Getting to Budapest

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What to bring:

Include the following items in your carry-on luggage.

  • This BSME Student Information Guidebook (PDF version is here)
  • Passport (and a photocopy to keep in a safe place in case you lose your passport)
  • Airline or train ticket
  • Any prescription medications you use
  • A photocopy of your health insurance card
  • Major credit card
  • Some cash to cover immediate expenses upon arrival
  • Official letter of acceptance on BSME letterhead
  • Materials needed for residence permit application
  • Letter for airlines should they have questions or concerns regarding the purpose of your visit to Hungary

Although unlikely, it may happen that checked baggage is put on the wrong plane. Make certain your baggage is labeled inside and out with your final destination:

College International
1071 Budapest
Bethlen Gábor tér 2
Hungary

Electronic gadgets:

Electricity: The voltage used in continental Europe is 220 volts, while American appliances run on 110 volts. Most recent appliances are “dual voltage,” meaning they can operate on both types of currents. Look for a label on your appliance that says something like “100/240V” or “110~220V AC” to make sure that it is dual voltage. To use a dual voltage appliance in Hungary, you need an adapter plug (not a converter), since the electrical outlets in Europe are different from those in North America. Note that Hungary uses the Type F electrical plug. Adapters can be purchased for just a few US dollars.

Computer: Most students choose to bring a personal laptop, though this is not required. Free wireless network and a computer room are available at College International (where BSME classes are held) for student use.

Cell phones: Following are different options for cell phone use.

  • You can purchase a pre-paid cell phone in Hungary.
  • If you choose to bring a cell phone from home, you will need to check with your local provider on international rates.
  • Skype is available, providing the cheapest option for communicating with family and friends back home.

Travel arrangements:

Transportation costs to/from Budapest are not included in the BSME tuition.

You may make travel arrangements online or through a travel agent. One travel agency where you can talk to a “real” person is listed below. They have had experience with students traveling to Budapest.

Bursch Travel, Inc.
309 Division Street Northfield, MN 55057
phone: 800-657-4888 / 507-645-4458
fax: 507-645-4331
email: troyr@burschtravel.com

If you are flying, your final destination is the Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD). Please note that the cost of a flight to Budapest can vary as much as several hundred dollars, so shopping around to compare prices is a good idea.

Arrival:

In order to enter Hungary, you need a valid passport. If you are a non-North American citizen, please check with your home country consulate and the Hungarian Consulate General’s Office about special documentation requirements before departure. For more information about visa requirements, click here.

You can arrive in Budapest either by airplane or train. A BSME representative will meet you upon arrival at the airport or train station, and will take you to your residence in Budapest. It is vital that the BSME offices are informed about your travel well ahead of time. You must complete the Travel plans form online as soon as your travel plans are made. Two remarks about this online form are worth noting:

  • If your travel plans change after submitting the form, be sure to enter and re-submit your updated plans on the online form.
  • If you will not know your exact train schedule until you arrive in Europe, you can indicate this on the online form. As soon as you find out your train schedule, enter it and re-submit the online form.

Please keep this guidebook with you in your carry-on luggage. During your travel, be sure to contact your parents and the BSME offices with any arrival changes or delays to keep them informed about your situation.

Traveling by air:

Upon arrival in Budapest, come off the plane, collect your luggage, and clear customs. You need to show your passport at this point. Afterwards, you will enter a large waiting room area. Look for the person holding up a sign that says “Budapest Semesters.” Introduce yourself and they will accompany you to your residence in Budapest. They should have answers to many of your housing questions.

Traveling by train:

Get off the train, go to the engine of the train, and look for the person holding up a sign that says “Budapest Semesters.” Introduce yourself and they will accompany you to your residence in Budapest. They should have answers to many of your housing questions.

Unannounced arrival:

If you arrive unannounced by air between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, it may be best to hail a cab or an airport mini-van and give the driver the BSME address:

College International
1071 Budapest
Bethlen Gábor tér 2
District VII

The fee for either the cab or airport mini-van is not expensive and well worth it. The ride from the airport to the BSME Budapest Office will take about 45 minutes.

If you arrive unannounced at the Keleti train station, Bethlen Gábor tér is about four blocks away. Check a map for details.

Arrival after work hours:

If we know your travel information ahead of time, BSME staff will make every attempt to meet you at your arrival. However, in the unlikely event that you have not informed us of your arrival plans, have a change in plans, or are delayed, and no one meets you at the airport or train station, plan to take a cab/mini-van to a hotel, motel, or youth hostel and spend the night (at your own expense). Most lodgings have someone at the front desk that will speak English.

If it is necessary to spend your first night in a hotel, motel, or hostel in Budapest before meeting people from BSME, or if you are unable to make contact with someone from the program, do not panic. Eat a good meal and get a refreshing night’s sleep. The next morning, call the BSME Budapest Office and make plans to have someone pick you up at the hotel or wend your own way to the office.