Last Updated on July 3, 2019 by Kelsey Bridewell
1. Hungary is for the Hungry
When I did my study abroad in Budapest and lived there for four months, I not only got to experience the rich culture and history of Hungary, but I tasted the most amazing foods while in the country. From Goulash to Langos, Hungarian food is nothing short of comfort. Think breads, cheeses, pastries, cakes — the list goes on and on! I definitely never went hungry while in Hungary. The cuisine had a feeling of “home,” and not just because a nice older Hungarian lady was cooking it.
Additionally, Hungarians love their coffee and there is no shortage of it in Budapest. Next time you visit, be sure to say “Kerek egy kavet” and get yourself a warm cup of joe!
Food to try while in Hungary: Kürtőskalács, goulash, Lángos, chicken paprikash, and if you’re in Budapest you have to go to Hummus Bar! Bring your student ID and you get 10% off!
2. Budapest’s Funky Vibes
Hungary has a rough but inspiring history. It is a country that has never been on the right side of a war which makes for a unique perspective on architecture. In the Jewish District of Budapest you will find funky boutique shops and markets. When we went antique shopping, we were sure to find a unique knick-knack or old school Levi jacket. There was always something for someone!
3. The Low Prices
Try getting a large order of chicken curry or spending less than $10 on a night out anywhere in Western Europe. It’s unheard of! In Budapest, we would go out for a meal at least once a week, and we would usually end up at the Hummus Bar right across from campus where they accepted a student ID card for 10% off! We would only spend $4 max on a pita or shakshuka and have leftovers for the next day. The variety of food within the city was endless and prices made this hungry study abroad student happy!
4. The Hungarian Markets
Winter, spring, summer, or fall — Budapest had markets for them all! At the first Mangalitsa festival market we attended, I bought these amazing handcrafted earrings and a beautiful drawing by a local artist. We tried the local Langos with Mangalitsa sausage and lived for the Hungarian music. When summer came around, there was no shortage of artisan crafts, food, and drinks in every corner of the city. This aspect of the culture in Hungary is unique and certainly worth experiencing when you study abroad in Budapest.
5. Location, Location, Location
Budapest is not in western Europe, but it’s so easy to travel to. Of course, whenever someone chooses to study abroad in Europe, they think about traveling around Italy or France by train or spending spring break in Spain. While Hungary is basically on the other side of Europe, it’s so central to Eastern and Western Europe that you could spend your breaks and weekends on both sides of the continent! Why not visit Paris one weekend and Krakow the next? Traveling around Hungary and outside of it is very accessible and the country’s infrastructure continues to grow.
6. Corvinus University in Budapest
Can you imagine? You study abroad in Budapest. You’re on your walk to class at the esteemed Cornivus University and you pass by the Great Market Hall. You smell the retes baking inside and the coffee brewing next door. As you pick up your morning coffee and pastry, you take a walk to the front of the main building where you gaze across the Great Danube River to see Gellert Spa and the beautiful hillside of Buda. After class that day, you might hop on a tram and cross the river or take a short stroll to the Jewish district and experience the hipster vibes of the area. Corvinus University is not only constructed in beautiful marble and limestone, but it sits on the edge of the water and is central to the entire city.
This post was contributed by Kelsey Bridewell, an AIFS Alumni Ambassador from California State University, Chico who spent a spring semester studying abroad with AIFS in Budapest, Hungary.