Advantages of language courses in Hungary

  • Preparation programs. At many Hungarian universities, there are courses lasting 1-2 semesters that prepare for admission. Students in such programs enjoy all of the privileges that regular students do: student discounts, university events, access to libraries and sports facilities.
  • Prices. The average tuition fee for intensive courses is 109 USD/week. This amount is lower than in neighboring Serbia — 217 USD/week, Austria — 434 USD/week, and Italy — 391 USD/week.
  • Summer programs. Universities also offer summer programs that last 2-4 weeks. Students learn the language and in their free time get acquainted with the culture, history, and folk art of Hungary.
  • Hot springs. There are about 60 thousand thermal springs with medicinal water in Hungary. The country also has small balneological resorts near large cities, where there is an opportunity to learn the language: next to the city of Pécs — Harkany, not far from Debrecen — Hajdúszoboszló, and Budapest — the only resort capital in Europe.
  • Jobs. If you attend courses for more than 3 months, you must apply for a temporary residence permit. It allows you to work up to 24 hours per week.

Disadvantages of language courses in Hungary

  • School choice. There are few language centers that offer courses for foreigners. Most programs are evening or morning lessons for a maximum of 2-8 hours per week.
  • Lack of hostels. Language schools do not place students in residences or host families (as they do in other countries). Therefore, students must look for accommodation options on their own.
  • Language complexity. Hungarian is in the top 5 most difficult languages ​​in the world[1]. This is an agglutinative language — word forms are created by adding suffixes. In addition, nouns do not have grammatical gender, and diphthongs and digraphs make pronunciation very difficult.

Cost of language courses in Hungary

SchoolProgramDurationTuitionResidence costCity
Corvinus UniversityPreparatory Program1-2 semesters3,258 USD/semester75-127 USD/monthBudapest
Eötvös Loránd UniversitySummer University2-4 weeks671-1,032 USD/coursePrice on requestBudapest
Intensive Hungarian Foundation Course1 year1,846 USD/semester
University of PécsSummer University2-4 weeks597-1,086 USD/course195-434 USD/coursePécs
General Hungarian1 semester169 USD/semesterPrice on request
Preparatory Program1-2 semesters3500-5500/coursePrice on request
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Types of language courses in Hungary

Types of programsIntensityGroupMin. language requirementsAvg. cost
General Hungarian (Evening or Morning)2-86-10Starter (A0)163 USD/semester
Intensive Hungarian Course256-12Starter (A0)109 USD/week
Individual LessonsIndividual1Starter (A0)Individual basis
Summer Camp10-206-8Elementary (A2)424 USD/week
Summer University20-306-12Starter (A0)652 USD/2 weeks
Preparatory Courses15-302-50Starter (A0)3,258 USD/semester

Courses at Hungarian language schools are not very diverse. Among them, the most common are:

  • General Courses — low-intensity Hungarian courses for those who study or work in Hungary. As a rule, these are long-term programs that go on from 4 weeks. Lessons usually take place either in the morning or evening.
  • Intensive Hungarian Courses can be found only at a few schools. Duration — from 4 to 12 weeks.
  • Summer Camps for children and teenagers. Four hours a day are allotted for classes, while the rest of the day is dedicated to various events: games, competitions, concerts, discos, and excursions. One of the most popular summer programs is the international camp on Lake Balaton (Balaton camp). Here, you can combine Hungarian courses with activities such as water sports, painting, dancing, programming, or photography.

University courses

There are 3 types of courses at Hungarian universities:

  • General Courses — courses analogous to those at language schools.
  • Preparatory Courses for those who plan to study at a Hungarian university. Students master the academic language, working out vocabulary specific to the chosen specialty, learning to write essays, and reading scientific articles. Students are accepted without knowledge of Hungarian, but sometimes English is required at a level not lower than Intermediate. Upon completion, you receive credits that count towards university admission. The duration of study is 1 or 2 semesters (5 or 10 months).
  • Summer University is an intensive Hungarian summer program with a rich cultural agenda. It lasts from 2 to 4 weeks and is available for students over 18 years old.

Features of admission to Hungarian language schools

There are no language level requirements at language schools, making it easy to enter them. To apply, fill out an application form, pay the registration fee and course cost, and wait for an invitation. Enrollment dates depend on the school, but as a rule, new students are accepted at least once a month.

Refund policies call for close consideration. Some schools withhold only the amount of the registration fee, while others do not return any money. For example, if you enroll in a course but are denied a visa, the school can only offer access to an online program for the same amount[2].

University courses are mainly summer intensives (2-4 weeks) and preparatory programs lasting 1-2 semesters. They are found at many universities: Eötvös Loránd, Szeged, Pécs, Corvinus University.

Summer courses take place in July-August. The enrollment process is the same as for language schools.

Enrollment for preparatory programs takes place once a semester. Most universities do not require a Hungarian proficiency certificate. Some, however, require knowledge of English at the Intermediate level, given that programs include lectures in English.

Admission requirements for preparatory programs are higher. Universities view all applicants for such courses as potential students, and therefore treat them more strictly. However, upon completion of the preparatory program, you still have to take an entrance test.

Documents for admission to preparatory programs:

  • Application form
  • High school diploma (if you do not yet have a diploma, providing a certificate stating that you are graduating this year is sufficient)
  • Transcript with grades for the last 1-2 years
  • Passport copy
  • Resume
  • Motivation letter
  • Registration fee payment receipt
  • Notarized translation of the diploma and transcript into English
  • Medical insurance

The list of documents may differ depending on the university.

Studying in a Hungarian language course

The Hungarian language belongs to the Finno-Ugric family. It includes Finnish, Estonian, as well as the languages of Russian indigenous people — Mordovian, Komi, Mari, and Udmurt. They have common features — agglutination, postpositions instead of prepositions, and a lack of grammatical gender. All of this makes the language quite difficult to master.

Hungarian is spoken only in the country itself and a little at the borders of neighboring countries. Because of this, the language is not very popular for learning. It is mainly studied by future students of Hungarian universities. Therefore, there are few Hungarian language schools that are focused on foreigners. They do not have their own dormitories, and courses are mostly long-term with a low intensity.

University programs, on the other hand, are common. Summer intensive courses include 30 hours of Hungarian per week and an exciting cultural program: lessons in Hungarian crafts, folk music and dance evenings, tasting traditional dishes, as well as trips to neighboring cities, excursions, and hikes.

In preparatory programs, students study grammar and work out reading, writing, and listening. Particular attention is paid to the vocabulary of the future field of study. From the beginning of their studies, students practice academic skills: making presentations, writing essays, and reading scientific articles. At the end of the program, students receive academic credits.

Accommodation options while studying in Hungary

Accommodation optionsMealsNumber of people per roomAvg. cost per week
School residenceNone2-5109 USD
ApartmentNone1-2319 USD
HotelBreakfast / breakfast and dinner1-2326 USD

Additional expenses

Consular fee43 USD65 USD
Registration fee109 USD217 USD
Medical insurance25 USD/month130 USD/month

Additional expenses may also include study materials, delivery of an invitation by express mail, and airport transfers. Costs should be clarified with the school representatives.

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Visa for language courses in Hungary

For short-term language courses in Hungary lasting up to 90 days, students need a Schengen category C visa. The processing time is 15 days.

Required documents:

  • Visa application form
  • Consular fee payment receipt
  • Passport
  • Internal passport copy
  • 2 color photographs
  • Medical insurance with a minimum coverage of 32,581 USD
  • Invitation from a language school or university
  • Hotel reservation or apartment rental agreement
  • Round-trip flight tickets
  • Proof of financial solvency
  • Language course payment receipt

If you plan to study for more than 90 days, you need a temporary residence permit. First, you will be issued a visa for 30 days. With it, you can enter the country and receive a residence permit. The review period is also 15 days.

Documents for obtaining a temporary residence permit:

  • Application for a residence permit in Hungary (can be downloaded from the consulate website)
  • Consular fee payment receipt
  • Passport
  • 1 color photograph
  • Proof of financial solvency
  • Accommodation for the entire period of study (hotel reservation, apartment rental agreement, certificate for a school or university hostel)
  • Invitation from a language school or university
  • Language course payment receipt
  • Medical insurance
Working while taking language courses in Hungary

With a residence permit, students can work no more than 24 hours a week. Most universities in Hungary have career offices that offer help with employment.

Need to learn a language?

Most popular language schools in Hungary

Several Hungarian universities eagerly await for foreign students to join their language courses.

Corvinus University

Located in Budapest, Corvinus University offers preparatory programs to potential students. The programs last 2 semesters (10 months). The cost, including the registration fee, is 5,289 USD. The curriculum includes learning English, Hungarian, and subjects related to your field of study (economics, sociology, mathematics, business). In addition, you are given a student ID card, thanks to which you receive access to the university library and discounts for transportation, museums, theaters, and sports tournaments.

For admission, you need to know English at the Intermediate level. You do not, however, need a certificate — your knowledge will be assessed during the interview.

Corvinus University, Budapest, Hungary
Corvinus University

University of Pécs

The University of Pécs also runs preparatory courses. Here, however, the duration depends on your level of Hungarian proficiency. If you know the language at a B1 level or above, then the study period is reduced to one semester.

In late July-early August, the university invites students to their Summer University. The program consists of 30 Hungarian lessons per week, which mainly develop conversational skills. In addition, students study the culture and history of the country: they visit villages, small towns, and reserves in the nearby mountains of Mechek, as well as get acquainted with traditional crafts, music, and dances.

University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary
University of Pécs

Best cities to learn Hungarian


  • Budapest is the largest city and capital of Hungary.
  • Budapest is called the "Queen of the Danube" — in this city, you can get acquainted with the rich history of Hungary, traditional cuisine, and many attractions included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • More than 2000 years ago, Roman legionaries discovered thermal springs here. Now, Budapest boasts six baths: Szechenyi, Gellert, Lukacs, Kiraly, Rudas, and Veli Bey — each with its own unique architecture and features.
  • Under Budapest, there are two caves (the mountain cave in Semli and the Stalactite Cave of Pal-veldi) and an entire underground "maze". The Labyrinth Museum has been used for centuries as a hospital, prison, wartime shelter, and a wine cellar. Since the 1930s, this place has become a large tourist attraction.

    RegionCentral Hungary
    AttractionsSzéchenyi Bath, Hungarian Parliament Building, Andrássy Avenue, Danube Embankment, Central Market Hall.
    Monthly expenses (without accommodation)569 USD


  • The world's only monument dedicated to the gypsy musician Piste Danko is located here.
  • Since 1931, the Szeged Open-Air Festival has been held on the central square in front of the cathedral. This is the largest theater festival in Hungary. Approximately 70000 people attend plays, musicals, operas, and dance performances every year.
  • In 1879, a flood on the Tisza River almost completely destroyed the city. Emperor Franz Joseph decided to rebuild it. Russia, Austria, Germany, France, England, Italy, and Belgium sent financial aid to Szeged. Decades later, the city was restored, and the new ring road was divided into several sections that were named after the capitals of the assisting countries.
  • Szeged is the capital of the beloved Hungarian spice — paprika. After the flood, people found a new source of income — the cultivation of sweet peppers. In most Szeged souvenir shops, you will find a jar of hot or sweet paprika.

    RegionSouth Alföld
    AttractionsVotive Church of Szeged, Szeged Synagogue, Piste Danko Monument, Szeged City Hall.
    Monthly expenses (without accommodation)522 USD


  • The University of Pécs was founded by Louis I of Hungary in 1367. This is the oldest university in Hungary and one of the first in Europe.
  • The balneological resort of Harkany is located 25 kilometers from the city of Pécs. In 1823, medicinal waters rich in sulfur were discovered here, and a city was built.
  • The city of Pécs has a rich history. It was founded by the Romans over 2000 years ago and named Sopianæ. After their reign, Christian cemeteries, which are included in the UNESCO cultural heritage list, remained. From 1543, the city was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, and after 1686 became a part of the Habsburg Empire.
  • Pécs is one of the wine regions of Hungary. Wine has been made here since the reign of the Roman Empire.
  • In 2010, Pécs was named the European Capital of Culture along with Istanbul and Essen. Thanks to this, the famous Zsolnay Quarter was built in the city.

    RegionSouth Transdanubia
    AttractionsSzéchenyi Square, Romanesque Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, Zsolnay Quarter, Meček Mountains.
    Monthly expenses (without accommodation)503 USD
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