Thousands of children commute to school every day from Hungary to Austria. One of the most popular places is Oberwart (Felsőőr). Both parents and their children think there are numerous benefits to Austrian education, and it is definitely worth getting up earlier.
ATV reports that according to Austrian statistics, approximately 2,000 Hungarian children attend Austrian schools (no exact number is known).
These children commute to school every day from Hungary to Austria, and all of them think it is worth it. A good example is Szombathely, where there are three scheduled buses to Oberwart (Felsőőr in Hungarian). These kids need to get up a little bit earlier than their peers do because the first bus leaves at 06:16.
Parents believe that the whole atmosphere is different in an Austrian school: the kids are different, and everything is simply calmer and happier. They just want stress-free student years for their kids, not to mention the better quality of education (especially in foreign languages).
Parents believe that they are “rescuing” their children from Hungarian education, which is considered inferior. Both parents and children agree that the atmosphere in the school is completely different in Austria: calmer and stress-free.
A parent told ATV that the kids are not as nervous or tired as the kids here in Hungary. They are calmer because the workload is not as heavy, there are no sudden tests, everything is scheduled ahead so the children can always be prepared and know exactly what to learn and by what deadline. They still have to learn everything, but it is simply done differently. The vocational school in Oberwart is very well equipped too: there are computers everywhere.
The parents are not the only ones who prefer Austrian education to the Hungarian one; the students seem to agree as well. Children are just as happy with the teaching methods across the border as their parents. One student told ATV:
“I will definitely get a job in Austria. I really like the way they are teaching us here, it is very practical. Of course, we have to learn some things by heart but that is OK. The tests are well put together as well, they aim to prepare you for life.”
Parents also believe that the children do not need to learn that much useless information there as they would here in Hungary.
According to the principal at the Oberwart vocational school, Hungarian students adopt very quickly; and even though their knowledge of the language varies, most of them easily pass their Austrian school-leaving exam.