You Won't Be Bored in Budapest! July 12, 2019

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 01/27/2019 to 05/18/2019 with

API (Academic Programs International): Budapest - Corvinus University of Budapest

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was so happy to be able to travel to other European countries. It can cost an arm and a leg to travel to other countries since the US is isolated so it was nice to travel to places like Croatia, Germany, etc. for only $30-$40. I'm looking for a similar experience after graduation since I felt like I became a more mature person after this program.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Most of the classes I took were pretty easy but there were definitely classes you can take to challenge yourself, such as Basic Finance. But expect to set aside at least an hour or two per week to do homework outside of class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our program coordinators Reka and Sari always responded within an hour or two to my questions via Facebook Messenger. They also knew Budapest very well and were able to answer questions about where the nearest drug store was to coffee shop recommendations. The only time they messed up was during the orientation week when they didn't inform my apartment area that there was a time change for a specific activity.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

There were some technical issues, such as when there was no proper heating for a couple weeks and when the door wouldn't close properly. Also, the walls to our apartment are very thin so it was easy to hear neighbors in the morning. Lastly, I wish we were given housing choices because I would not have wanted to live in such close proximity to loud tourists.

* Food:

We had to prepare our own food but there were a wide variety of food choice close to our apartment. The cost for going out to a restaurant and going to the store was pretty cheap compared to the US.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I wish that I could have met more Hungarians. We were all paired with a Hungarian tandem partner but in order to meet other international students and/or Hungarian students, I had to do that work on my own.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

From what I heard from other participants, the public hospitals are a mess. Due to the lack of funding from the government, there is not enough money for essentials like bandages and there is no proper anesthesia. So try not to get ill during your stay. I never had to attend a health care facility but when I inquired on going to the nursing station provided through the program, I was told the cost would be over $200 simply for getting a checkup. I thought this was too expensive.

* Safety:

Besides the occasional catcaller, I never felt like I was in danger walking around the city at night. Likewise, my things were never stolen.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

It would depend on if you plan to travel during the weekend. I could spend less than $100/week in Hungary since I would only spend it on groceries close to the end of the trip but if you want to see tourist sites and travel, that racks up to $200/week due to entrance fees, flight costs, public transportation costs in the other countries, food costs, etc.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

I didn't feel like I needed to know Hungarian. All of the young students at Corvinus could speak English. The only times where knowing Hungarian was necessary were trips to the countryside but since our program coordinators were with us, they could have translated for us.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Traveling
  • Program participants
  • Program activities
* What could be improved?
  • Removing the Hungarian class requirement
  • Having more choice as to where one can live
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Just as a warning, the sidewalks are pretty small!

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'