Extracurricular activities are generally scheduled for late afternoons and weekends and will be organized so as not to overlap each other. Some of these activities (like the Budapest City Rally and Movie Club) are offered as a courtesy of AIT, while some others (like cultural and sport programs, and excursions within Hungary) will be provided for additional fees.
AIT organizes a wide range of cultural events and excursions for its students. All of them are optional, except for the orientation and closing events. Some of the activities are organized and orchestrated by AIT staff (like guided city tours with professional tour guides) while others are just proposed and coordinated by AIT (like visiting baths, or opera and concert tickets), where students are free to finalize the details. In addition to the AIT organized events, US students are encouraged to enjoy the advantages of studying together with Hungarian students. They are happy to take US students to local events and to introduce them to student organizations.
Due to the shortness of the Summer Term, some of the following activities may not be offered.
The list of planned extracurricular activities in each semester includes:
- Budapest City Rally
The Budapest City Rally is organized at the beginning of the semester, during the orientation period. It is a game that helps students get to know each other and the city. Students form small groups and follow a route through downtown Budapest, visiting points of interest and accomplishing various tasks.
- Guided Budapest tours
Several guided tours will be organized in Budapest: the Buda side of the city; the Pest side of the city; the Hungarian National Gallery; the Budapest Museum of History; Jewish Budapest; the international and Hungarian secession; Statue Park; the Hungarian Parliament; the caves of Budapest; and the Hungarian State Opera.
Costs: Between 2000-8000 HUF (approx. $10-40).
- Opera and concert visits
Students taking the Hungarian Music course will attend two musical events during the semester. Concerts and opera performances take place in the Palace of Arts, the Opera House, or in one of the several cultural venues of Budapest. Students who don’t take the Hungarian Music course can also attend these musical events.
Cost: concert and opera tickets are usually between 1500-10000 HUF (approx. $7-50).
A one-day weekend hiking trip in the Buda hills will be organized. The students get to see the green hills of Budapest, take a panoramic trip on the chairlift, and a ride on the heritage forest railway.
Cost: chairlift ticket is 1300 HUF (approx. $6), heritage railway ticket is 500 HUF (approx. $2-3).
- Excursions to the Hungarian countryside
In the summer pilot program a trip was organized to Gödöllő (a small town with a beautiful castle about 20 miles northeast from the outskirts of Budapest) and Hollókő (a carefully preserved traditional settlement about 60 miles from the capital). Similar 1-day tours to the Hungarian countryside will be organized in the spring of 2011.
Cost: depending on the destination, between 18000-28000 HUF (approx. $85-130).
- Thermal bath visits
Budapest and Hungary are famous for their thermal baths. The most well-known baths of Budapest are the Széchenyi Bath and the Gellért Bath. Visiting these thermal baths is highly recommended for everyone, especially in the cold winter time. AIT staff can help students to organize a group visit.
Cost: bath entrance tickets are between 3200-3900 HUF (approx. $15-18).
- Movie club
The movie club is going to meet 6 times during the semester on AIT campus. Screenings will be held after classes. Interested students will have the chance to see Hungarian movies with English subtitles. The movie club is part of the Hungary through Hungarian Cinema course but offered for everyone.
An afternoon cooking is planned, where students will have the chance to get to know Hungarian cuisine and to prepare (and eat) a traditional Hungarian 3-course dish.
Cost: approx. 4000-5000 HUF ($20-25).