Low tuition fees, cheap accommodation, new adventures. These are the main reasons a foreign student decides to study in Hungary for one or more semesters. There are currently 20.000 of them altogether.
There are 20.000 foreign students in Hungary at the moment; 40% of them are Hungarians from neighbouring countries which means that there are 12.000 non-Hungarian students in Hungary right now. Most of them are training to be doctors; out of the 4400 students the Semmelweiss University had last year, almost half of them was from another country. Other popular universities include the University of Debrecen which had 3800 foreign students in the previous year (it’s 500 more than in 2011), and 1400 of them studied at the faculty of medicine. Most of the foreign students of the University of Szeged come from Serbia, Germany, and Nigeria, but they have vast amount of Chinese, Japanese, Iranian, and Israeli students as well.
The Corvinus University of Budapest is also popular among the foreign students; they had 900 international students in 2013, and almost 1200 last year from 80 different countries (Germans, Chinese, Mongols etc.), and the Eötvös Lóránd University has had more than 2000 international students up to last year.
There are a thousand reasons why people choose Hungary; some of them are seeking new adventures, others are thrilled by foreign countries, or would like to learn a new language. The cost of accommodation and food are also more affordable in Hungary than in other Western-European countries, and a great amount of students can live entirely on the scholarship they receive.
Many students are forced to leave their country, József Berács, executive director of the Center for International Higher Education Studies told hvg.hu. It is extremely hard to get into the faculty of medicine in Germany, and in some countries – like Norway or Sweden – medical training is not something that gets funded, so students rather study abroad.
According to Zoltán Dubéczi, secretary general of the Hungarian Rectors’ Conference, the quality of the universities is a great plus when foreign students choose Hungary. Many lectures are conducted in English, a couple of institutes can be found an international lists, and the price-to-value ratio is quite good; it’s not too cheap, but it’s not too expensive either.
Many argue that although foreign students pay heavy amounts of money to study in Hungary (prices range from €4900 to €10 500 depending on the area of study and the university), “it’s foolish to believe that it will be enough to finance the whole Hungarian higher education” says József Barács. Universities obviously have good reasons to keep these students, but it would be much better if all the lectures were conducted in English or in German, so Hungarian students wouldn’t have to struggle with their language exams at the end of their training.
translated by Adrienn Sain
based on an article of hvg.hu