Tag Archives: Hungary

Viszontlátására Magyarország és szia Finnország!

Goodbye Hungary and hello Finland! My exchange is about to end and it has definitely been an experience that I wouldn’t change. I am studying in Metropolitan University for five months for Tourism and Catering services. I had a bit of fuss around my learning agreement and I had to redo it quite a few times and I ended up taking classes from Business as well in Tourism. I also studied Hungarian language and Middle European history to increase my knowledge. So many of my friends questioned my decision to study Hungarian, but to say I didn’t regret it. It was interesting and it is nice to understand at least a bit of the surrounding country.

Heroes’ Square

The teaching in general is very theoretic compared to Finnish teaching. Mostly the studying was sitting at the lectures and taking notes. I had few courses where I had to return an essay or make a presentation. One thing that was considerably different to Finnish school was the exam period. Here we had roughly three months of teaching and then two months of exams when there is no teaching and you can only focus for the exams. Or you could plan your exam period to have all of the exams in the first few weeks and then chill. However you wanted to plan it.

Being a tourist at Margaret bridge

For free time Budapest offers a wide range of different kinds of bars and clubs and you can choose whether you want to just sit down and talk with your friends, or dance and have fun. Here is also a lot of cafés from really fancy and expensive to really cosy and warm places. Maybe you don’t want to spend money, so then you can go see awesome views from Gellert Hill or just walk the riverside of the Danube.

I live with four other Erasmus-students in a shared flat and I can say it’s rarely quiet here. My Spanish, Cypriot and Italian flatmates are always planning trips, parties or just inviting people over. And if not, we are having mental breakdowns over exams and deadlines together.

Me and my flatmates

The great thing in Erasmus is, that you can always find a person who would like to go for a beer, watch a movie, have a party or even go to Vienna with you. (Or maybe just have a brunch all together.)

Sziasztok! Greetings from Budapest!

Budapest is a very beautiful city, and you can see interesting historical buildings everywhere. The river Danube splits the city in half. The other side, called Buda, is full of hills while the other, Pest, is totally flat. My apartment is situated on the Pest side, which is also the busier side of the city, full of bars, shops and restaurants. Most of the Erasmus people live on this side, as it’s a little cheaper and more active than the Buda side.
I study at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME). The actual university building is being renovated during my stay, so basically the whole school has been temporarily moved to another building, which is located on the Buda side, close to the Danube.My studies have been very independent. Most of the courses have no actual classes, but we are expected to work on our own. Once a week we have a meeting where everyone shows their progress, and the teacher gives some advice and feedback.Compared to my studies in TAMK, this level of independence is quite different, and it requires a lot of responsibility to be productive. I have managed to do it though, and I like the fact that in many of the assignments the teachers actually encourage us students to explore the city in our works as well. Another difference is that in MOME the official language is Hungarian, as opposed to English which is used in my department (Media & Arts) in TAMK. It meant us exchange students are mostly on different courses than the locals, but luckily there are some exceptions as well.One thing I really like about MOME is that they have a huge selection of theoretical courses, which are really interesting.On my spare time I have really taken advantage of the fact that eating out is pretty cheap here compared to Finland. Even on a student budget it is possible to try out some exotic dishes from Lebanese to Japanese, not to forget the local foods which are delicious as well.

Another thing I have really enjoyed are the thermal baths. They are located mostly on the Buda-side. Most of them have been built during the time when Hungary was ruled by the Ottoman Empire (1541-1699), so they are very old and not much has been changed. I really like the sense of history in them, and of course the baths as well. Some of them even feature a Finnish sauna!Other than that I have done some traveling, and been to all the famous sights and museums. For anyone visiting Budapest I recommend hiring a bike to move around more quickly, as the distances can get quite long here.

 

Szia from Budapest!

“My house in Budapest
My, my hidden treasure chest..” 

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If not earlier, at the latest George Ezra made you know this beautiful city by his great song. (Which doesn’t tell about Budapest at all, though.)

I had visited Budapest two times before my exchange so the city itself was familiar to me. From the very first trip to Budapest I fell in love with the city. How those majestic and glorious buildings meet the rugged and ruined houses and how Danube divides the city into two totally different parts. New bars and street-food restaurants are opening every week so you always have new cool places to visit. Eating and drinking out is really cheap comparing to Finland, too. It’s not difficult to fall in love with Budapest.

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I finished my studies in Budapest Business School in May. We had lectures in two different buildings, both located just few hundred meters from the famous Parliament building. I took courses that are very different to which are offered by TAMK. I studied intercultural communication and business communication, environmental management, cultural tourism, Hungarian language, Hungarian history & culture and Hungarian gastronomy.

I really enjoyed Hungarian language course. I have always been interested about languages and such an unique language like Hungarian was really fascinating to me. Finnish and Hungarian are both Finno-Ugric languages and you can find many similarities between them. Learning Hungarian was probably much more easier to Finnish-speakers than, for example, English- or German-speaking students.  I learned words and phrases that are useful in every-day life and also numbers and some vocabulary.

Comparing to studying in TAMK, teaching was much more theoretical. It sometimes felt similar to studying in high school; less interaction between teacher and students, lots of powerpoints and notes to write down and only 1,5 hour classes. As I am more practical person I usually prefer more interactive learning methods but I didn’t find it hard to manage the courses. In BBS you had more optional courses to choose and that way also more freedom to make your schedule personalized.

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During my stay in Budapest I have traveled a lot. City’s location in the middle of Europe has enabled me to travel budget-friendly to many countries. I visited Vienna and Bratislava during my winter holiday. In April I traveled to Prague to visit my friends and in May I had great trip by train to Belgrad, Serbia. In the beginning of June I returned from 10-days road trip which led me to Slovenia, northern Italy and to Austria.  I also visited my friend’s hometown Nyíregyháza in Hungary,  which was charming little city close to Ukrainian border. I think I have been such a privileged to experience all this during my exchange semester.

My favorite hobbies abroad, eating and drinking, were easy to put into practice here in Budapest. Although prices have risen in Hungary food is still very affordable in restaurants. I have eaten such a delicious food and have drank great Hungarian wines and beers with my Erasmus friends. Traditional Hungarian cuisine is very heavy and based on meat. Gulyás is one of the most famous dishes in Hungary. It is known as goulash in many other central-European countries. Here in Hungary it is more like soup when, for example, in Czech it is traditionally a meat stew. Lángos is “Hungarian pizza” and very famous among the tourists. It is round-shaped deep-fried pastry that is usually topped with tejföl (like sour-cream) and grated cheese. Not the healthiest choice but soooo yummy!

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I’ve also visited famous baths that are very popular here in Hungary. There are numerous natural warm spring waters under the city and several baths (fürdő in Hungarian) have been here in Budapest for centuries. Many locals believe that these thermal waters really keeps you healthy. Who knows, but I will definitely recommend to give a try!

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Five months in Hungary have been absolutely great! Weather has been lovely since April and life really laid-back after exam period. I could easily stay one more semester here but it also feels good to go back to Finland. I miss Finnish nature and quietness but life in lively metropolis has been pleasant too. After five months I feel that I have a second home here in Hungary and it will be great to return here one day.

Igen, igen, igen

Szia, hello from the past!

20150913_200315Buda Castle from Danube

It is last quarter of year 2015 and I have been in Budapest, Hungary since early September. I’m staying in a shared flat with three other exchange students, two French law students and a German engineer student. Our flat is right next to a big tourist street, Vaci utca, right next to river Danube.

I study graphic design in Metropolitan university, formerly known as BKF. Our campus is just a short metro ride away from our place. The Rózsa utca campus is quite nice place to study but its absolutely biggest flaw is an absence of student restaurant, the place doesn’t even have a cafeteria. Everybody buys snacks from nearby store, eat in some nearby restaurant or bring their own lunch from home.

Food is pretty cheap here and coffee, too. One day I caught myself thinking that 540 forints for a special coffee was much: 540 forints is less than 2 euros. I just wish I could get that cheap and still really good special coffee in Finland.

20151111_182003Art campus’ courtyard in artsy flipped way – some classes last until evening

Studying in Metropolitan is quite okay, nothing too extremely different from TAMK. I’m having courses about typography, visual arts and several workshop-like studies. We keep getting new tasks every lesson so I’m never out of school work to do. Here I have realized how much we actually do our tasks already in school in Finland. In Metropolitan we also have shorter lessons; as interactive media studies in TAMK are often once course lessons per day, in Metropolitan I have at least two different courses almost every day. I think I prefer TAMK’s school days – they might feel really long and even boring days but at least we have properly time to delve into something.

At least some teachers here have a nasty way to express themselves, stating that they are really disappointed with you when you fail on working with their task just because you have been working on other tasks from other courses. It might be language barrier but one half Finnish, half Hungarian student told me it seems to be pretty common thing with teachers here, at least with their degree programme students. Full-time international students keep telling that exchange students get through courses even if they did nothing.

Overall Budapest is a nice place. Architecture is beautiful and navigating in the city is pretty easy once you learn to read bus and tram routes from a map. Metro line 1, Földalatti, is the second oldest working metro in Europe and riding it is an experience. It is really small and rides only something like three meters under the ground, if I just remember correctly.

I already know one thing I’m going to miss alongside cheap coffee; monthly student tickets to city transportation. I can ride trams, buses and metro as much as I want for less than 12 € per month. And I get it with my own, Finnish student card.

Almost feel like crying when I think Tampere’s monthly bus ticket…

I’m managing in Budapest, this isn’t so special after all!

– Petra

(“Igen” means “yes”, Hungarian people seemed to always say it three times in a row – we exchange students made fun of it often)

Greetings from Hungary!

 

I was in Budapest for four months. The streets in Budapest as you can see were not in a good shape. But I still loved that street. My home was there, it was near the city, I could walk anywhere or take a tram or a metro so easily. And the buildings! So beautiful and old.

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My home street in Budapest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

School in Budapest was easy. Hardest part was  to understand and speak English, luckily all of my teachers spoke good English so I didn’t have too much troubles with that. And I also enjoyed the fact that every class I took, there was more than one exchange student.

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Statue of Liberty

Most people think about New York when you say statue of liberty. But not so many knows that there is statue of liberty in Budapest too. If you want to see it, you have to climb all the way up to Gellert hill. I must say it’s not easy if it’s +25 degrees.

What about my spare time which I actually more than I expected. I travelled a bit to Venice, Netherlands, Vienna, Krakow and Aarhus. It was more expensive than I thought but it was worth it.

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I fell in love with Venice where I spent 3 days in March. Do I need to say more?

But what I enjoyed the most was my lovable room mates. I lived with four boys, one from Germany, one from the Netherlands and two from Brazil. They made my day when I felt upset and when I was happy, they made me even happier. Also now I have place to stay if I want to go to Germany, the netherlands (again) or Brazil.

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The other Brazilian had already left when we took this photo

Regards,

Emma

Szia! Greetings from Budapest!

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I’m doing a practical training in Budapest for three moths. First I did a clinical practise at the Semmelweis University hospital for 7 weeks and after that a community care practise for 4 weeks at another insitution, that is specialized on tax and customs services.

I was positively surprised how much responsibility they give to Erasmus students in the hospitals; for example we got to take blood samples, cannulate, catheterize, set and join infusions and take ECGs. The conditions in the hospitals in Budapest are a bit poor, the working hours are long and the work can be very challenging sometimes ’cause of the lack of equipments. Still the nurses and the doctors are taking good care of the patients and they’ve been very nice to all students also. They’ve always been very supporting and willing to answer our questions and show us interesting examinations. I think I’ve become more confident in many nursing tasks during my trainings here. Not so many workers or patients can speak English but they always try and so far we’ve always found a way to communicate.

Budapest is a very beautiful and big city with lots of old decorative buildings. There you can always find new interesting places. I’ve found some very nice restaurants, cafés and bars and lots of places where there’s live music even during the week. The spring here started early and already in the end of March there were some very hot days here so it’s nice to walk around the city and in the parks. Few of my favorite places to visit in Budapest are the Margitsziget (an island in the middle of Danube), the City Park and The Gellert Hill. In Buda there are lots of hills from where you can see almost the whole city. I live in Pest in the city centre where there are lots of nice streets full of nice shops, restaurants, cafés, bars and famous ruin pubs.

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There are lots of nice other cities and villages in Hungary too, for example Pécs and Vács, where you can for nice one day visits by train or car. From Hungary it’s easy to travel to other European countries too and in March we spent a long weekend in Prague.

Hungarian people are very nice and they remind me a little of Finnish people. The language is similar to Finnish also. Budapest is definitely one of my favorite European cities and I can’t wait to come here again many times in the future.

 

Budapest – where the ruins forever live

Sziasztok!

This means both hello and good bye (to many people) in Hungarian. It has been 2 months since i came to this wonderful country for my study exchange. It has been indeed a fun yet challenging journey here in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

View to my apartment
View to my apartment in district VIII

The city is divided into two parts by the Danube river: Buda – Pest (pronounced Pesht). Some people might say there are two different cities inside Budapest as they have their own distinctive characteristics. I live on the Pest side of the city, where it is known to be poorer than the other side. Geographically, Pest is flat and is where the Neo-Gothic styled Parliament stands along with the St Stephen’s Basilica. In contrast, Buda is hilly with the famous Gellert hill that offers amazing panoramic views of the city. The city has a good blend of old and modern touch, thus, it offers visitors with a guaranteed satisfying view of many different architecture styles:   Renaissance and Neo-Renaissance, Gothic and Neo-Gothic, Roman and Turkish style, Baroque and Neo-Baroque.

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One side of Keleti train station
My study takes place in Óbuda Egyetem – Óbuda University. The university recently came to a big merge so now they have 3 different campuses: one on Buda side, two on Pest side. This caused great confusion for me during the beginning, as well as their way of letting exchange students choose their own courses.

Panoramic view from Margit island
Panoramic view from Margit island

I have had plenty of culture shock experiences ever since my arrival, and I am still expecting some more along the way. The place is so different from Finland, yet so similar to my home in Hanoi, Vietnam. Budapest is so crowded, busy in the day time; and it becomes so lively during the evening/night when people start to head out onto the street for a walk or to ruin pubs for a few beers after a hard working day. The ruin pubs are the true gems of the city where you get to enjoy the mysterious and historical atmosphere of the old ruined buildings dated back in the 19th century.

We escaped the Matrix !!

The city is lovely, people are friendly and please do not find it strange, because you might encounter a stranger smiling to you on the street. It is also a pet-friendly city. The weather is pretty rainy during February to March, but summer comes early in late March which I find extremely fortunate for me. It is time to bring the picnic set out for a sun bath in one of the loveliest parks they have!

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Sun bathing with my foster dog

 

 

The next experience I am eagerly looking forward to trying would be the famous bath houses.  In addition to that, I would love to try out all the famous traditional dishes of Hungary as I have not the chance to.

-Nhung Duong-

 

 

 

Greetings from Budapest!

 

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Szimpla

 

Two months behind in this beautiful city of Budapest! Time has gone fast and my time here has been fantastic. I have met really nice people and learned a lot about different cultures. All of my friends are Erasmus students so my only local people experiences are from hospital which I have worked. I live in shared apartment with two other girls next to river Danube. Public transport here is so good that it has actually no matter which part of city you live. Here we use bus, metro, tram, train and trolleybus. And you can use all the public transports with one monthly pass which will cost about 10e. This is one thing I’m definitely going to miss in Finland!

 

Hospital

Last week I finished my first nursing practice here in local hospital. It was seven week medical surgical practice. I got to explore Hungarian health care very close and I can tell you that it is little different than in Finland. Patients and nurses are not happy about the government situation, money limited and it will shows peoples well-being. But experience has been good so far. Our tutor nurse in hospital was amazing and other nurses were so friendly! Even if I didn’t learn that much as I would learn in Finland I’m still so happy for seeing lot of things. It makes me appreciate Finnish health care once again. This week I will start 4 weeks perioperative nursing practice in other hospital. I’m really exited for it!

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Life in Budapest has been nice and I haven’t felt any big culture shocks. Daily things are going well and most of the people I have met spoke really good English. In Budapest I have seen lot of sights, been in good restaurants, explored Hungarian traditional foods, Erasmus parties, ruinpubs, museums, cruised to danube, started crossfitting, visit the zoo and not forgetting all fabulous spas! I have traveled to Italy, Slovenia and next month I will go to Croatia trip organized by university. There is so much things to do!

Mind-melting Magyarország

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Duna seen from Margaret bridge.
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Buda meets Pest (Buda on the left).

Greetings from the land of great wines and paprika! I’m here to study, currently one month into the stay and getting to know Budapest better every day. I live on the Pest side, which is a tad bit more unpolished than the other side, but lively and well in all possible ways. My favorite pastime for a time now has been plunging into all the parks of the city, which are plenty and even more pretty now that the spring has come around. Can’t wait for the summer to come around! So far the best parks in my opinion are Margit Island and Népliget (People’s Park).

Even though Hungarian is related to Finnish via the link of an family tie (Finno-Ugric language family), it’s challenging to get the pronunciation right at times. Now that I have been here for almost two months, I can finally happily greet and and say sorry and be certain I got it right. I’ve noticed Hungarians are very polite and friendly, so I think it is of essence to learn the basic phrases here.

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Vajdahunyad castle on a cloudy day. One of my favourite spots in the city.

I chose Hungary for curiosity; I study Environmental Engineering and I wanted to see the situation and general atmosphere toward environmental protection in a big, central European country. My learning agreement, however, now consists of several different topics from welding to sociology – I was delighted to be able to choose from this abundance of variety! It was a surprise to me to find out that instead of few, there’s actually seven different campuses of my destination university Óbuda. This adds some commute time to my normal schedule, but all in all I now have lectures in only four different campuses and some of them are located quite near each other.

The education systems seems pretty familiar when one compares it to what we have back in Finland; grading is from 1-5 as is in my home University and e-materials are uploaded in a moodle environment. I have lectures every day, but still enough free time to enjoy the city and all of its’ perks.

 

 

 

 

Howdy from Hungary!

Before I came to Budapest, I thought that Erasmus would be only about studying. Now, after spending more than three months here, I can see that I was wrong. Erasmus is not only about studying, it is also about so much more. Meeting new people, getting to know the cultures of other countries, learning new languages, having lots of new friends.

I’m studying civil engineering in Szent István University, Ybl Miklós Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering. Our faculty is quite small and we have only 22 Erasmus students in our school. We are all in one group, both architects and civil engineers, and  I think it is nice to have also some artistic viewpoints and not only calculation all the time. Our group has become like a family for me because we have the same courses and we also spend a lot of time together outside of school.

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Budapest is very old and beautiful city with a lot of history. This picture is taken from Gellert Hill. The river Danube splits the city to Buda and Pest, Buda is on the left on this photo and Pest on the right.

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View from the Erszebet bridge to Buda side, which is full of hills. Pest side is flat.

I am staying here only for one semester, so it will soon be my time to return to Finland. On the other hand I am happy, because time here has made me realize how much I love Finland and for example seeing so many homeless and poor people here in Hungary is a little bit upsetting. On the other hand I wouldn’t want to leave my Erasmus family (and cheap beer). All good things come to an end, like they say.

Viszlát!