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Being an international student in Budapest: the good and bad once you move

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

Today we’d like to share with you some great things about being an international student in Budapest, alongside with some slightly frustrating sides of your new life. We won’t talk about how affordable Hungary is or about the great quality of education, no – we will try to view things from the perspective of international students, in order to understand their daily struggles and the things that they’re happy about.

Some good sides

You’re now independent

No parents ruling around, no siblings fighting with you, just you, your space, your rules! You can choose when to clean up your room and you have the full freedom of sleeping till 12:00 after a Friday night out with no parents yelling over your bed about “waking up at a decent time of the day”. Of course, this independence comes together with a whole bunch of responsibilities, like managing your budget and doing all “adult stuff” on your own – paying your bills, doing the groceries and so on. But there is some beauty in all this: you start building character and you learn how to take care of everything on your own, not even in your home country! Now that’s some high-level adulting…

You meet tons of different people from around the world

Diversity helps you understand the world better and makes you more flexible. It teaches you that all people have their own unique characters, not only because of their personal traits, but also because of the way their culture has influenced them. By the time you graduate, you’ll be a pro in intercultural communication and this is quite valuable for some international companies, as they seek people who can manage working in a diverse team. If you’d like to be surrounded by a wide variety of people with different cultural backgrounds, then Corvinus is the place to be. Create long-lasting friendships, worldwide networks and great memories.

It’s time to party and have some fun

It’s time to be wild, you’re a student! Go with the flow of downtown Budapest and explore all the hidden gems of nightlife in the city. Budapest is famous with its pub crawls and ruin bars which have a great effect after long weeks of studying. Moreover, the university has monthly thematic parties, including a boat party, a Halloween party and a winter ball (which is actually kind of fancy!), so you can look forward to attending those, too! Even if you aren’t a party person, concerts and theaters are always opened to entertain you, as Budapest has some of the best halls in Europe for such events.

You’d be able to travel a lot around Europe (and in Hungary)

Hungary is in Central Europe, so you can literally go anywhere from Budapest quite easily with low-cost airlines like Wizz Air and Ryanair – Germany, Italy and Greece are less than 2 hours away from you now! Travel around Europe in the holidays and experience everything to the fullest. Moreover, trips by car in Hungary can be quite adventurous – the country has beautiful cities which offer history, culture and entertainment.

Some bad sides

Homesickness IS a thing

Your grandma isn’t there to cook your favorite dishes, people speak a language you cannot understand at all, you miss your favorite spots and cafeterias, your family and your friends. Life can be lonely sometimes, that’s a fact. People are different, streets are different, the culture is different. However, every time you go home it’ll feel like a holiday and it’ll be a bliss – everyone is happy to see you, your mom makes the best food ever, you get spoiled and overall, those 1-2 weeks are just perfect.

You don’t speak Hungarian (for obvious reasons) – and not everyone can speak English

The younger population of Hungary speaks English, but not all people over 30 know the language. One day you might find yourself stuck in a supermarket, trying to explain something to the cashier, while he or she is not understanding a single word. That is normal and you won’t be able to escape those situations, but over time you’d be able to pick up some basic vocabulary which might help you. After all, it’s not an English-speaking country and Hungarians study a variety of languages at school – German, Russian, French etc.

You might feel totally disoriented and you might experience a culture shock in the beginning

Experiencing a strong culture shock is quite possible. The food is different, the vibe is different, even the clothing might differ from what you’re used to see at home. All those things that are so unfamiliar to you might frustrate you, stress you and make you miss home even more.

Many job opportunities require Hungarian on a native level

Sadly, it’s not all roses and pink clouds. If you’re eager to find a job you might get a bit disappointed when you find all those amazing job offers in English in which a requirement is also being able to speak Hungarian. That is why a lot of students feel quite sad about missing out on some great opportunities. However, there are job offers which often require English AND your native language (let’s say Russian, for example) and that is already a big plus, so not everything is lost.

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  - Emily Brontë


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