Facts about Hungary and CEU

What is most important to know about Hungary?

Hungary joined the European Union on May 1st, 2004 and the Schengen Treaty on December 21st, 2007. During the first half of the year 2011 Hungary was fulfilling the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The national currency is the Hungarian Forint (abbreviated as HUF or Ft.) Budapest, the capital of the country, is a city of about 2 million people. More information about the city, public transport, weather, types of accommodation, restaurants, entertainment and cultural events is available through the following websites:

The following videos introduce Hungary and Hungarian inventions:

Budapest Business Region – Get Engaged

Hungary – World of Potentials

Budapest Cultural Hotspots

Festive-opening of the Hungarian EU presidency

On the following link you can learn more about:

Why be a student at CEU?

Throughout its 26-year history, CEU's mission has been to attract students from all countries of what is commonly referred to as Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. In addition, CEU has enrolled students from Western Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. The lack of a dominant national culture is one of the main characteristics of CEU's student body. The university is looking to attract students with a sense of social responsibility who are dedicated to contribute to the public good, who are transnationally-inclined and have the potential to work for open and democratic societies.

The annual Intercultural Festival is a good occasion to see the unique international character of CEU. Click here for the photos.

For more events during the academic year click here.

What activities and programs are organized for CEU students during the academic year?

The Student Leadership and Service Office, the Residence Center, the Center for Arts and Culture, etc. organize a wide range of extra curricular programs: dance classes, choir, film clubs, student newspaper, chess club, student exhibitions and presentations (photos, artistic work, own poetry, etc.). Many other social and cultural events are organized by the Student Union and directly by students.

Culture shock and Hungarian Culture

Moving abroad can be a very stressful experience, and the impact of moving from a familiar culture to an unfamiliar one is referred to as 'culture shock'. It can affect anyone and it's a normal process to go through. Culture shock can describe the combined effects of experiencing a new environment, meeting many new people and adjusting to life in another country. You'll find that the day unfolds differently, that business is conducted in a way that may be hard to understand, you can't communicate with the locals. This is culture shock.

To cope with culture shock you might want to:

  • keep in touch with home
  • bring some familiar things with you such as photographs
  • subscribe online to one of your favorite newspapers
  • speak to someone who has already had experience of being an international student
  • get involved with activities, so you meet new people and make new friends
  • avoid having friends only from your country but maintain strong personal ties to your culture while you are away from home
  • talk to people from your country about your stresses and ask how they have dealt with the same situation
  • find a place where you feel comfortable and spend time there

If you do experience culture shock - depression, sadness and loneliness, insomnia or sleeping too much, easily tired, hopelessness - please remember that this affects most students and you are not the only person to have these feelings. If you need extra support, please set up an appointment with the Dean of Students Office Team or a member of the student counseling service.

Hungarian Culture

The culture of Hungary has a distinctive style of its own: diverse and varied. Hungarian customs may be very different to those of your own culture.

Some examples:

  • If you ever feel you are being asked personal questions, this is simply meant as part of the getting-to-know-you process.
  • In public, Hungarians tend to behave reserved, cautious and skeptical.
  • Close friends or relatives typically meet by kissing lightly on each cheek.
  • In Hungary it is quite common to see couples kissing and holding hands in public.
  • So you may find that when immersing yourself in Hungarian culture, you'll be doing more meeting and greeting in the 'normal' way of kissing and greeting than you might be used to.
  • In more formal circumstances, meeting and greeting is much more traditional, in that handshakes and maintaining eye contact are considered the proper etiquette.
  • Bear in mind that Hungarians sometimes openly study people around them. For instance, if waiting at a bus stop or on the train, don't be alarmed if you appear to be a subject of interest for someone else.
  • Bodily contact is rather intimate on public transportation and in malls and shopping centers.
  • Touching another's back, shoulders or arms in a non-intimate relationship is generally considered offensive and felt uncomfortable.
  • Asking personal questions of a person met for the first time may be seen as improper and intrusive.

CEU Facts and Figures

Click here to see CEU Facts and Figures.