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Budapest for Foreign Students

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is a metropolis of two million people and a vibrant center of European culture. The Danube flows through the heart of the city, dividing its two principals areas: residential and historic Buda on the hilly western bank; Pest on the eastern bank, the site of governmental, commercial, and cultural institutions.Budapest is an ideal scene for international study and travel. Cinemas, theatres playing in English, cafes, festivals, sports events, and lively nightspots?all at reasonable prices?make the city attractive for students. The city is easily accessible by taxi, subway, bus, and foot.

Culture.Budapest, a beautiful, cosmopolitan city of approximately two million people, has served as a busy cultural, intellectual and artistic center since the glory days of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Despite the destruction of the First and Second World Wars, Hungary retains a rich cultural and architectural heritage. Students can explore the ruins of a Roman city, mosques and minarets from the 16th century Turkish occupation, the castle district of medieval Buda, remnants of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and historic synagogues and artifacts of Jewish life.Students can attend a variety of concerts and theater, dance, and opera performances, or encounter an interesting blend of Hungarian and Western culture in Budapest's jazz and rock clubs.Language.

Most Hungarian students speak English, however it is hard to find people over 40 who can give directions for example.Many Universities offer exchange studies or semesters for foreign students, so today most students can find themselves in an international environment.Transportation.

Students should be very cautious with taxies, they can easily be ripped off. It's best to order a taxi over the phone from a well known taxi company and if possible agree upon the fare in advance. It is not advisable to take a taxi on the street if it does not belong to any large taxi company.Budapest has a good public transport network, buses, underground and trams run frequently especially in the rush hours. The night bus network ensures transportation during the night.

This way it is not a problem to get around in the downtown areas after midnight. Passes are available at modest rates, travellers are controlled frequently, so it is best to buy tickets or a monthly, weekly or 3-day pass. It is a special Hungarian custom that young people offer their seats for elderly people, they are expected to do so.However Budapest is not a traditional city for bikers, biking is getting more and more popular in the city. As more and more bike paths are being built it is much easier to get around on two wheels than it was ten years ago.

News and media.Many foreign newspapers are available at most newsstands, such as e.g. the Economist or the International Herald Tribune. Budapest Sun, Budapest Business Journal and Budapest Week are the local English speaking weeklies.

It is useful to get one copy of the Pesti Est, the free weekly program magazine which contains all necessary cultural information such as English speaking movies for example. This paper is available in most cinemas and fastfood restaurants.In most flats international TV channels such as CNN, BBC World or Sky News are available. BBC-RFI radio broadcast on FM 99.

1 in English, French and German.Housing.Students can find accommodation in downtown flats from 3-400 USD a month, but it is worth paying a bit more for a nice, renovated downtown flat with all necessary comfort. If someone is on a low budget it is cheaper to get a flat outside the city center area. If the flat is located close to the underground it will be easy to get to reach the centre, but be careful one can travel an hour or even more from the outskirts.

Internet connection is not common in all flats, but more and more households are connected. To get an offer it is best to search online apartment offers in advance or when arrived buy an advertisement daily.Some places to go to.Margitsziget (Margaret Island) on the Danube is a great spot to relax, it is a huge park with no traffic, there are two swimming pools, one all year and one seasonal, a small zoo, a small lake with goldfish and a lot more.

Many people, even foreigners go out jogging on the recently built jogging track around the island.Budapest has many Museums, the Museum of Fine Arts located at Heros' square holds a great collection of European paintings and it offers temporary exhibitions of great value and some additional cultural programs as well.The cafés and pubs at Liszt Ferenc square and the pedestrian street Ráday utca offer a nice opportunity to have fun. These places are frequented by local young people and foreigners.


For more information about student accommodation in Budapest see our website.

By: Zsuzsa Fodor

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