Living in Budapest
Budapest is a terrific city — and an especially wonderful place to live if you’re a student. It offers a rich cultural life, an exceptional public transportation system that makes it easy to travel throughout the city, and a high standard of living that is affordable compared with other major European cities! Although many students want to live in the CEU Residence Center because of its many facilities and services, others prefer to live closer to the School in downtown Budapest. You can rent an apartment easily, and it won’t break your budget either.
You can walk, bike, or jog along the Danube River; hang out at the famous ruin bars and student-friendly coffee shops; soak in the warm thermal water baths; explore many of the green parks including Margaret Sziget and the Varosliget; and listen to music at dozens of locations throughout the city. Budapest is also a stunningly beautiful city especially at night when the Parliament, churches, and many other buildings are bathed in light.
Studying in Budapest also gives you the opportunity to discover diverse facets of the city that remain hidden to many tourists. For example, Budapest has a rich architectural history that can be seen in its Art Nouveau heritage. You can explore its past and present multicultural communities: visit spectacular Jewish synagogues, enjoy the culinary delights of the Roma community, and celebrate the Chinese New Year.
Budapest has much more to offer beyond its attractions downtown. If you wander off the beaten track – to the 8th district, for instance – you will find a number of cultural and community centers where you can discover contemporary arts and local community issues. If you would like to learn more about a particular social challenge that the city is facing, you might want to connect with a local NGO. CEU's Human RightS Initiative is a good place to start.
Budapest has so much to offer that you may find that you don’t take advantage of its central location in the heart of Europe. If you do want a change of scene though, you can get one easily. You can travel to Vienna by train, for example, in just three hours. There are also affordable flights from Budapest Airport to locations throughout Europe.
If you have time to learn some Hungarian, your efforts will be well rewarded, but you can manage well in Budapest with only English.
Professor Michael Merlingen's thoughts on studying in Budapest:
"In Budapest you will be at the heart of Europe, in one of the most exciting and lively cities in Europe. Budapest is a city on the move and offers you a wide range of affordable ethnic restaurants, coffee shops and bars. In Budapest you have access to cheap flights, train or bus rides to all major cities in Europe and the Middle East."