While most international students studying a degree in Hungary aim for capital Budapest, there is much more to Hungary. Try Debrecen and Szeged for alternative student cities, and make sure you head out to Lake Balaton when you have time off.
How can I study a degree in Hungary?
While Hungary might not have the educational reputation of other European countries, it is investing lots of money in improving its universities and plans to be a major recruiter of international students in the future – particularly those looking to study bachelor degrees at undergraduate level.
Consequently, Hungarian universities are beginning to offer more and more courses taught in English (and other languages) in a bid to attract international students.
There are two main types of higher education institution in Hungary:
- Universities – Programs lasting between 4-6 years combining undergraduate and graduate degrees
Colleges – Bachelor programs in colleges tend to take four years to complete
The Hungarian government helps to fund a number of state-funded students each year, which can also include EU and international students, depending on your academic record. Your chosen university should be able to help you go down this route if you qualify.
If you are not eligible, you will have to pay tuition and registration fees. Tuition fees are normally around €1,000 per semester, with registration fees anywhere from €40 to €800 depending on the course.
Immigration and visas
EU citizens are permitted to study a degree in Hungary without a visa providing they can demonstrate the following:
- You are studying for more than three months
- You have sufficient income or savings to support yourself during your studies
- You are enrolled at an approved or accredited institution
You have comprehensive health insurance
Non-EU students will need to apply for a D-5 student visa through the Hungarian embassy or consulate in their home country. The D-5 visa a multiple entry visa and normally takes up to 60 days to process.
Accommodation and living costs
There are two main housing options for international students coming to study a degree in Hungary:
- University accommodation – such as halls of residence
Private accommodation – House and flat rentals
Most universities in Hungary will be able to provide dormitory accommodation for international students, with facilities including cafeterias, pools, laundry and study rooms. This is a great option for international students who want to settle into life in Hungary more easily, as it will allow you to meet fellow students and often live close to the university.
Private rooms or flats are easy to find in Hungary, but hard to arrange from outside the country. This option might suit students with families or those who want a little more privacy.
Living costs: Hungary is renowned as one of the cheaper Eastern European countries, with rent, shopping and going costs considerably lower than in countries like the USA and the UK. You should expect capital Budapest to be more expensive than other cities in Hungary.
Rent per month:
- One bedroom apartment (city centre) – 60,000 Ft (USD$271)
- One bedroom apartment (outside city centre) – 45,000 Ft (USD$200)
- Three bedroom apartment (city centre) –120,000 Ft (USD$540)
- Three bedroom apartment (outside city centre) – 80,000 Ft (USD$360)
How safe is Hungary?
Hungary is generally considered a safe destination for international students, with violent crime low. However, there are a number of scams that target tourists and foreign nationals that you should be aware of, such as pickpocketing and issues with bars and clubs overcharging foreigners.
Students should always take care to protect their own personal safety in order to avoid becoming victims of crime. They can do this by:
- Avoiding carrying around large amounts of money
- Staying in groups, especially at night, and never walking alone
- Not making valuables obvious
- Always having a route home planned and never getting into unlicensed taxis
- Being wary of strangers
- Being careful of traffic
Staying in touch
Staying in touch when your child is studying on the other side of the world might seem daunting – but there are ways you can talk regularly that don’t have to involve long distance phone calls and a nasty bill at the end of the month. Here are a few tips:
- Skype – the free video calling service can be downloaded within seconds, and will allow you to talk face to face anywhere you have an internet connection
- Blogging – maybe encourage your child to keep a blog of their adventures overseas, so that other families members (such as grandparents) can keep up to date
- Local sim cards – it is also a good idea for your child to buy a phone with a local pay as you go sim card when they arrive so that they can text and call home without running up a bill
What to do next
If you really want to study abroad but are not sure about where, you can check our country list. If you would like more information on studying in Hungary, sign up for our Free Application Service and we'll get in touch with you shortly.