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Thursday 22 Mar 2018
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XpatLoop Interview: Stéphanie Burel, Human Rights Lawyer, Project Manager for the Mental Disability Advocacy Center

XpatLoop Interview: Stéphanie Burel, Human Rights Lawyer, Project Manager for the Mental Disability Advocacy Center

Stéphanie Burel is 30 years old, half French and half English, grew up most of her life in France but brought up by a francophile British mother. She was educated at the international school in Strasbourg, France and was therefore surrounded by ’third culture kids’ (a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parents’ culture) who have nowhere to go but everywhere. Expatriation was therefore always part of Stephanie’s culture and environment.

Stéphanie is a human rights lawyer and worked for several important international organisations such as the Council of Europe in the field of human rights. Stéphanie has been a human rights activists for several years now, starting in France, to fight injustice on the basis of differences. She is also engaged in the protection of children from sexual violence and was trained to provide support to small children who were victims of peodophilia.

She now works as Project Manager for the Mental Disability Advocacy Center, a human rights charity working internationally and which needs you to donate your 1% of income tax: 18108213-1-42!

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
End of April 2013 to start a new job with MDAC. I manage a Project funded by the European Union on “Access to Justice for Children with Mental Disabilities”.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
Being half French and half British, I was educated in an international school in France where expatriation is common and expected actually. I travelled a lot and lived in various places. The list is long. Not being totally French nor totally British means that you are on a quest to identify and choose where else you would belong.

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
I am constantly surprised by Budapest and need to discover the rest of the country. So much to do, so much to see. I think what surprised me the most is how groovy and vibrant the city is also because it is full of contrasts.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
The Hop-On and Hop-Off bus! It is a good, easy and pleasant way to have an overview as a starting point! Then, the absolute must would be to do some wine tasting to prove to my French friends that Hungary has lovely wines.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
Hungarian stuffed peppers with boiled potatoes from Café Kőr

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?

8. What do you miss the most from home?
Spontaneous French slang

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
New York

12. Where do you hope to spend your next one?

13. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
Theater Improv

14. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?
A good bottle

15. Red wine or white?
Dry rosé with bubbles

16. Book or movie?
Definitely both

17. Morning person or night person?
Very early hours in the morning

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
The protection of children against sexual violence

19. Buda side or Pest side?

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
Just Be and accept others as they ARE