Thousands of foreign students come to Budapest each year from all over the world to spend a semester or two at one of Hungary’s universities. Located in the heart of Europe, the capital of Hungary is a relatively inexpensive city with quality education, many historical attractions and inexhaustible cultural and leisure opportunities. We have collected the reasons studying in Budapest promises to be the experience of a lifetime!
1. Universities to Study At
When you think about studying abroad, one of the most important questions is the quality of the universities. Budapest has many high-standard institutions of higher education and a broad array of qualifications are recognized in the European Union and elsewhere too. Medical education offered in Hungary is famous all around the world. Dentistry, pharmaceuticals, veterinary programs, and engineering are among the most popular fields to undertake in Budapest for foreigners, while there is also a wide range of programs in creative arts and international studies.
The most popular universities by faculties and fields are the following:
Medical and pharmaceutical education is best at the Budapest-based Semmelweis University (SOTE).
Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), is famous for its programs in engineering and for its vibrant student life.
In the fields of human studies and liberal arts; such as psychology, pedagogy, history, philosophy, etc., the following universities are the most popular:
Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) in central Budapest;
Pázmány Péter Catholic University (PPKE) in Budapest and Piliscsaba, near the capital
Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary (KRE) in Budapest
If you’re interested in a degree in communication, marketing, and economics, international studies, check out the following institutions:
Central European University (CEU)
Corvinus University of Budapest (BCE)
Budapest Metropolitan University
Places to study arts in Budapest: Music, Theater and film studies, painting and design
Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design
Hungarian University of Fine Arts
University of Theater and Film Arts
For those who are interested in Hungarian Studies, the Balassi Institute is the best choice.
2. Range of study options
Numerous universities in Budapest offer courses in English and sometimes in German also. There are various pathways to choose; there is an abundance of options to select from if you wish to become a university student in Budapest.
Probably this program is the most popular and common option to come to Hungary as a foreign student. For those already studying in Europe, this program can offer a chance to study at a university in Budapest for one or two semesters.
For those from outside the EU who want to find and exchange program, there are other kinds of options.
CEEOUS: Central European Exchange Program University Studies
This program provides an opportunity to study abroad for students from the organization’s member countries. Current member countries: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia. Prishtina/Kosovo is also participating.
PIM: Partnership in International Management: A consortium of top business schools.
CEMS: Global Alliance in Management Education: An alliance of the world’s leading business schools.
Summer university programs are also offered by some universities. For example, at CEU it’s even possible to study one or more individual courses (subjects) as part of a non-degree program. The Balassi Institute offers 2-4 week or one-year courses in Hungarian language or Hungarian studies.
There are also other kinds of scholarships and grants, just mention some of them:
EEA Grants and Norway Grants
the Hungarian Scholarship Board
the Visegrad Found
the Swiss Found
In Budapest many nationsrepresent themselves with Institutes where you can find courses and programs also, for example the Italian Institute, the French Institute, the Estonian Institute, etc.
3. The Cost of Living
Budapest is not New York or Moscow, as reflected also by the relatively low cost of living. Hungary as a whole has a pretty reasonable cost of living, making it a great destination for students on a tight budget.
A one-month student public transport pass costs 3450 HUF (about 12 euros) and public transport operates everyday, over the nights also (0-24). A good solid lunch costs about 1000-1500 HUF (less than 5 euros) if you find the good places. Just to mention, a cheaper beer costs about 350 HUF (one euro). Even though the price of accomodation has increased, but you can still get by with about 600 euros a month living the student life.
4. The City of Love… and Students
Budapest’s student life is well-known. Students filling libraries, cafés and eateries can be spotted during the day all around downtown. After the daily studying routine, at night Budapest really comes to life – the number of student-haunts is staggering. Budapest is famous about the ruin pubs, bars, clubs and live music venues. Get lost in the District VII and the Palace District I promise you will not find the way out until the Sun rises up in the morning.
It is very easy to meet people and almost impossible to feel lonely in the capital of Hungary. Just to mention some of the places where you can get unexpected friends: Szimpla Kert, Instant, Fogasház. On warm days you’ll find plenty of young people gathering for picnics or a sun-baking session at Margaret Island and City Park.
There’s also an immense amount of festivals and events such as the world famous Sziget Festival or Budapest Spring Festival in the capital.
5. Networking and Socializing
Thousands of students come to Budapest each year and many of them stay for more time then they planned. It is a very international city, so you can meet people from all over the world as well as, most likely from your own country or city. Almost all universities have student union and a student life coordination with orientation sessions. Those groups can help after you arrived in the beginning of the living the Budapest life.
You can find other forums and online and offline communities also. The We Love Budapest, the Socializing Meetups in Budapest. In the Erasmus column of the Hungary Today you can find interesting and useful informations about programs and events for foreign students in Hungary.
6. Easy-to-Find Accommodation
Even in the most central areas near metro and tram stops, near by universities places are relatively well priced. In the last years the prices of rents are increased but those are still worth the prices in the downtown. You can find very cheap places in suburban and not central districts but the public transportation network is really well-organized in Budapest.
It is not hard to find student accommodation or share-apartments with other students. Depending on your budget, you can share a room, get your own room, or even rent a whole apartment. Universities usually offer a “buddy system” or an e-mail network to help student in the search of accommodations.
If you are looking for accommodation in Budapest try these Pages and Websites:
7. Explore the Region and the Countryside
This video tells more about the opportunities in the regions and the countryside then we could with a some additives about Hungarian inventors and inventions.
There is plenty to see in the whole region if you have a little time, a one or two days long freetime you can jump into magical world of the countryside of the Hungary. There are limitless options.
Do you like festivals? Go ahead to Sziget Festival in Budapest, the Volt Festival in Sopron, Balaton Sound in Siófok, or to Valley of Arts in Kapolcs.
In summertime you have to head to Lake Balaton, the “Hungarian Sea”
If you need a calm refreshing weekend or love to take baths. Hungary is the empire of thermal baths.
If you want to visit the surrounding countries Budapest is also a great stepping-stone to the rest of central and eastern Europe.
8. Wallet-Friendly Restaurants
After the Hungarian team has sensationally won the continental finals of Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most prestigious chef’s championship we can worthily say Budapest became a gastro-capital of Europe. In the last few years numerous new places opened and started a brand new way in the gastro-life of Hungary with not too expensive prices. We have already mentioned you can get a good solid lunch for about 1000-1500 HUF but you can find more exclusive and exciting meals also, for not too expensive fares.
9. The Heart of Central Europe
Budapest is small enough that it can feel familiar to newcomers within a short period of time, while also being big enough to continually provide new experiences and learning opportunities. Here you can find every nation, every minority, and every kind of subcultural and cultural groups and ways. The city’s cultural life is thriving with the opera, theater, festivals, craft markets, traditional events and ceremonies for national holidays regularly taking place. The city’s history is remarkable and visible daily in the city with everything from medieval stone walls to Baroque palaces to bullet holes remaining from the 1956 Revolution and WWII.
Even just walking the streets will always be interesting.
Budapest is an increasingly popular destination with students, backpackers and others, as it is a colorful capital between East and the West, it is something like the New York of the Central European region.
photos: kilato-hidegkut.hu; erasmusu.com; realista.hu; lean.bme.hu; epitesz.bme.hu; avrupaegitim.com.tr; change.org; britishcouncil.org; pinterest.com; vox.com; redphoto.hu