Education in Budapest

School system in Budapest

Home > Expat Guides > Europe > Hungary > Budapest

Hungary has both a public and private school system. The school year runs from beginning of September and finishes mid-June for the whole country. A school year lasts 40 weeks (180 days) and consists of two semesters (autumn and spring). The majority of classes are taught in Hungarian, however it is possible to find English-speaking classes, especially at private or international schools. The school system includes the following ages and levels of schooling:

  • Pre-school - As early as 20 months to 3 years old
  • Kindergarten - Ages 3 to 6
  • Elementary - Ages 6 to 12
  • Secondary - Ages 12 to 18
  • Trade School (optional during or after secondary school) - Ages 14 to 17
  • College & University - Ages 17 & up

Ages vary in each school depending on when the students' birthday falls and when they begin pre-school and kindergarten. Children who are school-ready can start elementary school at 6 years old, but no later than 8 years old. This is changing as a new education will require children who turn 6 years old by 31 August to start school that September.

Standardized Examinations in Hungary

Standardized exams in Hungary begin in secondary school and occur up until university. After finishing secondary school, the students take an exam called the Matura (final exam) which consists of five subjects: mathematics, literature and grammar, a foreign language, history, and a written or oral exam of the student's choice. These exams are required for entry into university.

Private Schools in Hungary

There are private schools throughout Hungary, but most are located in Budapest. The private schools allow for a specific curriculum and modern learning approaches and are free from government regulation.

Many Hungarians prefer to send their children to private schools if they can afford it. However, private schools can be very expensive.

Private School Fees in Hungary

Most private schools do not show the tuition or fees on their website. A meeting is encouraged in order to talk about fees and boarding. Typically the cost of private schooling can cost up to thousands of dollars (USD) a semester. Many schools also charge an fee for application.

Universities in Hungary

In order to get accepted in college or university the student must pass their final exams in secondary school and maintain an acceptable GPA for their chosen college or universities. Some universities require letters of recommendation, resumes, interviews, or further examinations.

College education usually lasts for 4 years, while university lasts between 4 to 6 years. Masters degrees can take between 1 to 4 years and PHD's usually take 3 years. Each student's time at university differs depending on his or her curriculum and course load.

Before students get their degree they must pass a foreign language exam. German and English are the two most popular languages.

Universities and colleges in Budapest include:

A full listing of universities and colleges all throughout Hungary can be found at 4International Universities and Colleges.

Libraries in Hungary

Hungary has a selection of libraries for people looking to get professional or academic work done or for browsing the internet or books. Budapest hosts many libraries, which are some of the most beautiful in the world and respected monuments in their own right. The Országos Széchényi Könyvtár (National Széchényi Library), Akadémiai Könyvtár (Library of Hungarian Academics and Science), Budapesti Szabó Ervin Könyvtár, and Országgyulési Könyvtár (Library of the Hungarian Parliament) are the most popular and beautiful.

For more libraries in Budapest, check here.

Update 25/08/2015


Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Pinterest Addthis

Recommended Service Partners

International Movers
International Movers in Budapest
Compare up to 5 quotes from our network of moving companies that can help you plan your international move and relocate your entire family.
Expatriate health insurance
Expatriate health insurance in Hungary
Apply online for free quotes on repatriation assistance and expatriate and foreign health insurance.
Hotels in Hungary
You will get discount hotel rates, last-minute deals, hot deals, special offers, with a real-time reservation and on-line booking.

Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.

Go to the Forum to talk more about school system in Budapest, education.

Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).