States and their respective countries. The first chair is the István Széchenyi Chair in International Economics, established in 2008, which oversees relations with Hungary.
Being at Quinnipiac University, the CEI is primarily an academic institution with a focus on students first. All our activities grew out of our academic endeavors.
The CEI's academic activities include scholarships, MBA executive study trips, foreign lecture series, student and faculty projects, student and faculty exchanges and internships. Our Hungarian American Business Leaders Scholarship allows outstanding Hungarian business students to earn an MBA at Quinnipiac and work experience in the U.S. Each year, we oversee one MBA visit for Corvinus University (Hungary) students to come to Connecticut for a week every spring and one MBA Executive Study in Hungary for Quinnipiac students to go to Hungary for two weeks every June. The foreign lecture series brings international scholars, business leaders and politicians to speak at Quinnipiac campus, meet with students, and hold lectures for the public. Student and faculty projects, exchanges, and internships are on an ad hoc basis as opportunities arise.
The CEI's business activities primarily focus on business networking events and student consulting projects. Our main business networking event is our annual Zebegény Executive Networking Retreat and Quinnipiac Alumni Event held in Zebegény, Hungary, the second Friday of every June. 2013 marked our sixth annual Zebegény event. The CEI houses CEENET Inc. (Central and Eastern European Network) which is a private association of Connecticut professionals interested in fostering stronger ties between Connecticut and Central and Eastern Europe primarily through international business. Foreign lectures with a business focus also support the CEI's business networking efforts. Finally, the CEI supports student consulting projects for companies from or interested in trade with Central Europe.
The CEI's cultural programs include the Art as Ambassador project, foreign lecture series, support for American Central-European organizations and the CEI housing the Honorary Hungarian Consulate for Connecticut. The Art as Ambassador project brings a collection of Central European art for exhibit to Connecticut. The CEI organizes a range of cultural activities related to the nation's art being exhibited such as art history lectures, food and wine tasting, and other activities requested by the nation's Connecticut community. Foreign lectures with a focus on politics or culture support our mission in sharing Central European culture with Americans. The CEI supports the Central-European-American community and other organizations by supporting coordinating efforts for and meetings with them. Finally, the CEI houses the Honorary Hungarian Consulate for Connecticut.