The predecessor of Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) was founded in the rural town of Nagyszombat in 1635 by Cardinal Péter Pázmány, as a catholic university for teaching Theology and Philosophy.
With the support of Maria Theresa, the University was transferred to Buda and later to Pest, and with the support of Maria Theresa, the Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, became the Royal Hungarian University.
Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, is located centrally in Hungary. From wherever you come from abroad, you can directly arrive in Budapest. Also, there is a direct train or bus connection to major cities in Hungary. With about 1.7 million inhabitants, Budapest provides an enjoyable and vibrant atmosphere for international students during their studies. The large number of sights to visit (many of them part of the UNESCO World Heritage), vibrant cultural life, reasonable living costs, a well-developed, and easy-to-use public transport network, and safety make Budapest popular among international students.ELTE offers a wide range of sports activities for current and former ELTE students and employees. As an ELTE student, you can take sports courses for credits. The courses are offered by the Physical Education and Sports Center, and you can apply for these sports courses just like any other courses via the Neptun study system. The University Athletics Club offers training in over 30 different sports, both for women and men. If you cannot apply for a sports course via Neptun or you are not an ELTE student, but you would like to do some sport, select from the training offered by the University Athletics Club. This training is especially recommended for international students. The Students’ Union has a two-tier structure: first, the students elect the representatives from themselves; second, the faculties delegate members from the representatives to the University Students’ Union (EHÖK). The University Students’ Union coordinates the work of the Faculty Students’ Unions, represents students in the university government and in the National Students’ Union, and organizes student community life. The Students’ Union is an autonomous organization, which elects the representatives in a democratic way, and all in all, the heart of the students' fellowship.
Hungarian students have priority. If you are lucky enough to secure a dorm room, you will only have to pay 85–150 euros per month! The school has resources students can use to find private housing (shared or alone), which is also reasonable at about 250 euros per month.
I have visited numerous schools in over 10 countries over the past 2 years. Never have I had a meeting like the one I had with administrators in the international office at Eotvos Lorand University. I was really excited to learn more about this university. They are a globally ranked university located in a wonderful part of Budapest. Usually, when I meet with administrators, especially those in the international office, I am told about what sets their school apart and why it’s a good place for international students. Not so much the case during this meeting. I am often hesitant to characterize someone as rude since sometimes language barriers or cultural differences might inadvertently be interpreted that way. Even with that factored in, I can say that the tone of the meeting was absolutely rude. “Why would American students want to study here?” I was asked (in a very brusque tone). I explained why I thought Hungary and Budapest would appeal to American students and explained that the main reason for my visit was in hopes that they could tell me why international students should study at their universities. Their answer? Crickets... absolutely nothing. Finding out any information about the programs, teaching style, and such was like pulling teeth and being told that their professors prefer to focus on their master’s degree programs. I walked away wondering why they were so resistant to providing such basic information. Internationalization is a relatively new initiative in the Eastern part of Europe compared to countries in Western Europe. Different countries and different schools have varying levels of enthusiasm toward this initiative. I definitely got the impression that it was not a priority here at Eotvos Lorand, though I’m unsure if this is true of internationalization as a whole or more directed towards the US. I will say that this is not representative of Budapest or Hungary as a whole. As you will see in the accounts of my other listings, most of the schools I visited are eager to increase internationalization and welcome American students.