Learning where others go on vacation – for our students this is possible during a semester abroad at one of over 120 CBS partner universities worldwide. The semester abroad is firmly integrated in our English-language Bachelor programmes and optionally in the German-language programmes “General Management” and “Business Psychology” as well as in all Master programmes. As a bachelor student of business psychology, Pirus Schmidt did not want to miss this opportunity and enrolled for one semester at the Budapest Business School (BGE). He has now looked back on his time as a student in Budapest.
My preparations for the year abroad
After my application for the semester abroad was accepted I had to fill out some forms like the Learning Agreement. The university website is a bit confusing at first – you shouldn’t be put off by that. I was able to select my courses in advance from the website, but it is better to wait until about two months before starting your studies. The BGE then sends a course catalogue to all students listing the courses that actually take place.
I flew zo Budapest one week before the lecture to explore the city. You can fly to Budapest with Germanwings or the Hungarian airline Wizzair. I rented my room from people of SRS agency that picked me up from the airport. You can also take a cab for about 25 to 30 Euros or a shuttle bus of line 100E for about 9 Euros, which takes you to the traffic junctions Déak Ferenc, Astoria and Kalvin tér.
My room was in the 5th district and within walking distance of the university. The rent war about 440 Euros which was a bit high by Hungarian standards. I recommend to search for accommodation via the German website “WG gesucht” or Facebook groups, as the rental prices are probably lower there. The best places to live are the districts 5, 6 or 7 and apartments close to tram lines 4 and 6, as they run all night.
My everyday life at the Budapest Business School
At the BGE I enrolled for the courses via the Neptune portal. It seemed a bit complicated at first glance. I had to change my Learning Agreement several times, because some of my preferred courses were not offered. After about 2 weeks everything was finished. The Erasmus coordinator at BGW always helped me with questions and problems, although he is only once a week at the International Office.
The Faculty of Commerce, Marketing and Tourism is located near the Parliament and is divided into two buildings. Most of the lectures for Erasmus students took place in the building on Marko utca street, which is only a few minutes away from the main building.
The lessons were easier than at the CBS, but the learning effort was comparable. We also had a lot of presentations and homework. The exam phase for the summer semester was supposed to last until the end of June, but I wrote my last exam at the end of May.
My tips for Budapest
Budapest is for me one of the most beautiful cities where I have been. It has a unique cityscape. The Danube divides the city into “Buda” and “Pest”. Budapest is also divided into more than 20 districts. Nevertheless, the inner city is rather small. Everything is within walking distance and can be reached by public transport. The prices are far below the German level. It is also important to know that the Hungarian currency is not the euro, but forint (HUF).
Especially in summer it is nice to enjoy the sun on Margaret Island between Buda and Pest or in one of the many parks. The thermal baths are worth a visit, too. There are many sightseeings and the city looks completely different at night, as many buildings, like the parliament and the bridges, are illuminated. You should also admire the sunrise on Gellért Hill, one of the highest points of Budapest.
The nightlife of Budapest is unique and cannot be compared to Cologne. Characteristic are the many ruin bars like Szimpla Kert, Ellato Kert, Doboz and Instant. There are also some techno clubs (LÄRM, Premiere Club) and many open air festivals in summer. The organisation “Erasmus Life Budapest” presents parties and events for Erasmus students. A must for Erasmus students is also Morrison’s Monday, where the beer only costs about 50 cents. So there is something for every taste!
All in all, I can recommend everyone to spend a semester abroad in Budapest. The city has a lot to offer, with comparatively low costs and prices. It was an unforgettable experience and I found many close friends with whom I would like to keep in touch.
More information about the CBS semester abroad can be found at: https://cbs.de/en/internationality/semester-abroad/
Photos: Pirus Schmidt