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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s already December and I’m about to finish my Erasmus- exchange here in Budapest – city of rock ‘n’ roll as we echange students are used to say.
By my point of view, my exchange began at fancy cruise on river Danube. I saw there all of the student who had came here for a semester or a whole year to study hospitality and commerce and create network all around Europe and a world.
At Cruise we got valuable information about cources tailored for Erasmus- students, like Hungarian language and history. Because I would like to know as much as I can about new country I’m living at next semester, I chose them both.
After two week of studying we got possibility to join for business simulator at Tatabanya, located about 80 km from Budapest. By simulating process, we got to know, whatkind is to run a bisuness. How much one can produce with a certain amount of machines, how much have to invest for marketing and how to be aware with competitors. After simulation we had to write a report, where we told motivators for our decisions in certain occasions.
After simulation week we begun with everyday work at BGF. My major is Hospitality Management and catering industry, but here I chose some lectures about Accounting and Finance, because I think those subjects may help me in my future career. Accounting is quite complicated sometimes, but I have found Finance easy. The most interesthing subject is Human Resource Management. The lecturer has 40 years experience on it and he teaches very enthousiastically. I really enjoy to attend for his lectures!
Here at my school, a brand new tutoring program, BGF Buddies- took their place. They have arraged lots of programs, where we get city known. Buddies have helped me in every problem which I have faced during my stay. For example, they took me to doctor, when I needed it. Buddies are so enthousiastic and they want to know lots of people from various countries. I wish I could meet them again after exchange.
After few weeks of autumn rain the sun is shining again over the beautiful Budapest.
I have been here for one and a half month now and it’s been great, I wouldn’t change it for anything.
The people here are friendly and polite and very proud of their country, and they should be. The buildings, castles and churches are so beautiful that they still amaze me.
The Liberty Statue on the Gellért Hill commemorates those who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom, and prosperity of Hungary. The hill was definitely worth the climb. The view over the Danube and the city was breathtaking.
This city is so alive, there is always something happening, Chocolate Festival, Street Food Festival, Vine Festival etc. I can’t wait for the Budapest Christmas Market!
I had spent some wonderful days in Budapest, Hungary as an Erasmus exchange student with a major in Finance and Accountancy. In the night when I arrived at Budapest Airport, I was fully supported by Hungarian tutors with my luggages and accommodation stuff, which I truly appreciated. This reminded me of the activeness of my tutors in Tampere as well.
The nightlife here was the most memorable and breathtaking scenery I can imagine when come to Budapest, especially at the cathedral aside with the wine festivals and traditional cuisine. Budapest is definitely worth a trip and I will not regret trying this place!
It’s definitely a unique experience I’ll cherish in my life. Thanks to the exchange, I can meet many nice people, try different delicious dishes, immerse myself in a strange culture & environment. I actually learn something about myself as well. I would highly recommend my friends to go out of there comfort zone to see the world!
My stay here in Budapest is coming to its end. I have my last exam tomorrow and then in a few short weeks I fly back to Finland.
During my stay I have learned to appreciate the similarities and differences in our cultures. Differences were noticeable from the beginning, the long streets, the hills, the traditions, Danube, the whole city, all full of wonders at first, but the similarities only became apparent as my stay grew longer and my fellow Erasmus students and locals became closer, and I fell into a comfortable familiarity. I think both are equally important, the similarities and the differences, although I think that when I return Finland will seem more foreign to me than my home here.
My stay here has been wonderful and I still have a few weeks to get the most out of Hungary, especially outside Budapest. I plan to spend my time well. In the meanwhile here are some photos, so you too can see the grandiose beauty of the city.
…I seriously don’t know what to answer. There are so many things to do and see all around the city. I had never visited Budapest before, so for the first week or so I was often left standing in awe my mouth half open. First the river and the Parliament at night lights, then in the warm sunlight, then realizing that almost every building here is beautiful and old and finally discovering how unique the famous ruin pubs actually are. There is nothing to do in Budapest-said no one ever. There’s a million cafés and restaurants, all sorts of festivals and parties and the parks and Margit Island are great for outdoor activities.
Since the beginning, of course, I have also seen the everyday life and the problems of the city. Very few signs are in English, customer service is not always the best and many practical issues are more difficult to handle here. And of course ATM eating my card was an interesting challenge. But I think the city’s slightly decadent sides and the ruin of parts of it just makes it more exiting and interesting. It is awesome that there are trees growing in the middle of bars that have no roofs!
Oh, and the school. Mostly things at BKF have been okay. Studying Hungarian is definitely very useful! Some of the other courses have not been quite my line of study, but it is interesting to see that there are different points of view to education, too. There are some ”Hungarian” aspects in dealing with things even in our school; if you need help, it is not a given that someone actually has the right answer. Despite the slight problems, in general the school has been pretty easy. For an Erasmus student the new friends you get of course make up a big part of enjoying school and life in general here.
All in all, I think I will run out of time. And I also think everyone should take a weekend brake and visit Budapest!