In a global village such as our own, it is no surprise that more and more students are attracted by that elusive, amazing semester abroad that everyone who has lived the experience before speaks of. Because what’s a bigger adventure than packing up all your belongings and study books and moving to an entirely new country where you can start over as a new person? It is not an adventure for the weak, but the struggles that might come with assimilating to a new culture will also be rewarded tenfold. There’s a reason why people call their study abroad experiences the time of their life. But chances are we don’t need to convince you of the wonders of studying abroad anymore. Instead, we’d like to introduce Budapest to you as your future home. Even if it’s only for a semester.
1. It’s a beautiful city in a beautiful country
First things first, you can’t really do better than Budapest when it comes to beautiful cities. The monuments, the beautiful architecture, pretty nature and (mostly) clean streets are readily present. And let’s not even start on the numerous landmarks: the Danube banks are a sight to behold on their own, and that’s not even a quarter of the beauty that Budapest has to offer. In fact, Hungary as a country tends to be an often overlooked gem. You’ll want to sightsee all the time!
2. Afforable Living
Since Hungary hasn’t adopted the euro and retained their own currency, the Hungarian forint, price differences between European countries in the western hemisphere and Hungary are significant. This makes for cheap groceries, cheap housing and best of all, cheap parties! You won’t be bankrupt by the time you leave Budapest, which is always a plus. One downside though: you’ll have to learn to convert the currencies. And that’s a hassle. But it’s worth the headache.
3. Top Universities
Several of the many Hungarian universities Budapest houses are internationally renowned as qualitative universities. And there are many to choose from, too. That’s good news – your academic achievements and career prospects won’t be hurt by the time you wave goodbye.
4. Amazing Culture
You can say a lot about Hungary, but you can’t say their culture isn’t interesting. A country that has existed in spirit for over a thousand years, Hungarians and their culture have lived through and adapted to a lot. This shaped their unique culture. Once you live in Budapest, you realize how true this rings – in every street you can find a remnant of tumultuous Hungarian history.
5. Get to know people
On a study abroad adventure, most of your time is spent meeting people (unless you’re not into that) and consequently hanging out with the ones you like (for the unfamiliar: friendship). While some people like sticking to other foreign mates, as is their right to do, you should consider finding yourself a Hungarian buddy or two who can lead you around their country. And personality-wise, Hungarians are a diverse bunch! There’s a fun Hungarian friend for everyone, and to catch one, you might want to visit some expat events. There are a lot of Hungarians who want to find their own exotic friend. It’s a mutual affair!
6. Cool language
For the language nerds, here is a challenge: try Hungarian! The most widely spoken Uralic language in the world and unrelated to the Indo-European language that mothered most modern European languages, the Hungarian language system is sure to raise some question marks. Mastering it won’t be easy, but isn’t that part of the fun?
7. Party Culture
Let’s be honest here: a lot of studying abroad is heading out to party with your friends. Your best memories will be made while partying the night away. And what city is more fitted to that than Budapest? Budapest has a vibrant party culture with extremely diverse options for any type of partygoer. And there are the notorious ruin bars too, which will ensure that your party life in Budapest will never, ever be boring.
8. Amazing options to let off steam
However, as the term suggests, your study abroad semester will also be comprised of some to a lot of studying, depending on your level of motivation, which can, unfortunately, not be avoided. However, this notorious international student’s burden can be eased by a good relaxing session afterwards. And the thermal baths of Budapest are perfect for this. It’s also a lot more rewarding (at least health-wise) than watching Netflix between study breaks.
9. It’s central in Europe
Studying abroad is a great opportunity to travel as much as possible. And for that prospect Budapest is a very strategic choice, as it is right in the center of Europe. You can travel to Greece, Italy, Germany, Austria, Croatia and other countries with ease, since they’re not far away on the map. And Hungary itself also offers a lot of traveling opportunities, for the stingier students amongst us. One thing is for sure though: you’ll come back from Budapest as a well-traveled world citizen.
10. It will broaden your horizons
There’s no way around it: studying abroad in a new foreign city introduces you to a new way of life, whether you come to Budapest or not. Your path will be full of all kinds of new possibilities and no day studying abroad is truly the same. You’ll get to know people from all walks of life, of so many cultures and you’ll live new, exhilarating experiences. You’ll get to know life in a way you’ve never done before. One day, these times will become just memories, because that’s the way time works. But even then, your semester abroad will always be a bright spot in your past, a time when you learnt more about the world than ever before and met some of the most amazing people you’ve ever encountered. That’s how bittersweet studying abroad is – it’s bittersweet in the most beautiful way.