Passport and visa
In order to enter Hungary, students need a valid passport. Passports must be valid for at least 3 months beyond your planned stay in Hungary/Schengen zone.
Unlike in previous semesters, since the Covid-19 pandemic all nationalities are required to obtain a visa in order to enter Hungary. Tourist visas generally are not granted, but in most cases students visas are being granted. Therefore, for the upcoming 2021 summer and fall semesters AIT strongly suggests everyone after acceptance to research their options on how to get to the nearest Hungarian embassy or consulate, in order to apply for a visa.
The Budapest staff is informing all accepted students on time about further necessary visa info, and helps students through the entire process.
You may make travel arrangements through any experienced travel agent. Each of the agencies listed below has had experience arranging travel to Hungary for North-American students:
You should be aware that the cost of a flight to Budapest can vary as much as several hundreds of dollars from one travel agency to another or "on-line". Shopping around to compare prices is a good idea.
When making your travel plans please bear in mind that prior the semester we are organizing an orientation period with useful academic and non-academic information. This is also the period of registration and visiting the Immigration Office for residential permits.
Due to jet lag, you might be very tired during the first few days. Therefore, we recommend you to arrive in Budapest one or two days prior to the beginning of your studies.
Health care and Insurance
AIT health care plan
The AIT health care plan was developed specifically for international students who speak English and are staying in Hungary for a semester. AIT is partnered with a health care service provider called Swiss Clinic (Swiss). Swiss provides access to 24/7 English speaking emergency assistance and response service and includes several non-emergency doctor appointments throughout the semester at Swiss' private clinics in different locations across Budapest. The AIT health care plan is mandatory for all AIT students, is due after arrival and costs:
74,500 HUF (approximately 256 USD) for the term of 2022 spring
90,000 HUF (approximately 310 USD) for the term of 2022 fall
The Hungarian immigration authority requires every international student to have a health insurance that meets the so called "Schengen visa requirements". Students can have this insurance from the U.S. or alternatively they may opt to purchase a Hungarian insurance policy through AIT that costs 47,500 HUF (approximately 163 USD).
The "Schengen visa requirements" are the following:
- A minimum coverage of at least 30,000 EUR (approximately 35,290 USD).
- Covers all member states of the Schengen Area.
- Covers any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent health attention and/or emergency hospital treatment or death, including repatriation of remains
Please check with your insurer - or your study abroad office if your insurance is sponsored by your school - whether your current policy meets the "Schengen visa requirements" or if it can be extended to meet them. If not, please let the AIT staff know about that latest a month before your arrival, so AIT will prepare the AIT sponsored insurance plan for you. The AIT insurance plan is due after arrival.
Things to take along
Don't forget your passport, visa, airline ticket, a major credit or debit card, and a sufficient amount of money in cash to cover immediate expenses upon arrival. A dozen extra passport-type photos may come in handy. We recommend that you carry important names and telephone numbers (such as AIT staff phone numbers and campus address) with you in your carry-on luggage.
It is important that you bring an ample supply of any medicine you frequently use. Take shoes and clothes appropriate for all seasons. Apartments come completely furnished with such things as furniture, sheets, towels, kitchenware, etc. Clothes dryers are not used in Hungary.
While traveling, keep your passport, cash, and a week's supply of any vital medication in your carry-on luggage. Although unlikely, it may happen that checked baggage is put on the wrong plane. At check-in time, make certain your baggage is labeled inside and out with your final destination: AIT-Budapest, Záhony u. 7., Budapest, 1031, Hungary.
The voltage used in continental Europe is 220 V. This renders most American appliances useless unless they are convertible, battery-operated, or you have an adapter. Note that the outlet geometry is also different. For battery-operated devices, it may be advisable to take a set of spare batteries along for the trip. Sometimes, it may be difficult to get the right size battery.