Study and find schools in Hungary

Hungary is a mid-size, landlocked country located in Central Europe, with a total geographic area of just under 36,000 square miles.  Situated in what is known as the Carpathian Basin, the country is bordered to the north by Slovakia, to the east by Romania and Ukraine, to the south by Serbia and Croatia, to the southwest by Slovenia and to the west by Austria.  A member country in the European Union, NATO and the OECD, Hungary is considered a major player on the world stage, both politically and economically, especially in and around the country’s capital and largest city, Budapest.  Hungary is one of the thirty-most popular tourist destinations worldwide, attracting nearly 9 million visitors each year.
Recent statistical data shows that Hungary now has a population of just over 10 million—a population that, in modern times, has become very ethnically homogenous.  Ethnic Hungarians account for approximately 92 percent of Hungary’s population, with Romanians (2%), Germans (1%) and smaller groups from other western and eastern European nations accounting for the remainder.  Hungarian is the official language of Hungary—a Uralic language that is unrelated to any neighboring language and only distantly related to Finnish and Estonian.  Hungarian is not only used for all official business of the state, including education, but it is the mother tongue of nearly 94 percent of the population.  Roman Catholicism, Greek Catholicism and a variety of Protestant faiths, ranked in order of prevalence, are the most oft-practiced religious faiths in the country, but Hungary is also home to a significant number of people who either don’t believe in God and/or do not practice any religious doctrine.
Education in Hungary
Education in Hungary is under the administration of the Ministry of National Resources, headed up by the State Secretary for Education.  Despite its new democracy, the educational system in Hungary is still more closely associated with ex-socialist countries than it is to the more modernized and streamlined systems in Western Europe.  It is divided between five distinct levels:  Pre-school, a non-compulsory stage of education for children between the ages of 3 and 7; general school primary level, consisting of grades one through four for children between the ages of 8 and 12; general school lower secondary level, consisting of grades five through eight for children between the ages of 12 and 16; the upper secondary level, a non-compulsory stage for students aged 16-18; and higher or tertiary education.
Pre-school education, while not mandatory, is a very important stage within the Hungarian system of education.  Students are introduced to basic reading, writing and count at this level, but perhaps more importantly, they become accustomed to attending school, interacting and socializing with their peers and following school rules—skills that allow them to successfully transition to compulsory education.
Grades one through eight, the general primary and general lower secondary school years, are the only grades compulsory under the Hungarian system.  In these grades, students are introduced to a wide variety of academic areas, through subjects that include mathematics, natural science, Hungarian and one or two foreign languages, history, geography, social and cultural sciences, music, art and physical education.
Students are not required to attend the two-year upper secondary stage of education, but most in the country do, as education is highly valued and a key to social and economic mobility.  At this level students have the option of enrolling in a vocational program, where they can earn a work certificate and pursue one of many career fields upon graduation, or a general education secondary school, featuring a curriculum that is entirely academic, with the goal of preparing students for university admission.
Universities in Hungary, both public and private, are responsible for the administration of higher education programs.  Students who are eligible for education at this level (students who have completed the general upper secondary stage and achieved a passing score on university entrance examinations) can earn undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate degrees in almost every major academic field.  Specialty schools affiliated with the university exist for students pursuing advanced degrees in fields such as medicine, dentistry, engineering and veterinary medicine,
The top-notch quality of the Hungarian school system is reflected in the country’s national adult literacy rate:  99.5 percent and among the best in the world.

International Study Abroad Programs in Hungary

Are you a high school or university student who’s considering the possibility of studying abroad in the near future?  Have you considered making the beautiful and historic city of Hungary your destination of choice?  The opportunity to study abroad is an once-in-a-lifetime adventure that should not be missed, and Hungary offers a wealth of things to do and see when you’re not busy in the classroom.  To help you get started, below we will provide just a few of the basics of studying abroad, followed by a list of some of the sites and attractions that make Hungary such a great place to visit.

Study Abroad in Hungary:  A Few Facts

As a study abroad student you’ll receive classroom instruction at a Hungarian secondary school or university, studying in an academic program that’s been approved by your school in a language you can understand.  Programs can span a full academic year, a semester, or just a few weeks during your summer or winter break, and all the credits you earn while studying in Hungary will be transferred in full to your home school.  Accommodations during your adventure can vary, ranging from a residence hall to an apartment to staying with a host family, and while you’re not busy studying you’ll have the unique opportunity to explore all that Hungary has to offer, making lasting friendships along the way with the locals and other international students.  From its historic sites and buildings to its relaxing leisure activities and restaurants, the country has everything you could possibly imagine to make your journey a memorable one.

Study Abroad in Hungary:  Things to Do and See

Hungary is a beautiful European country that is steeped in history and tradition.  Below are just some of the things to do and see during your visit:
  • Castle District, Budapest.  Located in the country’s capital and towering over the city on Castle Hill, the Castle District in Budapest is the historic hub of Hungary.  Here you will find the Royal Palace and numerous museums and galleries, all bursting with a variety of stunning art and artifacts.  From Clark Adam Square in Budapest it’s just a short ride up on the cable car to the Castle District, providing you with an awesome view of the city below.
  • Esztergom.  This small town on the picturesque Danube River is home to Hungary’s largest church and is the country’s former capital.  Rich in history and beaming with post-card like beauty, Esztergom is one of the most interesting places to visit in the entire country.
  • Municipal State Circus, Budapest.  Also in the country’s capital is the Municipal State Circus, the only circus in Europe that operates year round.  Here you’ll be treated to a day of high-flying acrobats, death-defying trapeze artists, great snacks and amazing animal tricks—a great way to unwind from a day of studying.
  • Lake Heviz.  Lake Heviz is Europe’s largest thermal lake, and its accompanying spas consistently draw crowds from around the world.  Heated by underwater volcanic craters, the soothing water and mud of this expansive lake will leave you feeling rested and relaxed for hours.
If the opportunity to study abroad sounds appealing to you; if the chance for an adventure in a country that’s as historic as it is beautiful sounds fun; you simply must put Hungary on the top of your study-abroad list.

Primary and Secondary Schools in Hungary

In Hungary, public education system is based on a hierarchy starting from nursery and extending to universities. After completing their primary schooling, students can choose to enroll into general secondary schools called gimnázium or vocational secondary school, szakközépiskola. Apart from these, students can opt for vocational schools offering short term academic courses. The Hungarian government has made education compulsory for children aged 5 years and upwards. Kindergartens or nursery schools in Hungary offer Pre-school programs for kids. The last year of the kindergarten curriculum is meant for preparing children for the general school education system.

Primary Education in Hungary

Hungary’s flexible student enrolment system ensures that all children enroll into general schools by the age of 7.  Attending general school is mandatory for students and they need to clear eight grades for completing their tenure at a primary school in Hungary. The curriculum of general schools is divided into lower primary, and upper primary levels; both of which comprise four grades each. In upper primary stage, subject teaching is initiated in conjunction with basic skills. Students need eight years to complete primary education in Hungary, and they usually pass out of primary schools at the age of 13.

Secondary Education

Students who are 14 years or more in age can request an admission into a secondary school in Hungary.  Owing to an evolving educational scenario in Hungary, categorizing secondary education system can become a tad difficult. Schools that admit students after completing general school curriculum are broadly classified as secondary schools.  Secondary education in Hungary can be divided into vocational education and general education. After completing the duration of general secondary schools in Hungary, students need to take a school leaving exam for applying to higher education. The duration of courses offered in these schools is 4 years, from 9th grade through 12th grade. Students enrolling in bilingual schools require an additional year. They are taught a foreign language in the 9th grade and have subjects that are taught in that language during the 10th grade.  Apart from general education, secondary schools in Hungary provide intensive foreign language teaching to their students. As per Hungary’s education regulations, students leaving a secondary school in Hungary can opt between a high-level exam and a standard-level exam.

The secondary vocational education schools in Hungary or predominantly of two types. There are a number of vocational secondary schools in the country that provide students the chance to appear for matriculation exam. On the contrary, some other vocational schools lack this provision. The vocational schools can be segregated into three sub categories.
  • Secondary vocational schools (szakközépiskola), in Hungary offer both- the provision to sit for a school leaving exam along with a skilled worker's certificate, to students on successful completion of the 4 year course.
  • The vocational secondary schools that allow students to take matriculation exams usually offer technical education courses, comprising 5 years.
  • On the other hand, vocational school (szakiskola) in Hungary prepares students for entry into the labor market, but do not enable them to take the matriculation exam.
Applicants for higher education are selected on the basis of their matriculation examination scores.  In some universities, clearing an entrance test is also mandatory.

Cities to study in Hungary

CSA Study Abroad
Accredited study abroad programs all over the world for students of all levels.

Share this page: