Hungary might not be the first country you think of when considering study abroad, but think again – this is a unique and exotic country that is happy to stand out from the European crowd.

Most international students coming to study a graduate program in Hungary will head for capital Budapest, with its Danube-lined cafes and wide boulevards. However, there is much more to Hungary than Budapest – Debrecen is a great student city, while Lake Balaton is the country’s number one tourist attraction.

For admission to a university or college course in Hungary, students must meet certain entry requirements. These consist mainly of a high school diploma or bachelor degree (for a master program), proof of language proficiency and entrance exam. 

High School Diploma and Transcript

Both your diploma and transcripts of your previous studies must be translated into Hungarian or English, depending on what language the program is delivered in.

Entrance Exam

This is only part of the entry requirements for some specific courses in Hungary. If you have not taken or passed the university entrance examination in your home country or you are not an EU student, you will most probably need to enroll in a preparatory course at the institution you are interested in before applying for your studies. These courses last around 2 semesters and students are charged tuition fees that vary depending on the program and institution.

Students in Hungary are ranked based on their previous studies when applying for a place at a higher education institution. This ranking is based on the student's GPA (grade point average) from previous studies and sometimes also work experience if applying for specific programs that require it.

Language Requirements

For English-speaking education programs in Hungary, part of the entrance exam evaluates students' English skills. Otherwise, students may be asked to provide proof in the form of IELTS or TOEFL test scores. The minimum average English language score that schools in Hungary ask for is:

  • For bachelor degrees:
    • between 5.0 - 6.0 for the IELTS test
    • between 60 - 80 for the TOEFL test
  • For master degrees:
    • between 5.5 - 6.5 in IELTS 
    • between 70 - 90 in TOEFL test

For education programs offered in other languages (German is quite common) there will be certain requirements for your German skills.

Entry requirements will differ depending on the school and the program, so make sure to research exactly what documents you need to provide in order to apply for the course.

Hungary has a medium-sized economy which is still trying to forge its own identity after the break with communism in the early 1990s. The private sector accounts for more than 80% of Hungary GDP, with mining, metallurgy, construction, textiles and vehicle manufacturing being the main industries.

Tourism is increasingly playing a part in Hungary’s economy, particularly in Budapest and with the Sziget music festival.
International students are not allowed to work in Hungary while studying.

Documents required for your student visa for Hungary are:

  • Proof of having paid the tuition fee
  • An acceptance letter from the university regarding your admission
  • Passport valid at least 6 months beyond your date of entry
  • Copy of the photograph page of your passport
  • Passport photo no more than 6 months old
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of address or housing in Hungary
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover living expenses in the form of bank assurance/statement
  • Visa application form
  • 3 stamped envelopes addressed to the applicant

When the consulates requires an appointment, you may need to scheduled it around 4 to 6 weeks in advance because appointment times are limited. After the appointment, the visa processing time usually takes an additional 1 to 4 weeks. 

You will need to apply for your residence permit within 15 days of arrival in Hungary. This applies to both EU and non-EU citizens planning to stay in Hungary for longer than 90 days.

To apply for a residence permit, EU and EEA citizens need to submit the following documents:

  • Proof of payment of tuition fees
  • Approval document of the host university in Hungary
  • Proof of health insurance

There are two main housing options for international students coming to study a graduate program in Hungary:

  • University accommodation – such as halls of residence
  • Private accommodation – House and flat rentals

Most universities in Hungary will be able to provide dormitory accommodation for international students, with facilities including cafeterias, pools, laundry and study rooms. This is a great option for international students who want to settle into life in Hungary more easily, as it will allow you to meet fellow students and often live close to the university.

Private rooms or flats are easy to find in Hungary, but hard to arrange from outside the country. This option might suit students with families or those who want a little more privacy.

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