Passport and visa
Important note for the academic year of 2020/21:
In order to enter Hungary, you will need a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond your planned return date to the U.S.
Unlike in previous semesters, all nationalities are now required to obtain visas to enter Hungary, and the visa process can take 3 months. Tourist visas generally are not granted, but students are granted in most cases. After acceptance, if you already have the necessary permission from your school to study abroad, please try to get an appointment at a Hungarian Consulate (application may be submitted in person in Washington, DC; New York, NY, Chicago or Los Angeles, CA) as soon as possible. Otherwise ask your study abroad office when a decision is expected and try to get an appointment after that date.
If you need further assistance, you can always contact the AIT Budapest Office.
You may make travel arrangements through any experienced travel agent. Each of the agencies listed below has had experience arranging travel to Hungary for North-American students:
You should be aware that the cost of a flight to Budapest can vary as much as several hundreds of dollars from one travel agency to another or "on-line". Shopping around to compare prices is a good idea.
When making your travel plans please bear in mind that prior the semester we are organizing an orientation period with useful academic and non-academic information. This is also the period of registration and visiting the Immigration Office for residential permits.
Due to jet lag, you might be very tired during the first few days. Therefore, we recommend you to arrive in Budapest one or two days prior to the beginning of your studies.
Recent changes in immigration regulation require every student in the Hungarian higher education system to obtain health insurance from a Hungary-based insurer. To meet these requirements all international students will be enrolled in and billed for the AIT-sponsored insurance plan. The price of the insurance policy is 41,700 HUF (approximately $150) for one semester.
On orientation day you will be taken to a health care center which provides a 24/7 emergency telephone helpline and English speaking doctors and nurses. Should you have any health problems during your stay, you will be able to turn to them.
Things to take along
Don't forget your passport, visa, airline ticket, a major credit or debit card, and a sufficient amount of money in cash to cover immediate expenses upon arrival. A dozen extra passport-type photos may come in handy. We recommend that you carry important names and telephone numbers (such as AIT staff phone numbers and campus address) with you in your carry-on luggage.
It is important that you bring an ample supply of any medicine you frequently use. Take shoes and clothes appropriate for all seasons. Apartments come completely furnished with such things as furniture, sheets, towels, kitchenware, etc. Clothes dryers are not used in Hungary.
While traveling, keep your passport, cash, and a week's supply of any vital medication in your carry-on luggage. Although unlikely, it may happen that checked baggage is put on the wrong plane. At check-in time, make certain your baggage is labeled inside and out with your final destination: AIT-Budapest, Záhony u. 7., Budapest, 1031, Hungary.
The voltage used in continental Europe is 220 V. This renders most American appliances useless unless they are convertible, battery-operated, or you have an adapter. Note that the outlet geometry is also different. For battery-operated devices, it may be advisable to take a set of spare batteries along for the trip. Sometimes, it may be difficult to get the right size battery.