Study Abroad in Budapest, Hungary

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Study Abroad in Budapest: Social Identity & Access

One of the best things you can do before departure is enter into the experience knowing that your time abroad will be different than on your home campus. The resources, community and support available to you abroad will likely be different than your home campus as well. Your Resident Director will provide you with more details pre-departure and during orientation.

When abroad, let your Resident Director know if you are experiencing challenges. Being able to speak to someone about your experience can often be helpful. They can provide tips and resources for navigating this new environment. Please notify AIFS staff immediately of any incidents that make you uncomfortable or if you should happen to feel unsafe at all.

Our student resources website features additional information and accommodation forms for you to communicate any specific support you need during your time abroad. We encourage you to download and complete the appropriate form(s) from the site and return them to the Admissions Officer for your AIFS study abroad program. Letting us know before you arrive abroad will allow us to better assist you throughout your study abroad experience.

If you have mobility limitations or concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Due to Budapest being an historic city, many streets, buildings and some historic attractions are not fully accessible. Streets are narrow, public transit is not accessible, and there are no auditory traffic signals. The AIFS office is not wheelchair accessible, however, we are able to carry out orientation, personal meetings, and workshops in accessible university buildings. AIFS is committed to finding housing that is wheelchair accessible as required.

Even though the majority of the students in the program and on campus are under 30 years old, the university welcomes students from all over the world and every age range. There are many opportunities to engage with other students and locals throughout the program.

Students who have a service or emotional support animal should connect with their Program Advisor or Program Manager to get the most current information related to animals being permitted in housing, classes, and in the city.

The designation of being a first-generation college student is not as prominent a social identity in Hungary as it is in the U.S., so specific resources related to this in-country might be harder to find. All students will receive an on-site orientation led by the Resident Director to help them to navigate the new academic environment they will encounter while studying at the Corvinus University and the day-to-day aspects of Hungarian cultural life which might be unfamiliar.

Hungary has laws criminalizing discrimination and acts of violence based on gender identity and sexual orientation. However, hate crimes are not always persecuted very swiftly and culturally, Hungary seems to be behind more progressive European countries in regard to LGBTQIA+ rights and acceptance. Budapest itself has a thriving LGBTQIA+ community.

Non-binary students may face some legal and social challenges in Hungary. The Hungarian government passed legislation that restricts the rights of LGBTQIA+ Hungarians, ending legal recognition of gender spectrum and trans gender individuals. Since May 2020 according to Hungarian law, birth sex once recorded cannot be amended. The Budapest program has the capability to offer gender neutral housing to students.

If you have neurological, intellectual or cognitive limitations or mental health concerns, please let your Program Advisor or Program Manager and Resident Director know any accommodations you require before your arrival so they can work with you directly. Students who require access to medications should ensure their prescriptions are legally permitted in country and should bring all required medication with them for the full duration of their program. Private counseling at an English language clinic is available and the host university has free counselling services available for AIFS students. We strongly advise students who have counselling at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to suitable medication) for while they are abroad. AIFS also offers their students an English-speaking, global teleconsultation service, connecting students to experienced medical personnel via phone call or video chat, this service is included in the program fees.

Hungary has some problems with racism similar to the countries of the region, particularly between the Hungarian majority and the Roma minority. People of Color may face social discrimination in various larger urban areas and sometimes experience microaggressions and acts of racism, particularly in rural areas.

Most religious Hungarians are Christian. During consecutive election campaigns, there were Islamophobic aspects associated with the 2015 refugee crisis. Anti Semitism could be problematic in Hungary as in other neighboring countries in Central and Eastern Europe, due to historical legacies. Your Resident Director can provide you with more information on places of worship in Budapest.

Budapest can be a student's paradise as it has a lower cost of living compared to other European cities. Students who have limited financial means have plenty of opportunity to experience the local culture inexpensively. With a student ID there are discounted rates for most museums, sports facilities and cultural offerings.

Service in the military in Hungary is voluntary and respected. We strongly advise students who have counselling for PTSD at home to discuss with their home doctor a mental health plan (including access to necessary medications) for while they are abroad. The AIFS student insurance (CISI) includes access to English-speaking professional counsellors and psychotherapists who are used to working with international students.

In order to maintain good mental and physical help students can participate in various activities. It is also an ideal way to meet like-minded locals and to integrate into the community. There are several affordable gyms at walking distance from the campus as well as public pools and athletic centers. There are counselling services in English on campus and a teleconsultation service.

Hungarian society is still conservative similar to the countries in the region, especially with regards to its views towards women in the workplace and wage equity. The younger generation of Hungarian women are leading a shift towards a more progressive interpretation of gender roles. Women visiting Hungary should not face major issues, but should be aware of the possibility of catcalling, disrespectful comments and unsolicited advances.

It is recommended that students follow "common sense" safety precautions as they would in the United States, are vigilant of their surroundings, and make a conscious effort to travel in groups as often as possible.

Download Study Abroad Resources!

Download Study Abroad Resources!