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AIT - Budapest


AIT was established in 2007 by the successful Hungarian software entrepreneur, Gábor Bojár, to provide an exceptional study abroad experience to North American undergraduates in IT fields. AIT received its accreditation through Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), which is one of the largest universities in Hungary, and was founded in 1782 as the first engineering institution at the university level in Europe. The AIT campus is located in a state of the art business park in Budapest that houses top multinational IT and R&D companies.



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Yes, I recommend this program

This is definitely not a cultural study abroad program, however the option to study Hungarian Language and Culture provide some opportunity for motivated students to fill this gap. Beyond that, the has some incredible professors/courses and some flops. If possible, talk to a recent grad of the program to see which are worth taking. On the whole, the program isn't particularly taxing, though it can be if enough courses are taken. This goes back to the cultural aspect of the program – most social experiences must be self-inititated. That isn't to say they can't be awesome, but for some that is a possible red flag.

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Yes, I recommend this program

AIT Budapest was an awesome experience. The academic program was well organized, and the city was always great to explore. Getting around can be a bit difficult at first, but very easy to get the hang of.

What would you improve about this program?
I ask that the Computer Vision course give a full number of credits, as it was quite challenging and required more hours than expected.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I participated in the summer term and had a very enjoyable and informative experience. The mobile software development course was both interesting and useful. We produced a lot of examples that demonstrated the best practices for each platform. The support staff made themselves available. Budapest is a fun city with great (and cheap) nightlife. Housing was made very simple. I was very pleased with my experience.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked more programs organized by the support staff for the whole group. It would have also been nice to have a better sense of things to bring, such as a mobile phone with a sim card that could be switched out, adapters that would fit in the sockets (not all adapters are created equal...) and other small things that like, which help things run a little smoother.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I had a great time at AIT. It's a small program, so it's easy to get to know everyone really well.

Course-wise, I was pretty pleased with my classes. They were all really interesting and not the kind of thing I would have been able to take at my home school. The professors were all great. More importantly, the classes weren't so difficult that I couldn't take weekend trips around Europe on a whim.

Budapest is an amazing city, and our apartments were right in the middle of the city, which was fantastic. If there is one thing I regret about my stay, it's not taking advantage of all Budapest has to offer. There were a few weekends where I stayed in and did work or something. Don't make my mistake.

For me, the highlight of the program was definitely the coordinators. They are all wonderful people who put a huge effort into their jobs, from spending a few hours with me when I flew in to help me get situated to arranging for a lot of awesome things for us to do like a weekend trip to Lake Balaton or entering us into a rowing competition.

What would you improve about this program?
This is my fault, but I really wish that I had made more time to do the touristy bit and learn more about the history of Budapest.

I also would have like to spend more time with Hungarians. The time I did spend with them (students, coordinators, and friends) was awesome, and I wish I could have done that more. It would be nice if AIT did more to facilitate that, especially at the beginning of the semester.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Great balance of academics and free-time/culture. You can take as easy or as challenging a course-load as you like, and the professors are truly top-notch. The AIT staff are also incredibly helpful, and really welcome students into the program and Budapest. I couldn't have been happier with my time at AIT!

What would you improve about this program?
The location of the school -- it's about a 30-40 minute commute from the city center (but totally worth it!)


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Berit Johnson

Berit is 20 years old and from Eden Prairie, Minnesota. She is an Electrical and Computer Engineering major at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering.

Why did you decide to study abroad with AIT-Budapest?

I don't speak any languages other than English and my school doesn't offer a lot of hard-core computer science classes. AIT offers both-- in addition to a slightly later application deadline which was perfect! Hungary is well known for the quality of its mathematics education (which I thought might also apply to CS). I also wanted to get a unique cultural experience, and I thought that I would have better luck outside of Western Europe.

How has this experience impacted your future?

The first time I ever had to pay rent and cook for myself was in Budapest. In this sense, I became much more independent. It's nice to know that I can live on my own in a country where I don't speak the language and survive.

I met a lot of great people and hopefully, I'll be able to stay in contact with them in the future.

Academically, I found the classes to be interesting and very different from what I would have at my home school. Hopefully, the classes will give me a new perspective on problems I tackle in the future, but that remains to be seen.

Tell us about an experience you had that you could not have had at home.

I went to the aftermath of a pig slaughter held by a local university, (ie the feast). I ate the most delicious, freshest sausage imaginable with a mix of American and Hungarian AIT students and a Gypsy band playing in the background. I was vegetarian before coming to Budapest but I still pine for the taste of that hurka.

Tell us about any interesting cultural tidbits you noticed about your country.

Most everything in Hungary has a slight tang of communism. There are also a lot of areas where Hungarian attitudes are very different from American attitudes. I think they tend to be more open and straightforward than Americans and not as anxious about bending rules.

They also like before-and-after maps in which they refer to the once-great Austria-Hungarian Empire as "Hungary". Also meat. On our last day, we had the one Hungarian vegetable dish lecsó. It was full of hot dog slices!