As a landlocked country, Hungary is located in the middle of Central Europe. The country is surrounded by the neighboring countries Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. Geographically, the country is characterized by various lowlands that are surrounded by mountains. Large and small rivers such as the Danube and Tisza flow through the 93,000 square kilometers of land and there are numerous lakes. Hungary has a continental climate with very hot and dry summers and cold winters.
Studying abroad in Hungary is becoming increasingly popular with students all over the world. And not without reason!
More than paprika and puszta – Hungary, a country with history
According to localcollegeexplorer, Hungary has a long and eventful history. For a long time, the country, which is politically inconspicuous today, played a prominent role in Europe. From the year 1000 onwards it existed as the Kingdom of Hungary, which became particularly important during the Renaissance. After a long period of time under Ottoman rule, Hungary became part of the Habsburg Empire and in 1867 was even given equal rights in the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy. After 1918 Hungary became a democratic republic, but quickly came under foreign rule. After the Second World War, the country was part of the Soviet Eastern Bloc for a long time. However, Hungary opened up to the west in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Today Hungary is a republic in which about ten million people live. In the capital Budapest alone there are around 1.7 million. Hungary has been one of the member states of the EU and NATO since 2004. The main industries in the country are the service sector, industry, and agriculture and forestry.
University landscape in Hungary
There are 72 higher education institutions in Hungary that are recognized by the state. They are divided into:
- 25 universities
- 47 universities
The universities are primarily dedicated to research and teaching. At the universities, however, a particularly job-related training takes place. This can be compared with a German university of applied sciences degree. Both universities and colleges can be funded privately or by the state. There are also numerous institutions under denominational sponsorship.
In Hungary, the reputation of the university at which you studied is sometimes more important for your future career than your final grade. Good grades during your studies are, however, indispensable for the tuition fee waivers or the acquisition of a scholarship.
The Hungarian universities and colleges have been devoting themselves more and more to an international orientation for some time. Accordingly, many of them have entered into collaborations with foreign institutions or were founded as international universities from the outset.
Study system in Hungary
The academic year of Hungary consists of two semesters. The winter semester runs from mid-September to mid-December and the summer semester from mid-February to May.
The curriculum at Hungarian universities is usually divided into a practical and a theoretical part. Classes in Hungary are traditionally quite school-based. The students write down most of the lectures from their lecturers; oral participation is less important. The individual courses and lectures take place in smaller groups than you are used to in Germany. The quality of the teaching benefits significantly from this. The level of instruction is usually very high and demandingand the performances are tightly controlled. The examination time is always in the last four to six weeks of the respective semester. Numerous exams take place here within a short period of time.
Degrees of Hungary – Bachelor, Master and Ph.D.
In recent years, Hungary has brought its study system into line with European standards within the framework of the Bologna Agreement. Since then, the standardized European degrees of Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. forgive.
The bachelor’s degree in Hungary is designed for three to four years. It initially consists of imparting the necessary basic knowledge and then leads to a subject-specific in-depth study. You can then start your career straight away.
Building on the bachelor’s degree, however, a master’s degree can also take place, in which students can deepen and specialize their knowledge again. Allow around two years for this. However, this varies in certain subjects – for example, a pharmacy or medical degree in Hungary always lasts six academic years.
A subsequent doctorate is possible if the study achievements are appropriate. However, you can only do a doctorate at universities, not at colleges. The doctoral program takes about three years. It ends with the written doctoral thesis and its oral defense.
At the end of studies in Hungary, so-called diplomas are awarded at both universities and colleges. These are awarded with the predicates cum laude or summa cum laude.
Study in Hungary in English or German
The language of instruction at Hungarian state higher education institutions is usually Hungarian. However, there are also some courses in English and even German. Since 2002 there has also been a purely German-speaking university in Hungary, the Andrássy University in Budapest.
Such German-language courses result from the fact that Germans are an important minority in Hungary and that Germany is the country’s most important trading partner.
The universities that do not speak Hungarian offer courses on the Hungarian language and cultural studies. These are intended to give foreign students the opportunity to integrate better in Hungary.
Requirements for studying in Hungary
One of the admission requirements for studying in Hungary is the general university entrance qualification. If you want to study in Hungary with a technical college entrance qualification, you should inquire about admission options individually.
The application and admission procedure in Hungary is usually in the hands of the respective higher education institution. An important admission criterion is usually the Abitur grade. At some universities, internal selection processes are added to the application in order to ensure the quality of the course. The application deadline is usually in March.
Studies in Hungary: language skills in Hungarian or English
Another admission requirement for foreign students is sufficient language skills in Hungarian or English. This should ensure that students can take part in the class without any problems. If you want to study in Hungarian, you should have an advanced knowledge of this language before your stay. The Hungarian language is not easy to learn. Language skills can be refreshed on site with the help of university courses such as summer schools. For English-language courses, applicants usually have to prove certain minimum scores in standard tests such as TOEFL or IELTS.
Costs and financing options
The Hungarian state higher education institutions are mostly free of charge. The situation is different at private institutions or international courses. The amount of the tuition fees is at the discretion of the universities and averages between EUR 7,000 and 11,000 per academic year.
Cost of living in Hungary
The cost of living in Hungary is lower than in Germany. Of course, they vary depending on the individual consumption behavior of the students and the chosen study location. In addition to rent, students should plan at least EUR 300 per month, although the costs in the capital Budapest can be a lot higher.
Foreign students are usually accommodated in the university student dormitories. That costs them around EUR 150 to EUR 400 per month. That depends on the place of study and on whether students live in a single or shared room. Because most of their Hungarian fellow students stay at home during their studies, student shared apartments are rather uncommon.
Financing a study abroad in Hungary
There are various financial support options for studying in Hungary:
- Foreign BAföG. Due to different funding rates, it can be paid regardless of the entitlement to domestic BAföG.
- education loans issued by the federal government
- Partial or full scholarships from the academic, economic or political side
- Scholarships awarded by the Hungarian state to talented international students
- Student loans or education funds
Visa and entry into Hungary for study abroad
For citizens from the EU, a valid identity card or passport is sufficient when entering the country. If you are staying for more than two months, you must then obtain a residence permit from the Hungarian Aliens Police.