Report on study abroad Budapest, by Jochem Loonstra. Host institution and exact dates of semester abroad

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1 Report on study abroad Budapest, by Jochem Loonstra. Host institution and exact dates of semester abroad I studied on Corvinus university of Budapest from the 2 nd of September until the 23th of December. Although the first official activity from the university was on the 2 nd of September I was in Budapest from the 26 th of August to join the introduction activities from ESN, which I would advise to every student going abroad. Contact with home faculty, preparation and journey Before we went abroad we got a list of other students from the faculty that were also going to Budapest. We decided to have a meeting to get to know each other and to talk about the necessary preparations, this was very convenient. Not a lot of preparations were required before going to Budapest. The preparations that costed the most time was the enrolment for the courses, not all the courses are approved by my supervisor in Groningen and sometimes there is no course description available. Filling out all the necessary costs quite a lot of time though, these forms are the learning agreement, the grant agreement and for Dutch students the public transport compensation form (which is a 100euros a month). I flew together with another guy from the RUG, and I also spend the first nights at his apartment as he had some spare bedrooms. It is not necessary to arrange your accommodation beforehand because there are plenty of rooms and flats. You might as well spend the first nights in a hostel. The flights to Budapest are quite cheap and including a big suitcase a single ticket should be around 70/80 euros. When you arrive in Budapest the public transport is pretty easy to understand so going to the city centre should be no problem, also this is very cheap. Residence abroad When going to Budapest it is not necessary to arrange a residence permit or a visa. You are allowed to stay in the country for three months without needing a residence permit. You are probably going to stay in Budapest for 4-5 months on paper, but it is sure that you are leaving the country somewhere in that period, so your three months start over again. As mentioned before I stayed in Budapest from the 26 th of august until the 23th of December. Budapest is a cheap country, and it is not necessary to spend as much money as I did. I joined every activity and wanted my study abroad to be as much fun as possible. Therefore my expenses were quite high. During my stay in Budapest I spend around 1000 euros each month, which is mostly on trips, eating out, going out, and accommodation of course. During my first week in Budapest I also found my accommodation, me and another girl from Groningen went to a real estate agent from which my travel buddy was also hiring. He had a place for us on a great location, with four bedrooms. We posted an advertisement on one of the many Facebook pages and within hours we had dozens of responses. We chose a Spanish girl and guy who were in the same situation as we were, not really knowing each other but from the same city. The accommodation was expensive for Hungarians, but being western European students for us it was affordable, we paid 330 each on average including utilities. For this money we had about 60 m2 per 2 persons. When it comes to introduction to the city and getting to know the city, the university does little. ESN, however, had loads of activities for new international students to get to know their way around and make friends. The university introduction day was just a little welcome speech introducing important people and the country, and the collection of your student card.

2 Budapest is a great city that has a lot to offer on a lot of different areas. The student and nightlife is very active; there are many international students who are there mostly to have fun and go out. At least this is the case for the people I met, I am sure there are also a lot of students not really into going out and want to enjoy the Hungarian culture and everything Budapest has to offer on this area. So, next to the amazing student and nightlife there are many cultural activities that you can join, there are the houses of parliament, the many bridges, a lot of museums etc. Also there are many leisure activity organised, like hiking trips, sport activities and trips to other cities or other countries. I, for example, joined a football team with which I played a match every week, I very much enjoyed this. Most elderly people in Hungary do not speak English, but this didn t cause any problems. Most students did and also the level of English from the teachers was good. The Hungarian language is extremely hard and as I didn t follow the Hungarian language course I only knew some basic words. Grant The grant I received for my period abroad was 170 euros per months. You receive 70% of this amount before departure and the other 30% you receive when you are back and have filled out the necessary forms. The 170 euros per month were not sufficient for me to cover all the extra expenses I made, but I think I lived quite excessively. The extra expenses you have when studying in Budapest is that you go out more than usual, you travel more than usual and eat out more than usual. Although everything is pretty cheap, it adds up to a large amount of money. Study In Budapest the semester consists of 14 weeks in a row, so not two blocks like it is in Groningen. In these 14 weeks I followed 5 courses of 6 ECTS. There are courses of 3 and 6 ECTS so you could also compose your semester differently. Each course has about 3 contact hours a week, 1,5 hour of lecture and 1,5 hour of seminar, these were consecutive with a 20 minute break. The examination for most of my courses existed from homework assignments, a midterm exam(midterms find place after 6 weeks of studying) and a final exam (final exams are held during and after the last week of class). For most of the courses you can only miss 3 classes before being excluded from the course. The level of education is pretty low, so for every Dutch student obtaining your ECTS in Budapest should not be a problem. Other relevant info you want to share with our future exchange students When you decide to go study in Budapest, make sure you find a flat in the 5 th, 6 th or 7 th district, this is the city centre and most of the activities take place here. Also I would advise to go about a week before actual university activities start to join the ESN introduction activities. These activities are important to get to know people, make friends and get used to the city. Also you discover the most interesting places and they just organize fun activities.

3 Summary impression I would say Budapest is an amazing study to city if you value nightlife, trips and leisure, because on these areas Budapest has everything you could wish for. So if that is what you are looking for in a study abroad I would definitely advise it. While living in Budapest you gain a lot of international experience and living in another culture really is helpful for your development. The courses, however, were not as useful as in the Netherlands and quite easy. So if you are looking for a good university that really enriches your academic skills, I wouldn t advise Budapest.

4 Specific subject report. Course: Managing the multinational enterprise. The course consisted of 1,5 hour seminar and 1,5 hour lecture, always right after each other. We needed to buy some chapters from the book, multinational management, a strategic approach. During the 1,5 hour lecture the teacher explained some material for that week. Then in the seminar we had some discussion, or did some assignments regarding the material. Also you had to do a little presentation a couple of times. For this course, the slides and given chapters were all you had to study. The material covered basic managerial skills. The teacher for this course had a lot of diversity in her assignments, we had do some presentations, have some discussions, make a poster, simulate conflict situations etc. This course was very practical and I don t think I am going to use any of it in Groningen. The study load for this course was not very much. If you just attended the lectures and seminars, and did the given assignments with your group, it is very easy to pass the course. The amount of ECs rewarded for this course is 6.

5 Course: Economics for transnational corporations Like every course I had also this course consisted of 1,5 hour of lecture and 1,5 hour of seminar. There was no need to buy a book, but we did have to read some papers compulsory. The first 1,5 hour of lecture the teacher discussed the material for that week, during the seminars we had a discussion about the homework and there were some student presentations. This course discussed several trade theories from the past and looked at what is necessary to consider when investing abroad these days. As homework for the course we had to read for papers, summarize them and make some comments. This was graded and counted as part of your final grade. Next to that we had do research on a big foreign investment made by a well-known company and analyse why it failed or succeeded, we had to present the results. This course was not really relevant for my study itself but it is some useful complementary knowledge to have and it was an interesting course. This course was my most intensive one, as its homework took quite a lot of time and there was a lot of material to study for the exams. Also the one group assignment you have to do takes a couple of days in total to complete. You get 6 ECs for this course.

6 Course: organizational theories. This course had 1,5 hour of lecture followed by 1,5 hour of seminar. There were 2 compulsory books we had to download(for free) but these were hardly used. During the lecture the teacher explained the theory for that week and during the seminar, most of the time, people gave presentations or we had discussion. As the course title says this course covered organizational theories, like organizational structures, classic organizational theories and a little bit of human resource management. During the seminars most of the time students gave presentations on different topics. Also there was roleplaying on conflict management, some discussion and group assignments. This course was totally something else as what I had studied in Groningen so far, so for me it was interesting. But it is not a great addition to my curriculum and I don t think I am going to apply this knowledge in the future. This course actually costed me a lot of time because it is a course that is fully made up of theories and little own interpretation. The presentations were not very much work, but studying for the midterm and final exams may take a couple of days. This course is worth 6ECs.

7 Course: understanding international economic order. There was no compulsory readings for this course that you had to get yourself, the teacher had some handouts every week though. The course consisted of 1,5 hour lecture and 1,5 hour seminar again. The class started with the teacher discussing the material for that week. And during the seminar we got a case study to do, or there were some presentations by students. This course covered basic international economic activities, and the explanation behind them. The course did this by help of news articles and papers as examples. This course did not need a lot of preparation for the lectures and seminars, except for the one big group assignment we got. For this assignment we had to analyse the trade relation between two countries. During the seminars we did case studies or there were only presentations. This course was quite relevant, it was basic, but it helped understanding day to day economic activities more. This course was not very intense, as the material for the final exam was not very much and the group assignment was not a lot of work. This course was worth 6ECs.

8 Course: health policy and finance On paper there were 1,5 hour of lecture and 1,5 hour of seminar. In reality this was usually much different as there were a lot of other special activities with guest lecturers and almost no seminars were held. There was no compulsory literature. So on average we only had about 2 hours of lecture a week and that s it. The lectures were made up of material picked by the teacher or guest lecturer. This course contained everything that has to do with health policy in an economy, from insurance companies to governments, and from hospitals to nursery homes. This course was really interesting to me as we had never covered anything like this in Groningen. I think it is a helpful addition to my curriculum and it helps me understand this part of the economy a little better. The course was not very intense. The grading for this course consisted of one big essay and assignments that were only made in the last couple of weeks, next to that there is no homework. This course was rewarded with 6ECs.

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