International Health Insurance
Before you travel to Budapest, you are required have a US (or equivalent) international health insurance that is valid in Hungary (and countries you plan to travel to) covering at least up to 40,000 USD of your health expenses, and is valid for your entire stay. We also encourage students to investigate additional travel insurance that may cover evacuation in the case of medical emergency.
Note: When you travel outside Budapest, you must use your international insurance.
BSME tuition includes a local insurance provided by the UNION Vienna Insurance Group, called UniMed Health Insurance. This is a limited insurance that covers emergency medical benefits (including hospitalization) within Budapest, but for most purposes, it is more convenient than an international insurance. It will not pay for treatment outside the city limits of Budapest, ongoing treatment for chronic issues, evacuation due to medical emergencies, or other major issues not easily addressed by the municipal health system.
The UniMed insurance:
- covers primary care, outpatient specialist care, and inpatient care in Budapest, at specific facilities of the Semmelweis Medical University for up to 700,000 HUF;
- covers emergency care in Hungary;
- covers some emergency dental care for up to 50,000 HUF;
- covers/organizes limited patient transport;
- provides limited refund for cost of medication.
The UniMed insurance also has a 24-hour medical hotline number: +36-1-461-1590. An English speaking personnel will help you set up an appointment or tell you where to go in case you need help urgently. Keep your health insurance card with you at all times—you will need to show the card and your passport when you see a doctor.
Under Hungarian law, a medication supply of no more than 90 days is allowed to enter the country. To bring your medication into the country, you will be required to show a letter from your doctor describing why you take the medication(s), and that they are necessary for your treatment. Your doctor should include your dosage in the letter. Please make sure that the letter from your doctor looks official: it should be on a letterhead, stamped (if possible) and signed. You may need the letter at the border, and it will also help the Hungarian doctor to prescribe the medication for you.
We suggest that you bring at least a one month supply of any necessary medication. Then, shortly after your arrival in Budapest, contact a local doctor who can prescribe your medication for the duration of your semester. You can make an appointment even prior to your arrival.
We usually suggest that students go to one of the following two medical centers, where all staff and doctors speak English, as these centers work with expats:
Please contact your insurance company to make sure that you are covered for your entire stay in Hungary.
Contact the BSME Budapest Office to see whether your medication is available and legal in Hungary.
If you are taking medications for mental health reasons, we strongly advise that you continue to do so while in Budapest. If your medication is not available in Hungary, we suggest that you find an appropriate substitute before leaving for Budapest; and if that’s not possible, you should see a doctor in Budapest to find a substitute.
We believe that a student’s mental health is just as important as their physical well-being. Adjusting to the demands of academic challenges and a new urban environment can be stressful. Talking with a professional counselor can help you find ways to manage academic pressures, personal problems, and cultural adjustments.
There are two mental health counselors available for BSME students on site, free of charge.
- Andrea Turner (firstname.lastname@example.org) is available on Mondays, 5-8pm.
- Lászlo Bíró (email@example.com) is available on Thursdays, 2-5pm
Pharmacy is “gyógyszertár” in Hungarian, and can be identified by a green cross, as shown on the right.
- There are several 24 hour pharmacies in Budapest. These have regular business hours, and after hours you must ring a bell outside the building and pay a small extra fee. (E.g. Teréz Patika: Budapest, 1067, Teréz körút 41.)
- The medication that is identical to Tylenol is called Panadol in Hungary.
BSME is committed to providing all participants with equal access and opportunity to our academic environment. We can typically provide the same (or similar) academic accommodations to which you are currently entitled at your home institution. To qualify, you need to provide a reliable proof of conditions to the BSME Budapest Office. A signed letter from your learning disabilities office or advisor, or an email sent by an appropriate staff person from your home institution will suffice.