Here is my story as an international intern in Budapest - and my experiences at Corvinus.
Hey everyone! My name is Alev Hacıhasanoğlu, I am from Istanbul, Turkey. I graduated from Istanbul Bilgi University with a bachelor's in Public Relations and Advertising double degree. When I found out that I could apply for Erasmus + Internship mobility right after graduation, I applied directly in January 2021.
After I learned that I was chosen, I needed to find a company that was related to my study fields and write a motivation letter that indicated why I wanted to do an internship there, arrange the dates of it, and sign my learning agreement in order to forward it to my home school. I already wanted to go to Budapest to live there, and first started searching for advertising agencies there to apply to as an Erasmus intern. In the relatively short period of 1 month, I reached Corvinus University of Budapest and had a Zoom interview with their Communication Department. We discussed the terms of Erasmus+ Internship and had a mutual agreement right away, for 4 months duration!
For Erasmus+ Internship mobility, you first need to apply from your university. If your application is accepted by your sending university, you need to find the right place for you to do the internship! You can start enquiring to prospective employers and companies before filling out your application. Please, find the detailed information for Erasmus+ Internship mobility here.
The time had come, I moved to Budapest in September 2021 and started my internship at the Corvinus' Communication Department. When I first came here, it felt so exciting and different because it was my first time being abroad (my first time outside of Turkey!). Everything gave off an unfamiliar, bizarre vibe, not in a bad way, of course.
I had my boyfriend with me - he studies in Budapest, plus our roommate was from Turkey too, so luckily I got used to the streets, people, transportation, and nightlife thanks to them. We also found our accommodation relatively quickly through Facebook groups dedicated on renting out flats, so that made everything easier.
I fell in love with the buildings in Budapest! Here, every building and street has its own story, art, and beauty. To me, they felt similar to the buildings in Istanbul/Taksim, Beyoğlu. What’s more, there are so many charming historic monuments and places in the city. One of them is the gorgeous Parliament building. I found it absolutely incredible.
Since I love hiking and nature, we went to Szentendre, which is 45 minutes away from Budapest by the suburban railway. It is a small town that has beautiful shops and eye-catching streets. There are so many lovely churches, art galleries, and museums, so if you are interested in art, you have to visit Szentendre for sure. We went there in the autumn, but you can swim and canoe with friends if you go to Szentendre around summertime!
I lived near Deak Ferenc Ter - a main square that has a massive Ferris wheel in the middle of it, a small park ideal for chilling with friends and is connected to all types of transportation. They organize a Christmas Marketplace around late November in that same area, so you can taste traditional Hungarian cuisine and buy a lot of cute souvenirs!
My internship at Corvinus was worthy and gainful. I focused on writing and editing blog posts for international students and also the development of an international social media campaign. Throughout my work I also realized I would love to pursue a master's degree - I wish I would have known about scholarships like Stipendium Hungaricum available at the university so I could have applied to the Marketing MSc or Sociology MA at Corvinus.
Budapest has something to offer to anyone who visits or lives in the city, no matter the time of stay and the duration. It is also quite international, you can socialize with likeminded people from across the globe quickly and easily and create wide networks. Amongst monuments and beautiful buildings, you can enjoy many bars, cafeterias and restaurants of top quality, or just sit by one of the peaceful corners near the Danube.
My ultimate advice for everyone who reads this is, go for it! Go wherever you feel happy, discover exciting opportunities, be adventurous. Absorb the atmosphere of your new environment and learn from it. Grow and gain knowledge alongside experience in the heart of Europe - opportunities are to be taken.