If you are reading this, it means that you got accepted into Corvinus University of Budapest and are preparing for an important event in your life – moving to Hungary. Congratulations on this great achievement, you did it!
Behind all of the celebration and excitement, you may ask yourself a question: how is it like to live in Budapest? Short answer – it’s awesome. But we know you want more details, so we got your back, and we are ready to share our own experience. Here are top-6 things you need to know about the city before changing your life forever and building a new one in the Hungarian capital. If you want to be prepared for the big move, read on!
Language Barrier and English Proficiency
Lucky for us, English is very widely spoken in Budapest. However, you should definitely learn the basic Hungarian phrases not to be completely lost when you first get here and, of course, to show respect to the local culture. Most of the people, especially younger generations, can communicate in English, but you should still be prepared to meet people that won’t know a word of it.
Living in Hungary, you are surrounded by the Hungarian language, so don’t hesitate to dive into it and learn more each day. Corvinus University offers high-quality language courses, and Hungarian is on list as well. By the way, if you a Stipendium Hungaricum / Diaspora Scholarship student, you are obliged to take 2 semesters of Hungarian as a foreign language.
Getting Around the City
Public transport in Budapest is only difficult to understand for the first couple of times. There is a separate monthly pass for students, however, you can only buy it when you have a student card. So, before you acquire that, you can either buy a single ticket each time you use public transport or buy a simple pass for everyone (it is more expensive than the one for students though). You can check the types and prices here.
You can do it both at the public transport stops and in the mobile application “Mobiljegy for public transport”. Tram and subway lines in Budapest are very easy to understand, but make sure to give yourself some time to make sense of the names and get used to the whole system. Once you understand it, you will feel like a true local!
Corvinus University is located in the heart of Budapest – at Fővám tér, and from there you can easily reach any place in the city.
Seasons and Climate
Be prepared for drastic changes in the weather while living in Budapest. Summers tend to get hotter and hotter each year, with high humidity. The only thing that is getting us through now is the AC. However, the end of July turned out to be pretty chilly as the temperatures got lower. This is what you get in Budapest – one day it’s +35, the next on it’s +20. Winters are dry and cold, without almost any snow, and springs and autumns have mild temperatures and lots of rain.
Here you will experience all four seasons, each and every one in its unique way. So, you will need to adapt to the weather changes, especially if you are coming from the country where the climate is completely different. But, trust us, all seasons in Budapest bring out a different side of its’ beauty.
Big International Community
Without any doubt, Budapest has a thriving international community. People from all over the world come here to study and work. In almost every sphere you will find foreigners and English-speaking Hungarians that create a welcoming community and are happy to get to know you. Of course, Hungarian is still the dominant language and most of the events and entertainment use it, but don’t be scared – you will find your people and your place here, even if you don’t speak it.
At Corvinus University, international community is one big family that makes you feel at home even away from home. Don’t hesitate to apply to international clubs upon arrival and join parties and other events to meet new people and create your first university memories!
FYI, one of the best students’ organizations – ÖCSI – opens its doors for international students for the first time. Now you can participate in the Freshmen camp as a part of an international group – tickets have already gone on sale. Read more here.
Get Used to Forints
The official currency of Hungary is Hungarian forints. It is abbreviated as "Ft" or "HUF." It definitely takes some time to get used to the prices, so don’t worry if you are confused at first. In some places (especially the most touristic ones), euros are also accepted, but we strongly recommend you use forints.
The Importance of Having All Your Documents Intact
As an international student, you will have to acquire a list of mandatory documents, such as residence permit, address card, tax card, student card, TAJ card, etc. We know, we know, it sounds a lot, but in reality, it’s not that bad. Of course, you will have to collect a lot of documents and fill our lots of applications, but you must do it in order to be a legal resident here.
An important thing to know about life in Budapest is that it is best to have all your documents done and ready. Everything is intertwined in the systems here, so if you lack one thing, you may not be able to acquire another one. Make sure to get everything done in time, and don’t hesitate to ask for help – sometimes these procedures can be difficult to do alone. We are here to help!
Moving to Budapest is a challenging, but very exciting thing – a completely different life awaits you here. It is filled with both, difficulties and happiness, and every step of it is worth it. Prepare yourself for a whole new chapter, and don’t be afraid – as an international student at Corvinus University, you have secured yourself a place in a great community that cannot wait to finally meet you here!