Study in Hungary
Hungary has a long tradition of higher education, with some of the oldest universities in the world. The country has a unique identity, something that it works hard to maintain and shows pride in. Although it is one of the smaller European countries, it has many opportunities to offer international students.
Why Study in Hungary?
Universities in Hungary have a strong focus on internationalisation, and offer high quality degree programmes. Hungarian higher education is known for its reputation in science fields, such as medicine and dentistry. The higher education system is divided into colleges and universities, which follows the Bologna Process. You can study for a bachelor, master or doctoral degree at a Hungarian institution.
There is one of Hungary’s universities in the 2019 QS World University Rankings top 500, and 6 in the top 1000. The highest ranked of these is the University of Szeged, which is placed at 470th. The next highest ranked is the University of Debrecen, which is placed in the 601-650th group.
Located in Central Europe, Hungary is home to almost 10 million people. It is a member of the European Union, and is entirely landlocked, sharing borders with 7 other countries. The country has a rich history, and is culturally significant in the areas of the arts, music, literature, sports and science and technology. As well as this, Hungary boasts the largest thermal water cave system, the largest lake in Central Europe, and the largest natural grasslands in Europe.
Cost of Studying and Living in Hungary
Hungary uses the Forint (HUF) as its currency.
The tuition fees you pay will depend on where you choose to study and at what level. If you are from an EU country, you may be able to apply for a state-funded place. This will be under the same system as Hungarian citizens, so applications may be competitive. International students may also be eligible for a scholarship provided by the Hungarian government. On average, you should expect to pay between $5,500/€4,900 and $15,000/€13,200 per year. You should also expect to pay application/examination fees of around $500/€440.
Living costs will depend on where you choose to live in Hungary. If you live in a bigger city, it will cost more than a smaller city or town. On average, you should budget for between $7,200/€6,400 and $10,500/€9,300 per year. This accounts for accommodation, groceries, travel and any other necessary expenses. Another living cost that international students need to consider is health insurance. If you are an EHIC card holder, you will be able to access the same healthcare as Hungarian citizens, but will incur some costs. If you are studying on a governmental scholarship, you might be able to apply for a social security card (TAJ card). This will allow you to access most public healthcare for free. If neither of these apply, you will need to purchase a health insurance policy. Some institutions offer health insurance policies, but you are able to purchase a private policy also.
Depending on where you are from, you may need a student visa to study in Hungary. If you are from an EU/EEA country, you will not need a visa. However, you will need to apply for a residence permit within 15 days of your arrival in Hungary. If you are from any other country, you will need to apply for a student visa and residence permit before you arrive in Hungary. This can be done at the Hungarian embassy or consulate in your home country. This process can take at least a month, so make sure to submit your application in plenty of time!
The official and national language of Hungary is Hungarian.
There are degrees at all levels offered in English and Hungarian. It is more common to find postgraduate degrees taught entirely in English. If you are studying in a non-native language, you will need to provide evidence of your proficiency. If you do not meet the required standards, it is common for institutions to offer language courses to help you improve.
Even if you are able to study in English, you should make an effort to learn as much Hungarian as possible. Communicating with the locals and other students is the perfect way to practice. This is a skill that will look great on your CV/resume!
The capital city of Hungary, Budapest is home to over 1.7 million people. Budapest is often called one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and has many important museums and cultural institutions. The city centre along the Danube River is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you find many famous monuments. These include the Hungarian Parliament, Buda Castle and the Liberty Statue. Restaurants in Budapest showcase the diverse Hungarian cuisine, with regional traditional dishes being offered.
Located in the city there is more than 35 higher education institutions. There are several popular course choices at these institutions; medicine, dentistry, veterinary programmes and engineering. Many of the institutions offer courses in English, German, French and Dutch, as well as Hungarian. The institutions include the Corvinus University of Budapest, the Hungarian University of Fine Arts and the Semmelweis University.
Benefits and Challenges of Studying in Hungary
Hungary is a good country to select as study abroad destination. At least this is the case for most student. Some things that one finds fun and attractive may be a headache for other. For example, some students wouldn’t prefer Non-English countries as study abroad destination while some particularly choose Non-English countries to experience a different language and environment. That’s why it is important to first have knowledge of all benefits and challenges of studying in Hungary if you wish to make it your study abroad destination. In this article you will find every benefit and challenge waiting for international students in Hungary.
Benefit: Low Competition for Admission and Scholarship
Many international students from all around the world go to Hungary for higher education. However, we can’t say that it’s a popular study abroad destination. This makes it very beneficial for international students because it means less competition. Countries like USA are best in the field of higher education but hard competition makes it difficult to get admission there. As the competition is low, it is easier to get admission even in the top ranked universities of Hungary. The best thing is that you also have more chances of getting scholarship. Hungarian universities would offer reasonable scholarships to attract international students.
Challenge: Very Few Universities
There are only 25 universities in Hungary and a few colleges that offer Bachelor’s degree. This means that you have less options in study programs. None of Hungarian universities are ranked even in top 500 of the world. The most top ranked university of Hungary by QS in 2017 was University of Szeged at 501 – 550.
Benefit: Lower Living Cost
Hungary is one of the cheapest study abroad destinations in whole Europe. Other European countries may offer less tuition fees in universities but their living cost reaches almost twice to Hungary. Living cost is more difficult to handle than university fee. Hungarian universities may charge higher fees compared to other European universities but because living cost is lower in Hungary, it makes overall cost of studying abroad lower here.
To give you a clearer idea, Numbeo estimated that cost of living in Hungary is almost 89% more than cost of living in Pakistan. On other hand, cost of living in Germany is 192% more than Pakistan while France is 230% more expensive compared to Pakistan. You should also know that Germany and France are the most popular study abroad destinations of Europe.
Challenge: Non-English Country
Universities offer English-Taught programs for international students where teacher will communicate in English but Hungary is a Non-English country. Not everyone speaks English that makes it difficult to do daily life chores and become a part of society. English is an international language but only 16% population in Hungary can speak English. On the contrary, 60% of population in Pakistan can speak English. It also makes it difficult to find a job in Hungary whether as student or a professional. You also need to learn and pass test of Hungarian language before you are issued its citizenship.
Benefit: You Can Study Without IELTS or TOEFL
Though passing IELTS or TOEFL is not very difficult if you have enough language skills to study abroad, still many students find it a bit of pickle in their way. Good news for them is that many universities in Hungary do not require you to have IELTS or TOEFL certification to get admission. However, they ask for complete understanding of English languages if you plan to study English-Taught program. Moreover, you have option to study in Hungarian or German language.
Challenge: Less Chances of Getting Job After Study
It won’t be a bad idea to start a business in Hungary but it is very difficult to find a job for foreigners in Hungary. You can get part time student job even with basic Hungarian language. On the other hand, if you are planning to make career in Hungary you will definitely have problem. Unemployment rate in Hungary is 4.30% that is not very bad compared 5.90% of Pakistan. The real problem is that companies cannot hire a foreigner unless they prove that no Hungarian resident was available for the job.
Benefit: Member of European Union and Schengen States
Hungary is a European country that is also part of European Union and Schengen States. It opens door to a lot more opportunities than most countries. You will be taught according to European level and your degree will be more respected all around Europe. If you decide to do business in Hungary, you have support of whole European market. Moreover, if you get permanent residency of Hungary, you have access to all Schengen States. There are many more perks for you in every field because Hungary is a member of European Union and Schengen States.
Challenge: Not Ranked in HESS
There are some organizations that rank all universities and countries for their higher education system. QS is most followed and respected in the world among these organization. Every year QS publishes a list of top 50 study abroad destinations and top 700 universities in the world. Pakistan was ranked 50th in this list of Higher Education System Strength while Hungary was not even ranked in this list. This puts a lot students in doubt when deciding to study abroad in Hungary.
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