Learning Hungarian

There are various options to study Hungarian in Hungary, depending on the available time you want to spend learning the language, your current level of Hungarian and general language skills. We have listed some of the most favourite state institutions offering Hungarian language courses.

Hungarian language studies at universities

University of Pécs, Medical School, International Studies Centre

The International Studies Centre (ISC) offers Hungarian language courses throughout the year. Twelve-week-long semester courses are organized in autumn and spring, with four- and two-week-long intensive courses offered in summer and winter.

Semester programme

ISC offers semester courses of Hungarian language both in the autumn and spring terms of each academic year. Hungarian language course during the twelve-weeklong semester contains 48 contact hours. 9 ECTS credits may be earned after a successful written and oral exam.

Intensive programme

ISC offers an intensive Hungarian language course both in summer and in winter. The Hungarian Language Intensive courses are organized around the following guidelines:

  • The training structure comprises five levels from beginner to advanced levels (Breakthrough/A1, Waystage/A2, Threshold/B1, Vantage/B2, Effective Operational Proficiency/C1). Students with some knowledge of Hungarian will be assigned into groups according to their results at a placement test taken on the first day of the language course.
  • Groups are made up of a minimum number of 4 and a maximum number of 10 students.
  • Tuition involves 30 language lessons per week given by professional, dynamic and experienced teachers who are committed to make learning appealing and engaging. Two tuition hours per week are dedicated to pronunciation practice and project work.
  • The curriculum focuses on communication and places the active use of the language into the foreground. The activities inside and outside the classroom will ensure that you can take advantage of the manifold opportunities offered by a native-speaking environment.
  • At the end of the course, scholarship holders must take an exam. (The exam is optional for individual applicants.) Upon its successful completion, you will receive a certificate (transcript of records) and you will be awarded ESTS credit points. During your stay, you will also have the possibility to take the internationally recognized ECL Language Examination at the Foreign Language Center at the University of Pécs.

More information: http://www.isc.pte.hu/

University of Szeged

Our English language programs have been designed to communicate Hungarian Studies and contextual subjects to interested foreigners. We teach Hungarian language in an intensive form, and offer various courses related to Hungary and East-Central Europe in English. We are aware of the special needs and interests of international students in our modern times: besides offering traditional cultural subjects such as history, literature, folklore and arts, we also extend our syllabus towards Eastern-European economics, sociology, current politics and other fields of the social sciences.

We have semester programs: from the beginning of September to the middle of December and from the beginning of February to the middle of May. During the semesters we have language classes on five different levels besides the culture classes.

Our Summer School was founded in 2001. We usually have 50-60 students from 15-20 different countries while running language groups on at least four different levels.

The four-week program in August includes language learning on various levels, cultural exposure in combination with academic classes, entertainment and recreational programs as well as regular contact with Hungarian language partners. There is also a possibility to choose a two- or three-week module. We start beginner courses only at the beginning of the program. The workload equals 12-9-6 ECTS credits for the 4-3-2-week courses respectively. The main components of the program are as follows:

We have Hungarian as a foreign language (HFL) courses at various levels (beginner, lower-, upper intermediate, and advanced -- dependent upon a placement test). Language groups are always kept below 15. The language component includes 4 hours a day in the morning with professional HFL teachers plus 2 hours afternoon practice with Hungarian language partners.

Hungarian society, history and culture in an European Context (HS): these lectures and seminars cover Hungarian literature, art, film, history, linguistics, economics, geography and music (2 hours every day) and are offered both in English and Hungarian. The instructors are professional staff of our university; our guest lecturers are renowned experts in their field.

We have a lot of cultural programs as well, among them opening, closing and international banquets, folk dance evening, field trips to Budapest and Ópusztaszer.


Eötvös Loránd University

Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) is Hungary’s oldest university, where teaching has continued uninterrupted since its inception in 1635. The university has gradually expanded and today it consists of eight faculties with 28,200 students and nearly 1,800 professors. ELTE has international relations with 450 universities all over the world and has been developing and maintaining these relations for the benefit of both Hungarian and foreign students.

The teaching of Hungarian language and culture for non-Hungarian speakers dates back to the foundation of the Department for Hungarian Language in 1792. Today the Department of Hungarian as a Foreign Language builds upon this far-reaching tradition. Utilizing self-developed teaching materials and employing the best professionals of the field, the Department offers Hungarian language and culture courses covering all levels from complete beginner (A1) to proficiency levels (C2), based on by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Language courses

The Department offers full-semester General Hungarian language courses and Special courses on Hungarian language and culture. The 13-week courses start at the beginning of both spring and autumn semesters. The curriculum has been developed for one or two 90-minute classes per week for a period of one semester. Students get 3 ECTS credits after successfully completing the course.

The aim of the General Hungarian language courses is to improve the four basic language skills (reading, listening, speaking, and writing) by applying the communicative methodology, authentic learning materials and multimedia tools.

The Special courses on Hungarian language and culture focus on one specific text type (e.g. journalistic or argumentative texts), on developing one specific skill (reading, listening, speaking, or writing), or on the deeper understanding of Hungarian culture.

The General Hungarian language course and the Special course on Hungarian language and culture complement each other and thus it is possible to attend both courses in the same semester.

The Department also offers Intensive Hungarian language courses for beginners to help newcomers easily integrate in Hungary.

Hungarian Business Language Courses are also available at the Department. These courses are tailor-made courses for individuals, small groups, and companies. The start date, length, intensity, and focus of courses are all adjusted to individual needs.


Summer University of Hungarian Language and Culture

In the summer, Eötvös Loránd University organizes a summer university on Hungarian language and culture. The summer university program is built up of three main modules: intensive Hungarian language classes from beginner to proficiency levels (60–90–120 classes), lectures on Hungarian culture, arts, and history (8–10–12–16 classes), and cultural programs, including museum visits, dance house visits, sightseeing in and around Budapest, and an excursion to Lake Balaton.

A discount at the summer university is offered to ELTE alumni, i.e. former ELTE students and former incoming exchange students at ELTE. The students are awarded with 6 ECTS credits after successfully completing the summer university.


University of Debrecen

Debrecen Summer School - Hungarian language for foreigners since 1927

Debrecen Summer School (DSS) is an education institution specializing in teaching Hungarian as a foreign language and Hungarian culture. As an independent institution, DSS is connected to the University of Debrecen through numerous links. Its mission is to provide students with a thorough knowledge of both Hungarian language and culture.

Unique among Hungary’s similar language-teaching institutions, this summer school draws upon well-founded and long-standing traditions. Established in 1927, the Summer School has grown to become the biggest Hungarian summer school. Every year, more than 1,400 students from 30–40 countries are taught by the experienced Debrecen Summer School staff of about 50 teachers, who are all recognised as experts in teaching Hungarian as well as foreign languages. Our language courses cover the whole spectrum of language teaching, from beginner to advanced levels. Intermediary languages are used when necessary in lower-level courses. Our courses use DSS’s own language-teaching material, the Hungarolingua series. During the summer courses, lectures are offered on Hungarian history and culture in addition to regular language classes.

Extracurricular activities include concerts, discos, folk-dance parties, sessions of singing folk songs, gastronomic events and film screenings. Weekend excursions are offered to familiarize students with the most important natural, cultural, and historical features of eastern Hungary. On-campus accommodation and three meals a day are provided for course participants. Thematic courses of Hungarian are recommended for those speaking Hungarian at advanced or near-native levels, while courses in English are offered to students who do not speak Hungarian but are keenly interested in some aspect of Hungarian culture.

As the country’s most prestigious Hungarian language school, DSS has long been involved in activities designed to bring together people from communities across the globe.

More information: http://www.summerschool.hu/

Balassi Institute

The Balassi Institute teaches Hungarian as a foreign language for more than 55 years. The Institute offers, besides many other educational activities, Hungarian language courses for foreign students at all levels, from basic to advanced (A1-C1). It offers 15 week-long courses, and shorter, 10 week-long courses, with three types of basic courses of each (6, 12 or 20 lessons/week).

The Balassi Summer University is one of the popular study opportunities for students above 18, because during the 4 weeks of the course they can study the language, have lectures in English about Hungarian culture, go for excursions and have various options for free-time activities in the capital of Hungary. There are scholarship possibilities for summer university offered by the Hungarian Scholarship Board and Balassi Institute as well.

The students study in small groups of 4-12, they can attend free phonetics lessons, can access the internet, use the language laboratory and can avail themselves of the materials in the library of the Balassi Institute for free.

The Institute also provides courses on Hungarian studies for non-Hungarians. For those planning to study at Hungarian universities, it provides one-year intensive preparatory courses in Hungarian. Here you can also take state-accredited and international ECL exams in Hungarian as a foreign language. The Balassi Institute also operates a scholarship and assistance system in Hungarian studies and runs a reference library on Hungarian studies for teachers, researchers and students.

More information: http://www.balassiintezet.hu/en/hungarian-language-courses/

Latest news

January 18, 2017 11:46
Some good reasons to study in Hungary

Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme „Call for Application 2017-2018 academic year” is announced! The scholarship is open for more than 50 countries! Get prepared, watch the video interviews with international students to learn about the benefits of studying in Hungary. http://www.tka.hu/international-pr…/…/stipendium-hungaricum/

January 18, 2017 10:13
Some of the Key Numbers in Infograph

Check out the infograph to find out how many international students would choose Hungarian higher education again, which are the most common reasons to choose Hungary and what are the most popular services among students.

January 12, 2017 15:55

Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) organizes online information sessions, webinars for international students who are interested in the degree programs and funding possibilities at ELTE.