Updated: Jan 12, 2021
Every new beginning is difficult. From making the decision to actually executing it, changes bring a huge responsibility into our life. If you are reading this, perhaps you’ve made a final decision – you are moving abroad, more specifically to Budapest, Hungary.
This is a major step forward, both for your personal life and career, which will also open many doors for you. Starting a new life from scratch in a foreign country is hard for full grown, 40-years-old adults, so you deserve a pat on the back for being brave enough to take on this journey so early in your life. New friends, new place, new lifestyle, new culture… So many things will change, but trust us, it will be for the best. You will meet amazing people, you will fall in love with the Hungarian culture and you’ll enjoy your student years at Corvinus so much that you'll never consider this change a mistake. However, things will be tough at first, that’s a fact – that is why we have collected some useful information for you, freshmen, in order to get you slightly more familiar with the situation once you set foot in the country.
Disclaimer: We have not yet landed on a decision regarding the start of the new semester and whether it would be in a digital form or not, so we offer you the usual information on the topic (in case we start off normally).
First, you’d arrive at Budapest’s airport, of course. Would you have someone to meet you there? Are you travelling with one of your parents, or maybe a friend? Are you completely alone? All cases are possible but it’s up to you to decide which is the best scenario suiting your needs. If you are alone, you’d better gather a greater understanding of Budapest’s transportation system beforehand. Unfortunately, taxis are insanely pricey so we recommend taking the bus – it costs 500 ft and it does the job. Be sure to download the BKK app, which is the best source of information when it comes to the city’s public transport (it can really save the day sometimes!).
Side note: One of our coolest university organizations, Budapest Blend, offers you the opportunity to have a mentor, who might even pick you up from the airport, if he or she is free at the time. These guys are also pretty useful in sorting out confusing situations, so be sure to get in touch with them often slightly before and after your arrival.
You should definitely check out our apartment hunt article if you still haven’t found the best place to live at. Once you arrive at your new home, you’d probably have to meet the owner and perhaps sign some documents (note: a contract in Hungary is only valid if there is a witness at the time of the agreement). Other experiences might involve meeting your new roommates, discovering all the good and bad qualities of your new residence and exploring the area to find the nearest supermarkets, etc. Make sure to travel before the semester starts as this would give you some free time to unpack, get around and actually realize what has happened - this is a huge change and it’ll take time to process the whole thing. Don’t forget to call your family often.
Tip: Ikea is your best friend. Really. If you need some glasses or a blanket or some plants just go to Ikea. We are all familiar with that place.
Now, this is the very serious, extremely important part. First things first: Hungary is slow in these matters, sadly, so be prepared and apply for the required documents (residence certificate, residence permit, Tax ID, etc.) as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you will spend a lot of time queuing to receive them. The system requires a huge amount of papers that you must deliver on time, depending on your current citizenship. European Union residents are slightly better off when it comes to this as EU regulations are all the same in every EU member state and documents are way easier to be processed and accepted. Don’t wait till the very last minute, as it is easy to fall out of track and lose time which could evolve into a whole other issue.
You should start considering a consultation with the relevant authorities at least 2 months before the beginning of your studies. In case you are a non-EEA national, you must hand in your request of residence permit for the purpose of studies at the Hungarian Embassy in your home country (after you receive your acceptance letter from CUB).
If everything goes smoothly, you will obtain a visa which gives you the right of a single entry in Hungary for a maximum of 30 days, and after that you’ll be able to receive the residence permit.
Find more information, as well as all the necessary documents at: http://www.bmbah.hu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=70&Itemid=824&lang=en
If you are from an EEA country, you must obtain a certificate of registration at the regional directorate competent for the place of residence within 3 months from the day of entry.
It is essential to know your housing address before arriving in Hungary as it is needed for a must-have document, the “address ID card” (obligatory for all people residing in Hungary).
The first day at university
This is the day. The big “wow”, the new beginning, the day that changes everything. You will go to Corvinus in the morning for the “orientation day” and you’ll first meet some instructors (older students), who will give you important information about how this whole day will go. Then, you’ll have the official enrollment, for which you must bring the documents, indicated by your coordinator beforehand in a special personal letter you must receive. You can attend an information session and then you are free to go. Doesn’t sound interesting enough? The best part is that you will meet all the people in your class – Hungarians, foreigners, everyone. That’s the moment when you can initiate a post-orientation day meeting at a nearby cafeteria with those new faces and make some friends.
So lecture time has started. Everyone is excited to go to classes, so gaps between lectures are a great opportunity to get involved in some conversations about the subjects and the first impressions you’re getting from the course. Use those 20 minutes wisely, or perhaps use the bigger break (30 minutes at lunchtime) to grab a coffee at Café Frei, which is right next to the entrance of building C and has an impressive variety of options. Another good place to start from is attending the Corvinus parties, like the Freshmen Ship party, as it lets you create memories for a lifetime.
P.S. Don’t miss out on the events of Budapest Blend, as they are pretty easily getting people closer together!