My semester abroad in HungaryExperience Report Budapest

The Hungarian language is quite complex and difficult to learn, so there were only 2 words I could bring back to Germany - hello (Szia) and thank you (Köszönöm)," Mr. Geiger remembers of his semester abroad in Budapest (Hungary).

26th Januar 2023, Cedric Geiger

In 2016, I visited Budapest for the first time with my school. In one week, the city impressed me so much that I said straight away that I would visit this city again. And my impression from back then did not disappoint me during my semester abroad.

Budapest is the capital and also the largest city in Hungary. With almost 1.8 million inhabitants, it is one of the top 10 largest cities in Europe. The name was created by the fusion of the two cities of Buda and Pest. These two cities are separated only by the Donau. The Hungarian language is quite complex and difficult to learn, so there were only 2 words I could bring back to Germany. They were hello (Szia) and thank you (Köszönöm). Hungary is one of nine countries in the EU that do not have the euro. They pay with Forints there. 1 euro is about 400 forints. With the following report on my experiences during my semester abroad, I would like to show that Budapest is a bit under the radar and definitely worth a visit.

With about 25 universities and colleges, and with about 450,000 students, you can say that Budapest is a real student city. My university was the Budapest Business School, a business university with about 20,000 students. Students can study there in English, French and Hungarian. It is divided into three faculties:

  • the Faculty of Commerce, Gastronomy and Tourism
  • the Faculty of International Management and Business Administration
  • the Faculty of Finance and Accounting

I attended the Faculty of International Management and Business Administration, which was located a bit out of town. I took 8 courses in total, examples were Communication Skills Development, International Relations and Institutions, Psychology in Practice, Strategic Management and Sociology. The lectures were all face-to-face and were often divided into theory and practice. In theory, the theoretical basics were taught, which were then applied in practice, e.g. with practical examples or cases that had to be worked on. Compared to the lectures at the DHBW in Karlsruhe, the lectures in Budapest were also much shorter. They usually lasted only 90 minutes. Exams and tests were also different from those in Germany. In addition to the classic written exam, there were also online exams, oral presentation exams and written papers. Another difference was the so-called midterm exams, which were written halfway through the semester. The advantage here is that the length of the individual exams was significantly shorter. 

Budapest has a lot to offer. Examples are: Europe's largest Synagogue, the Széchenyi Spa (the largest spa in Europe), the Fisherman's Bastion (a neo-Romanesque monument), the Parliament Building (the second largest in Europe) and the Statue of Liberty at the southern tip of the Citadel. These are only 5 monuments out of a total of 17 that exist in the city. Real institutions in Budapest are the ruin bars, which have been located in the centre of Pest since the 2000s and have since become one of the most popular locations in the city, day and night. Each ruin bar has its own unique style with a musical ambience. The food in Budapest was always good and the choice was incredibly wide. Restaurants from all over the world with very good food. Probably the most famous Hungarian dishes are the goulash soup or the langos. The langos, a type of flat bread, is perfect for the cold months, so it should also be enjoyed at one of the three Christmas markets. Another activity I can recommend is a boat trip on the Donau. The best time to do this is in the summer around 7 pm, because there you can see the city with its buildings in the golden hour, which is incredibly beautiful.

In conclusion, I would do it again and again. I would fly to Budapest again and do the same activities. For me personally, it has also made a difference, I feel more confident in my use of English, I am more open to new and unfamiliar things and in general I have simply developed my personality. I would recommend every student, whether dual or full-time, to spend a semester abroad. No one will ever take away the memories of the time and the joy I had there.