Who Survived the Culture Quest?



After 10 days of intense cultural immersion and competition, our Lauder students have wrapped up the 2013 Culture Quest in Istanbul in the company of local alumni.

Today, 17 teams’ worth of Lauder students can put up their feet. They have finally completed the “Orient Express”—the third annual Lauder Culture Quest.


To complete thisAmazing Race-like course, the teams traveled by land from Vienna to Istanbul, starting May 15 and finishing on May 24. Along the way, they completed activities similar to what you would find on the popular CBS reality TV show and competed for points.


We caught up with one participant, Nicholas Majka, WG’13, G’13, before he left, to get a sense for his expectations. Majka was actually considering the Culture Quest his “buddymoon.”


Right before leaving for the trip, Majka married one of his Culture Quest teammates, Annie Wang, WG’13, G’13. They met at Lauder in the French track.


“We’re looking forward to getting the chance to explore a new part of the world together as husband and wife!” he wrote in an email. “We’re looking forward to combining a scholarly understanding of [Eastern European] history with an on-the-ground perspective through our road trip. My best learning at Lauder has come when I’m actually in the country we’re researching; you get so much more context out of the sights and interactions.”


“The Balkans has played such a critical geo-strategic role in history (Ottoman Empire, WWI, Post-Yugoslavia, etc.), and we’re excited to get a better understanding of the countries, their people and their culture—and the food too!” he continued.

Read the Rest of the Article >>

Originally Published May 24th, 2013 in Wharton Magazine