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Wed, 14 Oct 2015 18:59:32 EDT by webmaster, 21633 views
Institute of International Education (IIE)
Education paper by Medalis, Christopher (all papers)
An Immigrant Gives Back: Andrew Romay’s Support of New Immigrants in New York City
The contributions of Hungarian immigrants in enriching cultural, scientific, economic, artistic, and academic life of the U.S. is significant. This paper will examine the impact of one Hungarian-American immigrant, Andrew Romay. Born in Miskolc, a survivor of labor brigades and Mauthausen Camp during World War II, and a 1956 Refugee, as an immigrant Dr. Romay became a successful businessman in New York City.
Thanks to his philanthropy, the Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC) was founded in New York City in 2013 to improve the lives of recent immigrants, and since inception has served more than 500 immigrants from 70 countries. Free of charge for its participants, ARNIC is a successful model of immigrant integration, providing English language and career skills, as well as cultural integration through contact with American volunteers. Participants receive English language classes; advice and assistance on practical issues such as personal finances, health insurance, and the U.S. legal system; career counseling such as CV writing, interview practice, and business mentorships; and cultural activities including theater, museum, and sports events, films, and book clubs.
This paper will trace the genesis and evolution of the Romay’s support for immigrants, explore how his life experiences in Hungary contributed to this position, and elaborate on the successes of the ARNIC program in integrating new immigrants. The author will use sources including oral history interviews – including with Andrew Romay - and transcripts, and ARNIC program data.
Brief Professional Bio:
Christopher Medalis is Regional Director (REAC) for Europe for EducationUSA, a U.S. State Department network which promotes U.S. higher education abroad. He has held various positions at the Institute of International Education (IIE) in New York and Budapest. He holds a PhD in History from Columbia University (2009), where his dissertation focused on the role of the Fulbright Program in higher education and societal transformation in Hungary. He also holds a MA in History (Columbia, 1993) and a BA in International Relations (George Washington University, 1989). His research interests include Hungarian-American relations, public diplomacy, and comparative and international education.