Rewarding Computer Science Study Abroad in Budapest, Hungary Past Review


Aquincum Institute of Technology / AIT - Budapest: - Creativity in Computer Science & Software Engineering

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?

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.

Some of the instructors aren't professors by trade; rather, many of them work in industry most of the time. That doesn't necessarily make them bad teachers, but it can lead to unreasonable expectations (either too much or too little work), unclear lectures, or just a general disorganization/lack of focus.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Computer science is not a field that typically has study abroad programs - this is the only CS study abroad program I'm aware of. For a lot of people in my major, that's not a big deal. Many of them are perfectly content to not travel, and to simply spend their four years of college writing code. I love coding, but I will probably be doing it for the rest of my life. This program was an awesome way for me to continue doing computer science (which, in turn, means that I wasn't hindered in terms of graduating on time) while still meeting new people, exploring new places, and learning about different cultures.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My apartment was awesome - it was fully furnished and nicely decorated. My room was huge, with a double bed, a couch, two dressers, and a desk. I lived with two other girls and we were very happy with the apartment. It was very centrally located, as well. The downside is that our landlady, although very sweet, was somewhat crazy. She would show up when she thought we weren't home to use the phone. We paid her for monthly cleaning, but she stopped cleaning after the first few months. She also frequently overcharged us, and when that was pointed out, she tried to justify the increased cost by crossing out the price in our lease contract and writing in the new, higher one. She spoke very little English, so we were unable to dispute any of this except by getting help from our program's administration.

* Food:

The campus has a dining hall which has decent enough food, although most of it is fried. There's a huge, Walmart-like store within easy walking distance, where we frequently went to buy food instead. There's also a nice cafe right next to the school which was a great place to have a quick breakfast before early classes. Finally, there was a palacsinta (crepe, basically) restaurant nearby that was very reasonably priced and extremely good.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had many fun events, such as an overnight wine tasting trip to the Tokaj region. We also had a week-long midterm break, which allowed us to travel around Europe. At the beginning of the term (late summer/early fall), Budapest had a lot of festivals, as well.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The city is very safe - I've never lived in a city before, but I felt completely safe walking back to my apartment alone at night. The biggest risk is pickpockets, which is to be expected as a foreigner in a city. We also had some medical emergencies over the course of the program: I seriously injured my eye, for example, and some other students contracted pink eye. Our program staff were extremely helpful in taking us to see a doctor, helping us fill and prescriptions, and checking up on us to see if we needed anything.

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


* 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Hungary is really, really cheap. The most expensive part by far was travelling around Europe, and even that is pretty inexpensive (although buying things in other countries can be expensive).


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
Language acquisition improvement?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

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  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

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A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Balance between academics and social life
  • People
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • Some classes need work
  • Better class schedule (classes too long, get out too late)