Studying in Hungary offers a unique experience off the beaten path. The Hungarian people have been living at the center of Europe for over 1,100 years. Although their language is spoken nowhere else in the world, their unique culture, music and food are not to be missed. Duck into historic churches, watch the national football champions, attend a fall jazz festival and take advantage of easy access to destinations such as Romania and Ukraine.



Languages Spoken:

Hungarian

Education System

HIGHER EDUCATION

The quality of Hungarian education is well-known in Europe and there are many foreign students who come to the country to study, pick up new skills or improve their language proficiency. The educational system in Hungary is multilevel, and there are more and more opportunities to study. Higher education institutions, with the exceptions of the University of National Defense and the Police Officer Training College, are under the supervision of the Ministry of Education; local governments have no role in the supervision of these institutions. The 1993 Law on Higher Education regulates admission to Hungarian higher education institutions. Any student with a valid high school final examination or equivalent high school degree can submit an application.

Hungary has been taking part in the Bologna Process since 1999, whose most important goal is the creation of the European Higher Education Area. As of September 1, 2006, the new Bologna regime two-cycle degree system has been introduced. The first degree programs (three to four years) lead to bachelor's degrees, while second degree programs (one to two years) lead to master's degrees. Unified, undivided long-term master's programs (five to six years) are offered in some fields of study, e.g. in human medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, architecture, law and in a few programs of art education. The Bologna System, with the introduction of ECTS credits, makes Hungarian Education and diplomas easily convertible and acceptable in other countries of the EU and the U.S.

The University of Debrecen was legally established in the year 2000, when the three independent universities of Debrecen merged to form a single institution. UD has three centers (Agricultural, Medical, Arts and Sciences), several research institutions and 15 faculties, educating over 30,000 students. UD’s central library is the second biggest in the country with its six million volumes. The university sports center proposes over 20 different courses for students. Courses are instructed in Hungarian, German and English.

Academic Calendar

The Hungarian academic year runs generally from September until July, with examination period generally running from May to July, depending on faculty. Most exchange students can arrange to take exams early. Fall semester runs generally from September to December, with a week-long vacation in October. Spring semester runs generally from February to May. A month long break over January is also standard.

Grading

In general, oral exams, a tradition at Hungarian institutions, are most common, but written examinations are also increasing in frequency. The local grading system is a five-point scale where one is a failing grade and five is excellent. The academic year is usually divided into two semesters: September to December and February to May.

The grade scale is: 5=excellent, 4=good, 3=fair, 2=weak/poor, 1=failure.

Typical Courseload

Number of classes typical student takes per term: 10 (one major); 15 (two majors)
Number of hours per week typical student spends in class: 20-25 (one major); 35 (two majors)
Number of weeks per term: 15

Getting Advice on What Classes to Take

Student tutors help participants all through the week with registration, student cards, etc. They also show them around and introduce them to university life and important places. Students register for courses once on campus at the beginning of the semester.

According to a recent survey carried out by the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), in terms of study programs provided in English, Hungary is the sixth most popular destination in Europe.

Visa and Residency

STUDENT VISA/RESIDENCE PERMIT

For Consular information, please visit the Hungarian Embassy’s website.

Visa regulations and fees change often. Please contact the embassy or consulate general with jurisdiction over your permanent address in order to verify this information before submitting your documents and fees.

Student visas are no longer required to enter Hungary. Upon arrival in Hungary, students need to apply for a residence permit. There will be a designated person on campus, who will assist students with their application. Resident permits cost HUF 18,000 (about USD $110). Resident permits are valid in Hungary and all other Schengen states.



EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES

The Embassy of Hungary, DC
3910 Shoemaker Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 362-6730
Fax: (202) 966-8135
Consular information:
Tel: (202) 362-6730 ext. 212
Email: Consul.was@kum.hu

Embassy of the United States of America
Szabadság tér 12
H-1054 Budapest, Hungary
acs.budapest@state.gov

A Note Regarding the Schengen Area

Hungary is a member of the Schengen area. Students should review the important regulations that dictate travel and visas within the Schengen area.

Culture

Hungary, in English officially the Republic of Hungary, or Magyar in Hungarian, is a landlocked country in Central Europe, bordered by Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. Its capital is Budapest. The official language is Hungarian.

Like many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Hungary stands at a very significant crossroads. A significant power until the end of World War I, in which Hungary lost over 70% of its territory, along with 3.3 million people of Hungarian ethnicity, it is still recovering from years of repression. The country lost eight of its ten biggest Hungarian cities at this time as well. The kingdom also underwent a Communist era from 1947–1989, during which Hungary gained widespread international attention regarding the Revolution of 1956 and the seminal move of opening its border with Austria in 1989, thus accelerating the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. The present form of government is a parliamentary republic (since 1989).

In the past decade, Hungary was listed as one of the 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world. The country is home to the largest thermal water cave system and the second largest thermal lake in the world (Lake Hévíz), the largest lake in Central Europe (Lake Balaton), and the largest natural grasslands in Europe (Hortobágy).

Geography

Administratively, Hungary is divided into 19 counties. In addition, the capital city Budapest is independent of any county government. The counties are further subdivided into 173 subregions (kistérségek), and Budapest is its own subregion. Since 1996, the counties and City of Budapest have been grouped into 7 regions for statistical and development purposes.

Language

.

For 95% of the population, the mother language is Hungarian, a Finno-Ugric language unrelated to any neighbouring language and distantly related to Finnish and Estonian. The main Minority group are the Roma (2.1% - 10%). Other groups include: Germans (1.2%), Slovaks (0.4%), Croats and Bunjevcis(0.2%), Romanians (0.1%), Ukrainians (0.1%), and Serbs (0.1%).

Religion

The majority of Hungarian people became Christian in the 10th century. By the 17th century, Hungary had become predominantly Catholic. Some of the eastern parts of the country, however, especially around Debrecen ("the Calvinist Rome"), still have significant Protestant communities. Orthodox Christianity in Hungary has been the religion mainly of some national minorities in the country, notably, Romanians, Rusyns, Ukrainians, and Serbs.

Hungary has been the home of a sizable Armenian community as well. Faith Church, one of Europe's largest pentecostal churches is also located in Hungary. Faith Church accepts the results and spiritual, moral values of both early Christianity and the Reformation, as well as other revival movements serving the progress of the Christian faith. Based on the 1% tax designation to churches, Faith Church is the fourth most supported church in Hungary. The weekly Sunday service of the Church is regularly broadcasted in live television.

Hungary has historically been home to a significant Jewish community, especially since the 19th century when many Jews, persecuted in Russia, found refuge in the Kingdom of Hungary. Most Jewish people live in the downtown of Budapest, especially in district VI. The largest synagogue in Europe is located in Budapest.

Food

The Hungarian cuisine is a prominent feature of the Hungarian culture. Traditional dishes such as the world famous Goulash are often flavoured with paprika (ground red peppers), a Hungarian innovation. Thick, heavy Hungarian sour cream called tejföl is often used to soften the dishes flavor. A Hungarian hot river fish soup called Fisherman's soup is usually a rich mixture of several kinds of poached fish. Other dishes are Chicken Paprikash, Foie gras made of goose liver, stew, vadas, (game stew with vegetable gravy and dumplings), trout with almonds and salty and sweet dumplings, like túrós csusza, (dumplings with fresh quark cheese and thick sour cream). Desserts include the iconic Dobos Cake, Strudels filled with apple, cherry, poppy seed or cheese, Gundel pancake, plum dumplings, dessert soups like chilled Sour cherry soup and sweet chestnut puree, gesztenyepüré (cooked chestnuts mashed with sugar and rum and split into crumbs, topped with whipped cream). Perec and kifli are widely popular pastries.

Borozó usually denotes a cozy old-fashioned wine tavern, pince is a beer or wine cellar and a söröző is a pub offering draught beer and sometimes meals. The bisztró is an inexpensive restaurant often with self-service. The büfé is the cheapest place, although one may have to eat standing at a counter. Pastries, cakes and coffee are served at the confectionery called cukrászda, while an eszpresszó is a cafeteria.

Drinks

Pálinka: is a fruit brandy, distilled from fruit grown in the orchards situated on the Great Hungarian Plain. It is a spirit native to Hungary and comes in a variety of flavours including apricot (barack) and cherry (cseresznye). However, plum (szilva) is the most popular flavour.

The five main Hungarian breweries are: Borsodi, Soproni, Arany Ászok, Kõbányai, and Dreher.

Zwack Unicum: For over 150 years, a blend of 40 Hungarian herbs has been used to create the liqueur Unicum. Unicum is a bitter, dark-coloured liqueur that can be drunk as an apéritif or after a meal, thus helping the digestion. The recipe is held secret by the Zwack family.

Recreation

Hungary is a land of thermal water. A passion for spa culture and Hungarian history have been connected from the very beginning. It has been shown that Hungarian spa culture is multicultural. The basis of this claim is architecture: Hungarian spas feature Roman, Greek, Turkish, and northern country architectural elements.

Hungary's most outstanding annual events include the Budapest Spring Festival, which takes place in the last two weeks of March. Its main emphasis is on symphony orchestra concerts, opera and ballet performances which will appeal to the widest audience, but the program also includes open-air events and an Operetta Festival. The performances take place in the capital's most important concert halls and theatres, and often near historic monuments.

Hungarian folk art, including dances, music, cross stitchings, embroideries, costumes, potteries, wood carvings, basket wavings, porcelains etc. has a long and rich history which play a significant role in local folk traditions and customs.

Daily Life

Hungary, in English officially the Republic of Hungary, or Magyar in Hungarian, is a landlocked country in Central Europe, bordered by Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. Its capital is Budapest. The official language is Hungarian.

Like many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Hungary stands at a very significant crossroads. A significant power until the end of World War I, in which Hungary lost over 70% of its territory, along with 3.3 million people of Hungarian ethnicity, it is still recovering from years of repression. The country lost eight of its ten biggest Hungarian cities at this time as well. The kingdom also underwent a Communist era from 1947–1989, during which Hungary gained widespread international attention regarding the Revolution of 1956 and the seminal move of opening its border with Austria in 1989, thus accelerating the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. The present form of government is a parliamentary republic (since 1989).

In the past decade, Hungary was listed as one of the 15 most popular tourist destinations in the world. The country is home to the largest thermal water cave system and the second largest thermal lake in the world (Lake Hévíz), the largest lake in Central Europe (Lake Balaton), and the largest natural grasslands in Europe (Hortobágy).

Geography

Administratively, Hungary is divided into 19 counties. In addition, the capital city Budapest is independent of any county government. The counties are further subdivided into 173 subregions (kistérségek), and Budapest is its own subregion. Since 1996, the counties and City of Budapest have been grouped into 7 regions for statistical and development purposes.

Language

.

For 95% of the population, the mother language is Hungarian, a Finno-Ugric language unrelated to any neighbouring language and distantly related to Finnish and Estonian. The main Minority group are the Roma (2.1% - 10%). Other groups include: Germans (1.2%), Slovaks (0.4%), Croats and Bunjevcis(0.2%), Romanians (0.1%), Ukrainians (0.1%), and Serbs (0.1%).

Religion

The majority of Hungarian people became Christian in the 10th century. By the 17th century, Hungary had become predominantly Catholic. Some of the eastern parts of the country, however, especially around Debrecen ("the Calvinist Rome"), still have significant Protestant communities. Orthodox Christianity in Hungary has been the religion mainly of some national minorities in the country, notably, Romanians, Rusyns, Ukrainians, and Serbs.

Hungary has been the home of a sizable Armenian community as well. Faith Church, one of Europe's largest pentecostal churches is also located in Hungary. Faith Church accepts the results and spiritual, moral values of both early Christianity and the Reformation, as well as other revival movements serving the progress of the Christian faith. Based on the 1% tax designation to churches, Faith Church is the fourth most supported church in Hungary. The weekly Sunday service of the Church is regularly broadcasted in live television.

Hungary has historically been home to a significant Jewish community, especially since the 19th century when many Jews, persecuted in Russia, found refuge in the Kingdom of Hungary. Most Jewish people live in the downtown of Budapest, especially in district VI. The largest synagogue in Europe is located in Budapest.

Food

The Hungarian cuisine is a prominent feature of the Hungarian culture. Traditional dishes such as the world famous Goulash are often flavoured with paprika (ground red peppers), a Hungarian innovation. Thick, heavy Hungarian sour cream called tejföl is often used to soften the dishes flavor. A Hungarian hot river fish soup called Fisherman's soup is usually a rich mixture of several kinds of poached fish. Other dishes are Chicken Paprikash, Foie gras made of goose liver, stew, vadas, (game stew with vegetable gravy and dumplings), trout with almonds and salty and sweet dumplings, like túrós csusza, (dumplings with fresh quark cheese and thick sour cream). Desserts include the iconic Dobos Cake, Strudels filled with apple, cherry, poppy seed or cheese, Gundel pancake, plum dumplings, dessert soups like chilled Sour cherry soup and sweet chestnut puree, gesztenyepüré (cooked chestnuts mashed with sugar and rum and split into crumbs, topped with whipped cream). Perec and kifli are widely popular pastries.

Borozó usually denotes a cozy old-fashioned wine tavern, pince is a beer or wine cellar and a söröző is a pub offering draught beer and sometimes meals. The bisztró is an inexpensive restaurant often with self-service. The büfé is the cheapest place, although one may have to eat standing at a counter. Pastries, cakes and coffee are served at the confectionery called cukrászda, while an eszpresszó is a cafeteria.

Drinks

Pálinka: is a fruit brandy, distilled from fruit grown in the orchards situated on the Great Hungarian Plain. It is a spirit native to Hungary and comes in a variety of flavours including apricot (barack) and cherry (cseresznye). However, plum (szilva) is the most popular flavour.

The five main Hungarian breweries are: Borsodi, Soproni, Arany Ászok, Kõbányai, and Dreher.

Zwack Unicum: For over 150 years, a blend of 40 Hungarian herbs has been used to create the liqueur Unicum. Unicum is a bitter, dark-coloured liqueur that can be drunk as an apéritif or after a meal, thus helping the digestion. The recipe is held secret by the Zwack family.

Recreation

Hungary is a land of thermal water. A passion for spa culture and Hungarian history have been connected from the very beginning. It has been shown that Hungarian spa culture is multicultural. The basis of this claim is architecture: Hungarian spas feature Roman, Greek, Turkish, and northern country architectural elements.

Hungary's most outstanding annual events include the Budapest Spring Festival, which takes place in the last two weeks of March. Its main emphasis is on symphony orchestra concerts, opera and ballet performances which will appeal to the widest audience, but the program also includes open-air events and an Operetta Festival. The performances take place in the capital's most important concert halls and theatres, and often near historic monuments.

Hungarian folk art, including dances, music, cross stitchings, embroideries, costumes, potteries, wood carvings, basket wavings, porcelains etc. has a long and rich history which play a significant role in local folk traditions and customs.

Health and Safety

https://www.isepstudyabroad.org/guides-and-tips/health-safety

Currency

MONEY MATTERS

The currency of Hungary is the forint (abbreviated as "Ft"). Coin come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 fts. Banknotes are issued in 20, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 fts.

There is no restriction on the amount of foreign currency you can bring into Hungary, but expect to declare it at your point of entry. Most banks charge a commission to cash travelers checks; most stores will not accept travelers checks.

Changing Money

Money should only be exchanged at official exchange offices such as branches of the National Bank of Hungary (Magyar Nemzeti Bank), the National Savings Bank, IBUSZ (national travel office) and other travel and tourist offices. Look for the words valuta (foreign currency) and váltó (exchange) to guide you to the correct place or window. The same rate of exchange applies at all locations. You should keep your exchange receipts; this will enable you to change some of your forints back into foreign currency upon departure. While the forint is a totally convertible currency, you should avoid changing too much as it will be difficult exchanging it beyond the borders of Hungary and its immediate neighbours. To see current rates, please visit this currency converter website.

Banks are open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday.

Credit Cards

Major credit cards (American Express, VISA, MasterCard, Cirrus) can be used in member businesses (look for the logo displayed at the entrance). ATMs are available and accept major credit cards and bank cards. You can also use your bank or credit card to get cash at post offices throughout Hungary.

ATMs

ATMs accepting most credit and cash cards are everywhere in Hungary, even in small villages. The best ones to use are the Euronet ATMs as they dispense sums in units of 5000Ft. Many of the ATMS at branches of Országos Takarékpenztár (OTP), the national savings bank, give out 20,000Ft notes, which are difficult to break.

International Transfers

Having money wired to Hungary through an agent of Western Union Money Transfer (1-235 8484; www.intercash.hu) is fast and fairly straightforward, and the procedure generally takes less than 30 minutes. You should know the sender's full name, the exact amount and the reference number when you're picking up the cash. The sender pays the service fee.

Sources of Information

LINKS

http://www.huembwas.org/default.htm
Embassy of Hungary

http://www.gotohungary.com/
Hungarian National Tourist Office

http://www.mfa.gov.hu/kum/en/bal/
Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

http://english.mti.hu/
Hungarian News Agency (news in English)

http://www.fsz.bme.hu/hungary/
Hungarian Homepage

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/hu.html
CIA The World Factbook: Hungary

http://lcWeb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/hutoc.html
Library of Congress: A Hungary Country Study


BIBLIOGRAPHY

*All links below will take you to the Amazon.com Web site for content and purchasing information.

Guides

Blue Guide Hungary

Culture Shock! Hungary: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette (Culture Shock! Guides) (Culture Shock! Guides)

Hungary (Eyewitness Travel Guides)

Lonely Planet Hungary

The Rough Guide to Hungary 6 (Rough Guide Travel Guides)

Traveler's Health

International Travel Health Guide

CDC Health Information for International Travel 2010

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