To apply for a visa or a residence permit, you must first obtain an international health insurance.
Since you are staying in Hungary for more than 90 days, you may need a visa to enter Hungary even if you are a US citizen (and even though the US has a visa waiver agreement with Hungary).
You will have to decide between (1) obtaining a D type visa (a pre-approved residency permit) before you travel, and simply pick up your residency permit after arrival, or (2) enter Hungary without a visa, and apply for the residency permit after arrival. Please read the information provided in this link to guide you in making that decision. On the Travel and Visa Form (one of the required online forms), we will ask you about the decision you have made regarding the visa.
Obtaining a visa can be a lengthy process. To allow yourself enough time to complete all the necessary steps, we advise you start the process as soon as you receive the letter of acceptance from BSME.
Please make sure that your required travel documents do not expire within six months of leaving Hungary (after the completion of your BSME semester). For more information on visa policies/procedures, contact the BSME Budapest Office.
All BSME students must obtain a residence permit within 30 days of their arrival in Hungary.
If you arrived with a visa:
Your visa will be converted into a residence permit at the Hungarian Immigration Office—the BSME Budapest Office will organize a visit. You will need to have (copies of) the documents which were required for your visa application, plus proof of your local residence address (provided by the BSME Office). The fee for this process is about 5,000 HUF (for a property page, i.e., proof of your housing).
If you did not need a visa:
You must obtain a residence permit from the Hungarian Immigration Office—the BSME Budapest Office will organize a visit. Further details for this process will be given during the BSME orientation session. You might also read the McDaniel College website for relevant information. The fee for this process is about 23,000 HUF, broken down as follows: a revenue stamp (okmánybélyeg) and property page will cost 18,000 HUF and 5,000 HUF, respectively.
Note: Your residence permit allows you to travel freely—without further visa requirements—within countries of the Schengen area. This includes all continental European countries west or north of Hungary plus Greece, but not the British Islands, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Ukraine, etc. (If you are not sure, contact the BSME Budapest Office.) The residence permit also serves as a return visa in case you leave the Schengen area.