Finding an accommodation was pretty easy; there are several websites that lists available apartments every week. In addition, there were a lot of real estate firms around in Budapest you could go to, to get help. The rental cost itself was actually not that lower than Brisbane, as you had to sign a contract for only a couple of months, which made the rental a bit higher (since they preferred longer rental contracts). However, you got a lot more for your money, the apartments were really modern and newly renovated. The city is divided into districts, and when you arrive, you will understand which district is the most popular. However, in regards to the distance to the university the location was not an issue, as the transport systems were so convenient. However, district 5 were the most expensive district, as this is most modern and where most of the tourist stay. This was the district I lived in, however, price wise I was really lucky with my apartment, and the owners were really nice and helpful. District 6 and 7, and some parts of 8, are also really nice districts to live in. The further you get out of these districts you will realize that the shops for example would like you to pay with cash, signalling that it is a bit more “shady” in these suburbs.
However, after just a week, you just expect for example that the cashier at the local supermarket will not ask you if you want a bag, and if you need one after you have paid, he/she will most likely look pissed off because you forgot to ask for one in the first place. Saying these things might make you wonder how it is to go out for a couple drinks or to a nightclub. During my months in Budapest, I did not witness any violence or problems at any bars or nightclubs. The crowd in Budapest are so international, and the culture of going out to eat and drink is so good, everyone does it! The atmosphere when you are out dining or drinking is just amazing (and cheap, hehe). They use “Hungarian Forints”, where 1000 HUF is 5 AUD, for 1000 HUF you get easily for example two beers at a bar, not to promote alcohol too much.
Over to the serious stuff, Corvinus University of Budapest! The campus is made up of old buildings with beautiful architecture, where only the business building is totally new and modern. The campus is located beside “Donau” river, and you have some amazing spots to sit and study/eat there. You can easily walk to the 5th district in 10 minutes, or take the “tram” to the 7th district and be there in 20 minutes. Again, the university is so international, both the students and the tutors! The university is ranked really well among the universities in Eastern/Central Europe, and Corvinus is the best one in Hungary. The good thing about their study program is that it is compulsory to attend all the classes; you can only miss each subject three times, if you miss more than that, you will fail the class. In addition, your attendance and your participation will be marked! In that way, I was able to experience a great learning curve, and earn top grades in each of my subjects. I did Financial Markets, Tourism Marketing, Brand Management, Decision Technques and International Business. The classes were really interactive, and enabled all the students to participate a lot. Through the classes I met a lot of international students who were on exchange, they came from all over the world. We all became good friends and I still have contact with many of them.
The exchange semester allowed me to get a totally new perspective on how to enjoy life while being able to study well and get the good grades I wanted. I became more open-minded and I started showing sides of my-self that I never thought existed, both socially and with my studies. You understand how to cope with different kinds of people, as I was facing some many different personalities at one time. Grab the chance of doing something else if you can, and enjoy the ride! Do not stress too much about getting accommodation before you get there, as you have to experience the city yourself, and realize where the best place is for you. Thank you QUT for this opportunity, I would have done it again if I could!