By Maxim Etty & Dave Lantinga
Cheap housing, a vibrant urban environment, different cultures, prominent buildings, underground bars and a roman history. All good reasons to pay a visit to Budapest for a couple days. The city also happens to be an attractive metropole for students, but why?
Budapest offers a wide range of degrees with a welcoming student community. The city has one the oldest technological and medical institutions in the world. Besides this, the success ratio of students has a high number of 82-90%, providing classes with small groups and a colourful environment with great network.
Donna van Velzen, International Student at the International Business School says: ‘’I decided to study here after orientating on the possibilities of locations to follow an interesting minor. There was Barcelona or Madrid that I wanted to go to, but after some research on Budapest and student reviews, the outcome was surprising to me. Almost everything was positive. It said the city was really upcoming, quite cheap, and a big community of international students. The most fun thing here is the community, it’s openminded and everybody is welcome. Compared to Amsterdam, where I feel like it is more about your looks and how people see you, I feel that here nobody cares about those things. Back home I feel like there are only some places that I go to, but here it feels like almost everything is fun for a visit. The way of teaching in Budapest is different compared to the Netherlands. It is more business related. We are doing more practical assignment and work together with different companies, creating products which are eventually executed in working environments. The study environment here is really personal with interaction, which makes it comfortable for me here abroad. I think many students choose to study here because living is very cheap. Mostly minors are quite expensive. Erasmus can compensate you here for a couple months, which will save you some costs. But also, the city provides diversity, has international allure, and has more than 25 universities, so the possibilities are endless. The composition in class is differentiates at every subject. Sometimes I am with 20 different nationalities in one class, and sometimes with Hungarian people only. This makes the course super interesting and makes you able to meet many different cultures in a close environment’’.
Jethro Minheere, student at Metropolitan University Budapest says: ‘’I study here in Budapest because I heard many people say that Budapest is a bustling city with an international vibe. Ruin bars, thermal baths, and a cool urban look is what mainly attracted me and pushed me towards this city. I enjoy studying here because of the freedom, the possibilities of doing various things and getting to know Eastern-European culture. To get out of your bubble back home and move to a completely different environment, lets you grow as a person on many levels. Life here is easy to adapt due to the openness of people and causality of personal contact. When it comes to teaching, professors are well educated and come from all sorts of countries and backgrounds. I learn a lot from those people and their perspectives on cases, cultures and life.’’
’’Etelka Dombora says, Senior Partner and Erasmus Co-ordinator at International Business School in Budapest says: ‘’Many students choose to study here because of the beauty of the city. It’s affordable, like cheaper transportation costs, clubbing, cultural programmes and theatre concerts compared to Western Europe. I think a lot of students come here to discover the post-communist country, that sounds perhaps special for them compare to the west. Many times, I read in that in their Erasmus motivation letters. To be honest, I don’t know exactly how they feel about the living in a country like Hungary, but I never heard a student with bad experiences here.
The numbers of international students keep on climbing and is expected to reach 40.000 in 2023 according to the Hungarian newspaper Magyar Idók. But, due to the current political situation in Hungary, many national people leave the country, among them many students. As a result, the number of local students decreased in the last few years at the universities, according to Daily News Hungary. But with the rising number of the international studies and students, the city still provides a strong educational environment.