Why we decided to study abroad in Hungary | Top Universities

Why we decided to study abroad in Hungary

By Linda M

Updated May 10, 2021 Updated May 10, 2021

Sponsored by Széchenyi István University

In recent years, Hungary has become an increasingly popular study abroad destination. The small country is not only rich in history, culture and beautiful scenery, but it’s also home to several universities offering top undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

TopUniversities caught up with four international students from Széchenyi István University – a three-star rated institution in the QS Stars University Rankings – to find out what makes studying in Hungary, and especially in the university town of Győr, so special.

A hub for diversity and culture

While Hungary might not often be recognised for its cultural diversity, it has recently become a vibrant hub for international students from all continents. In fact, since 2013 the number of international students enrolling into programmes at Széchenyi István University has grown substantially – a trend that reflects the country’s commitment to becoming top recruiters of global talent.

Khalil, a PhD candidate from Jordan studying business administration and management, says Hungary is one of the “best places” in the world to study abroad in.

He said: “The country is not only a member of the European Union, but also a Schengen State. Many of the universities in Hungary are fully open and welcoming of international students. We can mix up with other cultures and other countries in the world.”

Waldo, a BSc in Logistics Engineering student from Mexico, echoes Khalil’s sentiment.

He said: “I wanted to have an international experience, live in Europe and discover how big the world really is. Hungary has opened its doors and really welcomed me.”

Great student cities

According to all four international students, one of the biggest perks of studying in Hungary is being able to live in student-friendly cities like Győr.

Anas, a marketing student from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, said: “Győr promotes the perfect balance between your student life and personal life. You can achieve a lot in your studies and still have a good time outside of them. This experience can have a really positive effect on a student’s personality and attitude.

“Studying in Győr is a unique opportunity. You learn to live, socialise, adapt, be independent and, most importantly, be happy. The student life here is one of the best in Hungary, full of activities and events.”

Khalil agrees.

He said: “Győr is lovely – full of culture and renowned for its rich history and heritage. Wandering around the city on a Sunday afternoon will make you fall in love with its architecture.

“This city is truly a full, authentic package for all students.”

And there’s more: compared to traditional student cities in popular study abroad destinations – such as North America and the UK – Győr offers great living standards at a more affordable cost.

Waldo said: “Having previously lived in Szeged and Budapest, I’d definitely say that the best place to be a student is Győr. Without the big distractions and hectic rhythm of the capital, as well as a strategic location in the country and great lifestyle opportunities compared with Szeged, I have found in Győr a home.”

Supportive and affordable university environments

Whilst Hungarian universities are known for their variety of degree offerings – many of which are in English, making it easier for non-Hungarian speakers to study locally, what you might not know is that they also provide a highly welcoming, supportive and affordable environment for international students, with low tuition costs and plenty of initiatives to encourage integration within student communities.

At Széchenyi István University, for example, international applicants can take advantage of the government sponsored Stipendium Hungaricum (SH) scholarship programme, which covers tuition fees, accommodation and medical insurance costs, and partial living expense fees for all winners.

What’s more, upon arrival all international students get paired with a mentor who will personally guide them throughout their degree, whether by offering career advice or helping them complete administrative tasks.

Donovan, a South African master’s student and recipient of the scholarship said: “Being awarded the SH scholarship gave me the opportunity to visit a new place and explore opportunities outside of my home country, as well as to complete my master’s degree at a much lower cost than I would have in South Africa.

“The most positive aspect of this experience has been meeting new people, growing academically, and enjoying an amazing city full of activities. It has taught me a lot about the world and has allowed me to really develop on a personal level.”

Lead image credit: Keszthelyi Timi on Unsplash

This article was originally published in April 2021 . It was last updated in May 2021

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