International Programs Offered in English by Hungarian Universities
International Programs Offered in English by
Today when a young adult is thinking of travelling abroad for University or college studies, Hungary is an undeniably good option: a country in the center of Europe, institutions of academic excellence dating back several centuries, a possibility to study in different languages at affordable costs, high quality cultural life, and vivid multilingual student community.
This is most likely why in the past decade Hungary has become the most popular destination for international students in all of Central Europe. A recent joint survey conducted by the OECD and the Financial Times ranked Hungary as sixth on the basis of the national capacity of the knowledge-based industry in the OECD countries. In the past 15 years more than ten thousand applicants from 52 countries participated in different programmes offered for international students at Hungarian universities4. In this way Hungarian education - signposted with the names of Noble prize winners - like Albert Szentgyörgyi (medicine), Eugene Wigner (Physics), György Oláh (chemistry) or János Harsányi (economics), inventors and scientists of universal fame, like John von Neumann (the first computer), Erno Rubik (the famous cube) - has become accessible for young people both from Europe and different countries overseas. International students not only learn about the Hungary-rooted achievements but also can have a first-hand academic experience in this country.
Future applicants for study abroad programmes in Hungary will certainly inquire about the language of tuition. Although the national language is Hungarian, there are plenty of opportunities for non- Hungarian speaking students to follow high quality degree and diploma programmes in English (also in German or French). Hungarian universities and colleges are active partners in international cooperation and networks and besides the above degree programmes; offer a whole range of separate courses, for international students be they exchange students, or regular ones. At the same time, a great number of the students take it as a challenge to learn some Hungarian. Even though Hungarian is considered to be a very difficult language students taking language classes and living in a Hungarian-speaking environment usually learn it efficiently. This scope has been broadened due to language learning on spot as students get an understanding to Hungarian literature, theatre and movie as well.
Higher Education at Affordable Costs!
When choosing a destination both costs and quality are decisive factor of consideration. Together with academic excellence Hungarian universities offer a safe and balanced environment for students. Today you can obtain the same selection of goods and services in Budapest or other major cities in Hungary like in any large cities of the affluent world. That aside, in Hungary living expenses, cost of accommodation as well as tuition fees are significantly lower than in the neighbouring Austria, or other European countries.
Budapest: an Exiting Metropolis in Central Europe
National Geographic Magazine calls Budapest a little Paris on the Danube and this metropolis has more to offer than visitors usually expect. The skyline of the Buda Castle hill above the Danube is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Budapest attracts visitors who wish to experience cultural values of the country, taste Hungarian food and wine and to find the potential for business success. Budapest is listed among the ten most popular conference venues in Europe.
With about 2 million inhabitants, Budapest is not only the capital of Hungary but also a cultural, financial, economic center of the region. From Budapest the access of other major European cities is easy. Vienna lies just 260 km from Budapest; Prague: is about 600 km away; Berlin, 900 km. The mountains of the Alps, the Adriatic Sea and the Italian cities rich in tourist attractions are within easy reach from Budapest. So it is a general practice that students visiting Hungary take advantage of a European experience in their holidays or before leaving for home.
A Wide Selection of International Higher Education Opportunities in Hungary
In the 1980s several institutions of higher education opened their doors to students from abroad and launched training in different languages. Among the first were Semmelweis University of Medicine, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest University of Economic Sciences, and later; other universities all over the country (Pécs, Szeged, Debrecen, Gödöllo) with training in agriculture, veterinary sciences, arts, etc. Today almost all the institutions of higher education are involved in internationalisation: some of them with full degree programmes, others only with limited scale student exchange possibilities.
The Budapest University of Technology and Economics: Engineering Programmes
Engineering training in different languages began at Budapest University of Technology and Economics in 1984 and currently has 700 students from 40 different countries. The University has strengthened and broadened its relationship with the best universities in Europe and overseas, and both staff and students participate in different actions of international academic mobility. Currently BUTE has got academic relationships with more than 100 universities from all over the world, it is the member of international educational networks like SEFI, CESAER (Conference of European Schools for Advanced Education and Research) as well as the International Student Exchange Programme (ISEP) and several other global and bilateral exchange programmes.
At BUTE it is the International Education Center (TANOK) that administers and coordinates the programmes taught in foreign languages. The Center handles faculty and student exchanges, registers international students and manages a one year Pre- Engineering Course.
International students can take the following academic opportunities at BUTE:
· Full time degree programmes in different engineering fields (B.Sc, M.Sc and PhD) at the faculty of Architecture. Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Informatics, Mechanical Engineering, Transportation Engineering,
· One-semester programmes of Hungarian and Central European Studies organized for international students during a semester-abroad programme with special involvement of the staff of the faculty of Economic and Social Sciences. The faculty also provides classes in management, economics, social sciences, languages and administers physical education programmes of BUTE international students;
· Student exchange programmes at all faculties of the University;
· Language courses at different levels, with special emphasis to Hungarian as a foreign language study possibilities.
Options for Study at Medical Schools and in Health Science Fields
30% of the international students in Hungary study in different medical and health science fields (general medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary science, kinesiology, psychology physical education etc.)
The Semmelweis University in Budapest has got a history of more than 230 years. The name of the University honors Ignac Semmelweis, a former professor of the medical faculty between 1855-1865 who discovered the cause and prevention of puerperal fever.
Semmelweis University started to offer international courses at the Faculty of Medicine, first in German in 1983 and four years later the English programmes started as well. Now about 200 new international students enrol every year. Still students from Germany form the majority of the international student body, though the number of the students from Israel, Scandinavia and Cyprus shows a constant growth. Besides supplying solid theoretical bases for the students, the University is deeply involved in the patient care of the Great- Budapest region. Several outpatient departments and teaching hospitals serve the purpose of both research and practical training. The studies leading to a Doctor of Medicine degree last 6 years, Doctor of Dentistry degree or/and M.Sc. in Pharmacy degree 5 years.
The Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences organize a four-year programme in human-kinesiology leading to a MSc. degree. The Faculty of Physical Education is one of the two officially sponsored training sides of the International Olympic Committee in Europe.
In addition to Semmelweis University, Szeged and Pécs Universities have also got a significant number of international students, especially in different medical fields.
An international student can study in Budapest for the title of the Doctor of Veterinary-Medicine as well at Szt. István University Faculty of Veterinary Science. Established in 1787, it is one of the oldest veterinary schools in the world. The faculty earned EU accreditation in 1995.
International students interested in Psychology can study at the Loránd Eötvös University, a major academic institution in Budapest, where both Bachelors' and Masters' studies are provided in English.
Special Support for International Students
Hungary and Hungarians are famous for their hospitality. International students, of course, get the maximum assistance at the place of their studies to adjust to the new academic environment, to make studies abroad an enjoyable academic challenge for them. This support is especially important for the students in the so-called adaptation period, both from the point of view of their studies and for developing a real international community from the students coming from very different countries and interested in different areas of studies.
A great number of international students wanting to enrol to international degree programmes in Hungary opt for preparatory courses. College International Budapest, one of the major institutions specializing in this offers one-year preparatory courses for future applicants of different medical and health- science institutions. Students are given coaching in sciences and English language with emphasis on the terminology of their chosen field of studies.
From the wide range of possibilities only a limited number of institutions are presented here, but hopefully this introduction will encourage you to look for other academic possibilities in Hungary as well.