Cultural Differences

After arrival to Budapest, it may be difficult to face cultural differences. Being aware of these in advance may be helpful. At the end of the program, most students say that facing these differences helped them to grow.

Language: At first it may be stressful that English is not the first language in Hungary. However, you’ll soon get used to communicating with body language, and people will be happy to use whatever English they have.

Heat: In the summer, Budapest is hot. Many places, including BSME apartments, do not have air conditioning. Even in places where there is air conditioning, people prefer to keep the temperature higher than in the US. Previous BSME students bought small electric fans for their rooms, which they found helpful.

Jet lag: After traveling for long hours most people are very tired, and it takes a few days to adjust to the new time zone. When one is tired, things may seem more difficult, and it may be helpful to remind yourself that you will get over it.

Scheduling: In Hungary, people usually make scheduling decisions later than in North America, sometimes only at the last minute. At BSME we are aware that this may be frustrating to students, so we do our best to schedule events in advance, but sometimes this is not possible, as we need to adjust to schedules outside of our control.

Tipping: The usual tip in cafes and restaurants is 10%. Sometimes the service fee is included in the bill—in that case no tip is expected and the tip will be shown on the bill, but feel free to ask an employee.