Living in Hungary
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A practical guide to the way of life in Hungary
One of the most thriving and best developed states in Central and Eastern Europe, Hungary represents a top destination for expats and tourists around the world. Dive into a detailed description of the country's education, healthcare system and transport infrastructure!
Life in Hungary
Transportation in Hungary
The way people get around in Hungary has developed in recent years, and a good amount of investment is placed in infrastructure and municipal transport networks. Car ownership is high, but for expats living and working in Hungary’s bigger cities, the urban public transport systems are well developed and cheap.
Bus, metro and even boat services are available in large cities such as Budapest. If you’re living slightly further afield, expect rural transport to be difficult at times. A lot of Hungary is rural and relatively underdeveloped compared to the urban areas, and public transport can be hard to come by at times. The roads on the whole are good, however, and will connect most villages, towns and cities. Budapest is the only city in Hungary with a metro system, which is cheap, reliable and safe. Additionally, tram systems are still popular and again run with impressive frequency, which makes getting around much easier.
Education in Hungary
One thing that characterizes Hungary’s education system is a good amount of inter-connectivity with neighboring European countries. In recent decades, the development of the education system and EU membership have ensured that most students in Hungary now have limitless access to fantastic universities around Europe and the world.
A lot of emphasis is placed on preschool and primary school education (children start primary school aged 6) and this development is carried through into vocational training or secondary school later in life. In terms of higher or further education, this kind of education is divided between colleges and universities. Before students can get their degree, they have to pass an intermediate level language exam in a language of their choosing. Usually, this is German or English, making both languages widely spoken in Hungary.
Nevertheless, for public schools a certain knowledge of Hungarian is necessary. If you, due to this or other reasons, prefer to send your kid to an international school, there are various such institutions to be found in Budapest.
In terms of universities, accommodation and tuition fees tend to be lower than the rest of Europe, and it has made Hungary an attractive country for students from other European nations. The admission process is straightforward, and most courses are taught in English. Studying in Hungary opens up excellent employment opportunities around the European Union.
Healthcare in Hungary
There is a tax funded, universal healthcare system in Hungary and people tend to be covered with health insurance, allowing them free healthcare. Note that this is not necessarily the case for you as an expatriate, though!
The general health of the Hungarian population can be described as rapidly improving – healthcare is provided by the state if you are a child, student or old age pensioner – and this approach has enabled the health of Hungary to progress. In terms of hospitals and emergency care, there is a developed rapid response and ambulance network, and recently the introduction of a good air ambulance system has enabled the more remote areas of the country to have access to excellent facilities as well.
The idea of ‘gratitude payments’ still exist – in which you can pay extra for better care – but in terms of ‘medically necessary’ treatment, this is available free of charge for all European citizens in the country.