The capital of Hungary remains one of the biggest city names in history. Budapest is a city known for its unique architecture, shopping, nightlife, and food, but more than that, its a city known for its resiliency. More than 30 years after the end of Soviet occupation of Hungary, Budapest is thriving! Because of the colorful skyline and amazing people, Budapest is truly a secret gem study abroad location in Eastern/Central Europe. But how do you know if the city is the right host city for you? Here are five students who will feel at home in Budapest!
1. The independent student
According to our on-site Resident Director in Budapest, this city is a perfect fit for students who feel they are independent or self-starters. Although speaking Hungarian is not required in any API program, there is still something of a language barrier for those who head out to explore Budapest. If you’re the type who enjoys making an itinerary, navigating an unfamiliar environment and taking on challenges, you’ll fit right in! Although many residents do not speak English, the people are friendly, warm and welcoming. They, along with API’s supportive on-site staff, will help you find your way around!
2. The history nerd
It goes without saying that Budapest has a rich and at times complicated history. Budapest’s original beginnings go all the way back to the first century BC! Did you know the city was once split in two? The towns of Buda and Pest were established as trading centers, allowing people to purchase goods and services as they moved along the Danube River.
In the Middle Ages, Budapest was a battle ground between the Huns and the Romans. In the 9th century, Budapest was a key part of the Bulgarian-Hungarian Wars. This war, between the Bulgarian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary, stretched nearly 500 years!
During Word War II, Budapest became a safe haven for Jewish refugees. The city was occupied by the Soviet Union until the revolutions of 1989. Since that time, the city has seen a truly amazing transformation! Any history buff will find something of interest to learn more about while living in this historic city.
Our API program includes an excursion to Ópusztaszer National Park. This 136-acre park is dedicated to the history of Hungary and includes traditional horse shows, an Open Air Folkmore Museum and the largest panorama painting in Europe!
3. Fans of the outdoors
This may surprise you, but Budapest has an ample amount of amazing options for students who enjoy spending their time outdoors. Hot springs can be found throughout Budapest and there are a vast array of bathhouses to choose from, including art nouveau and modern. It’s a fantastic way to unwind and relax after a test!
If you’re a fan of hiking, our API program includes an excursion to Transylvania, which is home to some of the world’s unique hiking trails. This part of Romania truly feels like a time capsule, and the excursion is not one you want to miss!
4. The social butterfly
Of course, whether you’re introverted or extroverted, Budapest will be an amazing choice for you. But there’s something to be said about Budapest’s nightlife and university life! There are ample restaurants, dance venues and more for the student who likes to spend their spare time around others. In addition, students who enroll in API’s Business and Humanities Program will live with other API participants in furnished student apartments. This gives you plenty of opportunities to make new friends from all over!
Another opportunity offered in Budapest is a tandem partner program. If you’re interested in learning the language of the locals, you’ll be set up with a native Hungarian speaker who will teach you the ropes! We have a great video here of this program in action in Florence, Italy, if you’re interested in seeing how it works.
5. The holiday fan
If Christmas lights, menorahs, family parties and mistletoe are among your favorite things, you’ll feel right at home in Budapest. The city is an amazing place to live and visit during the holidays. It’s home to several adorable Christmas markets where you can find unique, homemade gifts for everyone your list. Additionally, there is a thriving Jewish population in Budapest. Jewish students are also encouraged to use KAHAL Abroad to find resources and services in their host city.
Christmas markets are also found the nearby cities of Prague and Krakow. Travel throughout Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic is relatively easy and affordable, meaning you can check off as many Christmas markets as you’d like!