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Studying in Hungary

Universities in Hungary

Why study abroad in Hungary

Hungary might not seem like an obvious choice for studying abroad and it’s true that its universities aren’t exactly brimming with British students, but the country is becoming increasingly popular with international students, particularly those interested in science-related degrees such as medicine and veterinary science.

  • There are 25 universities in Hungary, along with a number of colleges that offer full bachelor’s degree programmes.
  • There are a wide variety of courses taught in English, ranging from undergraduate degrees all the way up to postgraduate courses.

Entry and visa regulations

EU/EEA students do not need a visa to study in Hungary, but they do need to apply for a residence permit within 90 days of moving to the country.

  • To apply for a place on a course, you’ll generally need to apply in February for Hungarian-language courses, although application dates vary between institutions and are usually later for English-language courses. Prospective students need to apply directly to their chosen institution.
  • If you want to take a course in Hungarian, you’ll have to take an exam to prove your language skills. You’ll also need to take entrance exams if you wish to study medicine or a related subject.
  • Students from English-speaking countries are exempt from taking English proficiency exams if their language of instruction will be English.

Funding your study

Hungary awards state-funded places — where students do not have to pay for tuition or registration but may be asked to pay a small contribution — based on grades.

  • EU students may be able to qualify for a state-funded place under this system but the government has recently cut the number of state-funded places on offer so prospective students should not rely on getting a free place.
  • Potential students should contact their institution of choice in the first case to find out whether or not state-funded places may be available to them. Some universities offer tuition fee reductions after the first year to students who achieve high grades. Tuition fees for courses other than medicine and pharmacy are generally much lower — starting from around £800 per year — than in the UK, but they do vary significantly between universities.
  • Living costs are relatively inexpensive in Hungary, with many universities advising that students can get by on around £400 per month. However, there are no student loans available to EU students in Hungary, so you’ll have to find another way of funding your living costs and tuition expenses.
  • Students are allowed to work part-time while studying, but finding a job will be difficult without Hungarian skills. Wages are very low at around £1.25–£2.00 per hour for typical student jobs, so foreign students may find it more beneficial to return home during breaks to work instead.

Many universities offer dormitory accommodation, which is relatively cheap and likely to cost less than £200 per month. Prices can be similarly low in shared private accommodation if you share a flat with other students.

Costs of living

Typical prices (GBP, April 2015) are:

  • Apartment £112 - £159 per month
  • Meal, inexpensive restaurant £3.17
  • Meal at McDonalds £3.62
  • Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught) £0.73
  • Imported beer (0.33 litre bottle) £0.97
  • Cappuccino £0.82
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle) £0.59
  • Water (0.33 litre bottle) £0.39
  • Loaf of bread £0.42
  • Cigarettes £2.43
  • One-way ticket local transport £0.85
  • Cinema ticket £3.64

Health and safety

It is a legal requirement in Hungary that you carry a passport or other form of identification with you at all times.

  • EU/EEA students can access healthcare in Hungary using their European Health Insurance Card in the same way as Hungarian nationals. You will have to pay a fee at the point of service, though this is small — around £2 at a clinic or for outpatient treatment at a hospital.
  • Hungary is generally a very safe country, however there are a number of scams operating in the country that target foreigners. In particular, concerns have been noted about bars, clubs, taxis and restaurants that use threats of violence to intimidate foreigners into paying exorbitant bills.

Helpful links