The best study abroad option for computer science students! Past Review

By (Computer Science and Mathematics, Tufts University) - abroad from 02/02/2013 to 05/22/2013 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
AIT is truly the best option if you want to study abroad as a computer science student. You will take classes of a similar level as your home university and get credit for them, while still getting to explore a different culture. I could not speak more highly of this experience, and encourage anyone interested to apply!

Review Photos

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

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Great professors. The courses were challenging but the professors were in general more lenient than they would be at home, as they understand that it is also important to spend time in Budapest not studying. I took 5 computer science courses and they all count towards my major. Though I didn't take them, the culture courses and the Hungarian language courses got great reviews as well. Classes are quite small and professors are very helpful and easy to talk to. The program also offers some unique classes that aren't offered at most universities like IT Entrepreneurship and Computer Vision for Digital Post-Production Film.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The AIT coordinators could not have been more wonderful. Gabor Bojar is the founder and also teaches a course, and constantly asks students for feedback about the classes, professors, and program in general in order to improve the program. Barbara, Dorka, and Greg, the three coordinators, are wonderful resources for any question you might have. They really go above and beyond to make sure that the students enjoy their time, organizing events and helping us with any issues students may have.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

AIT found great apartments for all the students, all located very centrally in safe areas. Most students shared apartments with 1 to 3 other students, although if you wish to live alone, you may.

* Food:

Traditional Hungarian food is a lot of sausages and sour cream, which is great if you like that sort of thing. But even if you don't, Budapest has a million really great other options, including a few great soup & sandwich bars and gyro shops for cheap food (under $5) and some great nicer restaurants (which are also pretty cheap ~$10). Of course, you can cook for yourself as well. AIT's school is at Graphisoft Park, a tech campus where there is a small cafe that serves snacks, sandwiches and a daily soup and special for lunch, and a buffet-style cafeteria that is always delicious.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

AIT has a lot of great opportunities to get to know Hungarians if you take advantage of it. Each semester, students from the technical university, BME, enroll in AIT courses, and are happy to show AIT students around Budapest. Barbara, Greg, and Dorka (the coordinators) also plan many events, including a weekend trip (we went to Lake Balaton, but in previous semesters they went to Tokaj), Bike tours, Ballet and Opera performances, and even a Super Bowl party. AIT's campus is a bit outside of the center of the city, which means that between classes, everyone hangs out at school, so all of the students really get to know each other.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I have no personal experience with the health care, but people on the program who had health issues seemed very satisfied with the system. The coordinators are very helpful in setting up appointments and will go with you if necessary to help translate. There are no vaccines or special medication that you need to live in Budapest.

* Safety:

Budapest is a very safe city. I never felt unsafe walking around, even alone at night as a girl. Of course like any city, there are parts of Budapest that are unsafe, but AIT will make sure that you are not living in an unsafe area.

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)

Budapest is a fairly inexpensive city. My rent was $250/month (without utilities), and I probably spent $40/week on food, cooking for myself most nights and eating out a few times. The monthly public transportation pass costs less than $20 for students.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50 or $60
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Utilize your kitchen and cook for yourself!


* 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

Everyone in Hungary acknowledges that Hungarian is an impossible language. That being said, they really appreciate any attempt to speak it. AIT classes are taught in English, but a Hungarian language course is offered. I would also recommend the 2-week optional language course at the beginning of the semester. Learning the basics is very helpful, but do not expect to learn much more than that.

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
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Only 1/4 of Hungarians speak English, so don't expect to be able to communicate with everyone. Knowing basic words is very helpful especially when you need to buy things like metro passes, groceries, etc.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Challenging and interesting courses
  • Amazing program coordinators
  • Budapest is wonderful!
* What could be improved?
  • I can't think of anything.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? There are some classes I maybe would have taken (everyone loved combinatorial optimization, for example) if I had talked to people from previous semesters. Really take the chance to get to know the other Hungarian students and the coordinators!

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!