Please tell us about yourself and your home school.
My name is Milán, I am a master student at Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary. I live in Budapest for 6 years now since I am studying at a university. (My bachelor degree is from Óbuda University. Apart from that, I lived in the countryside for the majority of my lifetime. My father changed his workplace frequently (every 2-5 years), so we needed to move and fit in a completely new environment. It was not good to lose all of your friends, but I learned to adapt to the new situation quickly. I have two siblings, both of them are younger than me, so we always had a company. I consider myself as a kind person, very open to everything. Love to hike, playing board or video games, doing sports, eat (thai, indian, japanese cuisine is my favourite), sleep, watching funny (Vine) videos or interesting videos about the universe on Youtube. I am also very interested in self-development and I believe in lifelong learning, but I have difficulties with procrastination as well. I also tend to stay inside my comfort zone, but I wanted to change that because life is short, that is why I applied for the exchange program. My home university currently has an enrollment of approximately 14,500 students, offering educational programmes in business administration, economics, and social sciences. It is considered as one of the best university in the country.
Why did you choose EBS for your exchange?
Because the news were full with Estonia in Hungary about the digitalization. This field is close to me as I am very interested in it. Currently I’m studying business informatics and work as an RPA developer, I am automating processes. I would like to be a business process reengineering expert, I always try to simplify the processes in my everyday life, I think this is one of the keys of success. I also heard great things about the educational system, and the weather also motivated me. I didn’t want to spend a semester in Spain, full of parties, I have responsibilities and I thought that the community here can cooperate with that.
What are the differences between education in EBS and education in your school? bring out 3
In my school, we have a lot of contact hours, we rarely need to do researches in our own, or read a lot of materials of something. The lecturers teach us about a topic, we need to learn that and do a test about it at the end of the semester. It is different here, we rarely meet and have a lot of materials to digest on our own, draw our own conclusion and learn from it individually. The lecturers only provide a frame for it. I think this is a great method, it can teach you to be independent, but it is hard for me to switch to this different system.
The second difference would be the age of the lecturers, they are young here, not in my university though. The knowledge our professors hold is great, there is no doubt about that, but the mode of presentation and the up-to-dateness are sometimes questionable.
The third one is that we have student circles, a lot. But I didn’t see one here. It’s like the student council here, but in different fields. We have one in social sciences, or business, or informatics which I am part of. We organize training for our members, establish partnerships with companies, make presentations about interesting topics, organize events and so on. We also started to make a 3 year program for the members, every semester they need to participate in “event series” and make a project, they can get certifications which can be valuable for the future employers. Also it is a very good opportunity to develop soft skills.
What were your expectations for the exchange year/semester?
My expectations was to get to know great people from all around the world, but I also wanted to do my stuff, study a lot, maybe participate in local student networks, study groups. My goals were to write my thesis, work 10 hours per week remotely and also study here, and of course participate in fun events, going out and so on.
What kind of problems Erasmus students will face?
The biggest problem I had was to find a good accomodation for a good price. I was lucky enough to find a place in the Academic Hostel – Endla 4 from, but I need to share my room which can be good or bad, depending on your roommate. The price is okay. For a private room, I would have to pay more, nearly double the amount. Apart from that, anything else was quite easy, a lot of people speak english which is great, if you are an open, confident, nimble person, you can solve any problem in any environment.
What is important to know about your country (country where are you from) before starting Erasmus Experience?
Hungarians like to keep distance, they are untrusting. This comes from a lot of negative experience, so it is not a surprise. The senior people rarely speak foreign languages. It is cheap. Maybe around twice as cheaper than Tallinn. The younger generation are open, can speak foreign languages and up to anything. Also there are a lot of international people, especially in Budapest. We have a bunch of great activities to do, rich nature and culture. The education system is not that hard. Personal safety is good, although there are relatively high rates of property crimes. We are not as digitized as Estonia, but there are some initiatives.
Would you please tell students about the weather, culture, rules and any special things about your country?
The climate of the Hungary can be described as typical European continental influenced climate with warm, dry summers and fairly cold winters. January is the coldest month with daytime temperatures usually around zero, but in some cases winter months can be very cold with temperatures far below zero and strong, cold northeasterly winds. Heavy snowfall or even snowstorms are also possible on some days there; the yearly average number of days with snow is around 60, it depends on the region. In summer daytime temperatures reach 20-25°C, but sometimes quite higher, 30°C or more. In most of the time is dry weather with sunny spells, although sometimes heavy thunderstorms can occur at the end of the day. July is the warmest month with an average temperature of 22°C. Generally, the weather is best in May and September, when days are warm and the nights are cool, although it rains more in spring than in summer. Autumn and winter are usually a little chilly and wet, sometimes snowy and often foggy, especially in the mountainous regions.
A lot of people smokes, but only in the designated area, the regulations are strict. In the bigger cities, almost every pedestrian cross the red light, although it is as forbidden as it is in Estonia. Maybe the police officers has better things to do than to deal with this issue. As I said earlier, the Hungarians can be distant. The Mongols, the Turks, the Habsburgs, the Germans, and the Russians – they’ve all attempted to suppress Hungarian culture and left deep wounds. Being suspicious, overly cautious, and critical are the resulting cultural traits. Hungarians are self-expressed and to-the-point. They are going to let you know if they have the slightest problem with something. They might even come off as rude or blunt, but don’t take it personally. That is just the way it is here. The drivers are fast, aggressive and impatient, look both ways before and during crossing. The traffic rules are often not respected, maybe because the drivers don’t know or don’t care about them. Alcohol tolerance for driving is zero, and well policed. It’s not worth the risk.
Hungarians follow similar etiquette to many Europeans. A handshake is a normal greeting, but gentlemen must always wait for a lady to offer her hand first. Eye contact is also important. Tipping is normal in restaurants (it is sometimes already included in the bill, check the receipt), between 10% and 15% of the cost of the meal. But please, tip only if you are satisfied with the food and / or service.
What are the special foods that any person who is traveling to your country should try?
Here are some of the most popular ones, just look them up on Google!
Food: gulyás leves, paprikás csirke, lángos, főzelék (in general), marhapörkölt, halászlé, hurka, kolbász, lecsó, kőrözött, töltött paprika, rakott krumpli, töltött káposzta, túrós csusza
Desserts: somlói galuska, dobos torta, rákóczi túrós, krémes, zserbó, eszterházy torta, mákos guba, vargabéles, madártej, kürtős kalács, rétes, szilvás gombóc, túrógombóc, bejgli
Sweets: túró rudi, dianás cukor, duna kavics
Spirits: pálinka (traditional fruit brandy, world famous), tokaji aszú (full-bodied sweet dessert wine, world famous), egri bikavér (traditional red wine), Unicum (herbal liqueur), fröccs (wine with carbonated water)
Can you suggest a website where exchange students can easily find apartment/ room for semester/year?
The best places for that are facebook groups, they are usually very active and you can spare some money by bypassing the third-person (real estate companies).
– Albérlet egyetemistáknak (Apartment for students) – 48 500 members
– FLATS FOR ERASMUS IN BUDAPEST – 20 000 members
– Rent a flat / room in Budapest – 28 000 members
The biggest websites are the following:
Was there any kind of leisure activities offered by the exchange program or you suggest to Erasmus student in your country?
This is really hard. The international office usually organizes a lot of events, it is good to participate in them. One of the most popular are the bar trips, where you visit 10-20 bars in one night, have a drink at each one, play games during the event. But apart from that, I will try write a list of the most popular places, I put a short description about them from various sources, it’s easier to have in in one place (Alphabetical order):
Aggtelek National Park – The most significant values of the national park are the special surface formations and caves in this limestone landscape. The park consists of 280 caves with different sizes. It covers a total area of 198.92 km² of which 39.22 km² are under increased protection. The largest stalactite cave of Europe is situated in this area: the Baradla cave (26 km long, of which 8 km is in Slovakia, known under the name of Domica).
Badacsony – The nearby basalt mountains are unique geological relics, and the habitat of many rare plants and animals. These monadnocks are peculiarly shaped results of volcanic activity, formed before the period wherein Pannonia was an active geologic unit. Badacsony is the central part of the Badacsony wine region.
Balatonfüred – This is a resort town with a population of 13,000, situated on the northern shore of Lake Balaton. It is considered to be the capital of the Northern lake shore and is a yachting destination. It is also a location for fishing, carp being the most common catch. Visitors come for the mild micro-climate, scenery, the local wine, made of Olaszrizling grapes, and sailing and swimming facilities, as well as to revive the two-century-old tradition of socializing around spas, bathing and vacationing. Etc
There are a lot of great guides on the internet, but feel free to contact me if you need further help! 🙂
forgachmilan [at] gmail.com
Translator Marlen Kuusk
Editor Liisa-Maria Lillepea