So far Budapest has easily surpassed all of my expectations. The architecture, the food, the nightlife and the particularly friendly people that make the city. I can’t speak highly enough of it for anyone considering it as an exchange option.
The university itself, while quite different from UTS, is very accommodating to exchange students as they receive a lot every semester. They hold orientation workshops to help you set up your classes, to get to know your way around the uni, meet new friends at icebreaker-type events and even hold flat searches to help you find accommodation, as there is no on-campus student housing. The ERASMUS Program is quite strong all throughout Budapest so you will most likely find yourselves making friends with not only people from your own university but from all over the city.
Aside from the university, there is plenty to do in Budapest. It is filled with beautiful sights, museums, parks and restaurants. Everything is either within walking distance or a few tram/metro stops away (the network is very easy to work out). The nightlife here is absolutely captivating. There are great places dotted all over the city however the so-called ‘party district’ (VII) is where it’s at. From life drawing to stand up comedy to open-mic nights, you’ll never have a boring night! (I just recently went to an underground rave in an abandoned church on the banks of the Danube). Budapest’s most famous nightclubs are definitely the ‘ruin bars’ though. Essentially they are a collection of bars connected by shared courtyards built into old decaying buildings.
Although you could easily spend the whole exchange program in Budapest alone, I think the complete experience involves taking the opportunity to travel around to other European countries. So far I’ve already visited Vienna and Rome on weekend trips and gone snowboarding in Slovakia and met a bunch of cool people along the way. The insanely cheap cost of living in Budapest and efficient transit connections between surrounding countries have made these decisions a no-brainer, despite my meager budget.
Just a few last pieces of advice, bring some warm clothes (it can get colder than you expect!), try the thermal baths in the winter (Szechenyi is my favourite), never jump in a random cab and definitely try the goulash soup!
Bachelor of Design in Architecture
Budapest University of Technology & Economics