Prospective Students

A warm welcome to all applicants on behalf of the British and Irish Semmelweis Students Association.
As a group we have compiled a welcome package to help you settle into Budapest. Alternatively you may download it  HERE
If you have any questions or simply just require a friendly chat with the current students, please do not hesitate to contact us at our facebook group

School life
Semmelweis is a truly international community. The university embraces nearly 12,500 students from 64 nations around the world; foreign students accounting for nearly a quarter of the total student body. Visiting students are presented with an opportunity in which they might expose themselves to not only the traditions and customs of Hungary but also that of their fellow classmates, encountering different cultures on a world scale.
Faculties: At Semmelweis one can study within the faculties of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy and Health Sciences in 3 different languages, English, German and Hungarian.
The university’s international students are especially active, with the International Students Association of  Semmelweis (ISAS) providing guidance and support for students new to Hungary and also proving an source with ample opportunities in which to get involved in the local scene.
Check out there website
The semmelweis university website

Accomodation

There is no on-campus residential hall but there are areas of the city where students tend to favor above others.
The River Danube divides Budapest into the Buda and Pest sides; it is wise to be located on the Pest side in order to be close to university, libraries, and other classmates.
The best way to choose appropriate accommodation is ideally in relation to proximity to the local underground metro or tram stops.
Deak ter acts as the central hub of Budapest both for metro and tram lines and also in terms of the main pedestrianized shopping street, Vaci utca. This is a popular choice for students as it is where all 3 metro lines converge. There is also a host of new buildings built in this area where a largely international community predominates. For example the new Gozdu udvar block and Central Passage block is very popular on Kiraly utca.
Another fashionable are to live is Kalvin ter, as there are plenty of restaurants and coffee shops, in addition to its close proximity to the library. A renowned fresh food market is also a popular attraction when considering this area and it is only a 10 minute walk from Deak ter in the city center.
The Semmelwise dental building is also located here.
A new and up coming area is Corvin, home to a new complex, Corvin Setany. A cosmopolitan and international area, it is also only one Metro stop from the university’s main science building where in the first two years at least, students will spend the largest part of their time. There is also a new shopping center and cinema built here.
The university does provide an accommodation service. However, we do not recommend using this. Instead we would advise the many housing websites and estate agencies found in the recommended areas.
Furthermore, from experience of quite a number of students,  “Tower Rentals” is not an agency which we would recommend dealing with, as they do not have a good reputation within the international community.
If you would like a roommate you can leave a comment on the BISSA facebook page and maybe find one there.
The best way to start the search for an apartment is to begin at least one month prior to the beginning of the school year.  Arriving in early August will provide you with enough time to search for the perfect apartment and location.  By late August, many apartments have been rented out or sold. A timely arrival will afford you the opportunity to find what is best for you, as opposed to settling with what is left.
Ensure you look at several different apartments in order to get a general feeling for what it is you are searching for and have several options open to you. Central heating is the cheapest method of heating in apartments and is sometimes tied in with common costs. The alternative is gas heating, which is more common but also more expensive.
Once you have found the perfect apartment, make sure to discuss all your needs with the owner prior to signing the contract, whether it is the need of a new desk, bed, etc. Be sure to have this discussion before signing the contract. It is also important to receive a letter of approval for setting up an Internet connection.  Without this letter, it will be very difficult to install Internet in the apartment and also find out which Internet connection is available in the district.  In addition, the landlord will need to provide you with an Address Registration Form (lakasbejelento) that will allow you to receive a residence permit.  It is expected that you pay up to two or three months rent in advance as a deposit and it is best to have someone with you as a witness.
The average price of accommodation for a 1 bed apartment is 250-400 euro and for a 2 bed from 550 to 700.
For the first 2 years, students are mostly located at Klinikak and Nagyvard ter, both situated on the blue metro line.
There are four main areas where Semmelweis University has its facilities:
Klinikák metro stop (on the blue metro) – This is the biggest area and is rightfully named Klinikák (clinics).
NET building at Nagyvarad square – the third tallest building in downtown Budapest. It is in the process of being renovated and one of the most visited buildings by 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students.
The brand new main building in the Tuzolto street – This is simply AMAZING!  Houses most of the 1st and 2nd year subjects and is as close to a main campus building one can get at Semmelweis University.

Transport:

Getting to and from Ireland: flights from Dublin go everyday. There are two Ryanair flights and one Aerlingus flight daily, averaging 80 to 150 euro return.
Traveling from Britain: Most major airports have daily flights to Budapest averaging £100 return.
Getting around the city:
The public transport in Budapest is incredible. The need to walk anywhere is minimal with 3 different metro lines- red, blue and yellow. In addition there are a multitude of trams and more buses than one can count.

The medical university is situated on the blue metro line at Klinikak metro stop with the university library located in Kalvin ter on the blue metro also.
Trains: are a great way to get to different countries, eg., Vienna is 3 hours by train from the Keleti east train station.
There are also regional trains to the other major Hungarian cities such as Szeged , Pecs, Debrecen and the largest lake in Hungary Lake Balaton.
Driving: dont get a car … there is very little parking in Budapest and no need for a car.

Food
The food in Hungary is very similar to the food at home. There are huge Tesco and Spar supermarkets dotted all around the city and a corner shop on every street.
Obviously there is not the same brands of food from home but David at the British Pantry http://www.thebritishpantry.hu/ would be very willing to order in any of your favourite foods. He also has an Irish section. eg Barrys tea,  Walkers crisps. He even has Cadburys chocolate fingers!
Also food prices in general are cheaper than at home.

Restaurants
As a student it is very cheap to eat out, and there are numerous restaurants you can choose from.
There is a lot of convenience food just like at home eg. McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, etc…
Jack Doyle’s Irish Pub has the best Sunday roast in town.
There is also the Caledonian Scottish pub which has a mighty fried breakfast.
For a taste of Hungarian food, there is the traditional Paprika restaurant.
For outdoor restaurants there is a square dedicated to outdoor eating on Lizt Ferenc ter.
Alternatively, you might just want to order in. In that case, there is always netpincer.hu

Shopping
Clothing in Budapest is the same as home. There are all the same brands,  Zara, H and M, Pull and Bear, etc… So don’t worry, you don’t have to lug your whole wardrobe over with you.
For household items there is IKEA just like at home.

Nightlife
Bars: The local student bar is Szimpla kert where you will definitely find a familiar face. The average price of a beer or a glass of wine is 2 euro.
Good spots are Dob Osz, Instant, Most, Champ’s sports bar, Jack Doyles Irish pub and Beckett’s.
Clubs: The club scene in Budapest is amazing. There is an entire island on the River Danube solely dedicated to night clubs, remaining open later than 7 o’clock in the morning.
There are also plenty of underground clubs and casual pub clubs like Ottkert, Rum kert, etc…
Once every 2 weeks there is a huge party for the international students held by the International Club Tour in Moulin Rouge and the White Angel clubs.

So what ever you’re in to… it will be here.

Local hangouts: California Coffee Company, Costa Coffee, Vapiano, Frucola.

Leisure:
There is a huge arts scene in Budapest with plenty of art galleries and festivals, inclusive of the Wine fest, Beer fest, Palinka and Cheese festivals.
There is also the world famous christmas market.
If you like cinema, all the usual blockbuster films come to town, in English with an average ticket cost of about 5 euro.
Gym: There are plenty of gyms in Budapest that have good student rates.
Sports clubs:  tag rugby on a Sunday, GAA  team, Women’s rugby, ski trips, floor ball, takwando, ice hockey team, running club, 5 a side soccer,  climbing club, you can find any of the clubs on the notice board in the basics sciences building.

Utilities
Time difference: 1 hour ahead
Currency: Hungarian forint
1 euro: 300 ft
1 pound: 360ft
Electricity voltage: Electricity in Budapest is the European standard 220 Volt with the two round prongs so you need an adapter.
Neighboring countries: Austria, Croatia, Slovakia and Romania.
Language: Hungarian. Three hours of classes per week to learn the basics  with mandatory attendance.
Weather: Summer averaging 25 to 30 deg C,  very sunny all the time. Winter -5/-10. It snows!!!
Talk to BISSA for recommendations and revised book lists, as from our experiance there are too many books on the original list.

Health Insurance:
You can get private Hungarian health insurance or your home insurance can be upgraaded to a global plan. However, everywhere in Hungary accepts the EIHC card, formally called the E1-1. It’s free for every EU citizen and we definitely recommend you to get one.

Teaching
At Semmelweis, the standard of teaching is very good. but like all other universities it is the amount of time and dedication you put in that will decide on how well you do in your exams. For this reason, there is an absents system whereby you can only miss 3 classes in each subject for a semester. This is actually really helpful as it gives you the push to get out of bed even on days when you’re not feeling up to it.
Medical school is no walk in the park, especially Semmelweis. Particularly in the first 2 years, there is a very large work load, and constant evaluation to keep you on top. There are 3 sets of midterm exams in each semester, and you usually need to pass these to be able to take the Christmas and summer exams.
We feel this works very well, when you are constantly studying throughout the year it is alot easier to handle when the finals come up.

Exams:
In the first 2 years there is alot of exams generally a written exam a practical exam and an oral exam.
The oral exams are something that took us a bit of time to get used to. They were a bit nerve racking at first but now we have learned to love them. For example when in anatomy, it is a lot easier to express yourself orally when you can look and touch the body then to write it down.

Holidays:
As it is a multicultural university who celebrate completely different holidays there are no specific holidays. There is the winter exam period which starts at the beginning of December and ends at the beginning of February. You can pick and choose when you want to do your exams. In general if you want to go home for Christmas you do 1 exam before  and then go home, finishing the remainder of your exams in January. There is also a week long rest period at the end of the exams in February.
For the summer it is similiar whereby you choose when you want to do your exams.
Phone
The best way to go, is with Europetell- It is a special sim card that allows free calls to all other people who have this sim. Therefore, the majority of people in school have this sim, allowiung them to call eachother essentially free of  charge. Europetell will have a stand at the freshers orientation day and you can pick up a sim card there.
There is also Vodafone and T Mobile but from experience the above is the best option.

1st year classes
Anatomy
chemistry
biophysics
statistics
sociology
introduction to clinical medicine/ dental physics and dental materials

2nd year
anatomy final
biochemistry
physiology
clinical medicine / odonto technology
intro to diagnostic imaging

6th year
The final year of medicine, you can do most of your rotations art home but it can be difficult. so use any connections you have. they must be completed in any of the EU states
It is compulsory to do 2 weeks of pediatrics in budapest, but everything else can be done at home.

8 subjects
internal medicine and infectology  9 weeks
physciatry  4 weeks
neurology 4 weeks
obs and gyn 5 weeks
family med 2 weeks
pre hospital emergency care 2 weeks
pediatrics 8 weeks
surgery 9 weeks

For insurance: the “ medical protection socitey .co.uk for uk and irl will insure you temporarily for any electives.
If you have a previous degree, you may be able to get an exemption from some of the subjects , if so bring your transcripts and an outline from your course syllabus.

SAC-student affairs committiee
Each year group has a representative that deals with any problems that the year has. There will be an election during the freshmen week ….. so if you think you are a good people person and fit for the job you can contact BISSA for more info.

BISSA- will have there own day where all the british and irish have a chance to meet before the semester starts it is a great way to get advice from previous years and maybe even share notes. Hopefully we will see you there and we can welcome officially welcome you into semmelweis.

Some basic Hungarian:

hello – jo nappot

how are you – hogy vagy

thank you – köszönöm

1 – egy

2 – ketto

3 – harom

4 – negy

5 – öt

WELCOME