Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE) is an university member which interchanges with the University of Seoul (UOS). For Hungarians, ELTE is known as one of the most prestigious universities in their country. Currently, the university has an enrollment of about 3,000 international students. The UOS Times visited the Faculty of Humanities at ELTE to experience its campus. Moreover, we had the chance to interview one of the students at UOS who has studied at ELTE. Lastly, we offer a glimpse of ELTE with several photos of the campus.
▲ A main gate of Faculty of Humanities of ELTE
Background of ELTE
The UOS Times visited ELTE and met Csaky Adam, an international coordinator at ELTE. Ms. Adam made sure to remind us that she was the coordinator for “the Faculty of Humanities.” Note that the word “faculty” is similar to the word “college.” She explained that each faculty is situated in different regions across Budapest and each had its own administrative organizations. This kind of system is completely different from that of UOS, in which all eight colleges are located in the same place, and a central office takes the overall responsibility of managing the committee, administrative organizations, colleges, and the faculty council.
Also, Ms. Adam introduced a long history of ELTE. ELTE was established in 1635 and so is the oldest university in Hungary. The Faculty of Humanities was one of the colleges established in the first year of establishment. Moreover, ELTE has a brilliant legacy on the field of physiology and medicine studies. It was awarded the Nobel Prize twice on these fields in 1937 and in 1961. Above all, there is a Nobel Prize winner in Physics and Chemistry, and another won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. To that extent, we cannot help but emphasize that ELTE has a number of outstanding achievements in academic fields.
Advice on being an Exchange Student at ELTE
After coming back to Korea, The UOS Times searched for UOS students who studied at ELTE, and we found Lee Yu-rim (Dept. of Urban Sociology, ’15). We asked her to share her experiences at ELTE and Budapest and words of advice for would-be exchange students there.
▲ Campus in Faculty of Humanities of ELTE
Advice No. 1. Prepare the prerequisite documents thoroughly!
She emphasized the importance of the preparation of documents before departure. “I almost failed to be admitted to depart Korea for ELTE because I had not received a letter of acceptance. These certificates are critical for immigration inspection so applicants must contact ELTE beforehand and receive a letter of acceptance in advance.” Moreover, she suggested that one should also prepare a certificate of deposit balance. “This is necessary when issuing a resident card in Budapest. Recipient themselves can only issue a certificate and it is too difficult and takes tedious efforts to do so in Hungary, so I would like to recommend students to prepare it before departure.”
▲ Budapest not different from Seoul
Advice No. 2. You do not have to worry about public safety in Budapest!
When The UOS Times visited Budapest, we could feel that Budapest has several similarities with Seoul. It was just like what Lee described. She particularly mentioned that public security was way better than what she had expected. “Many Koreans expect life in Hungary to be unsafe and that pickpocketing would may be rampant. That might be because many people in Korea have stereotypes about East Europe being unstable societies.” However, her impressions of Budapest were not that negative. “Fortunately, Budapest was safer than what most of us anticipate it would be. I usually walked through the streets at dawn, but there were a few people walking along the streets, so I did not feel scared. I also think Budapest is much safer from pickpockets or other harassments than other European cities.”
ELTE is one of the most internationalized and prestigious universities within Hungary and even throughout Eastern Europe. Moreover, Hungary is a country in which anyone can stay and study without worries of security. For us, ELTE turned out to be one of the most attractive universities. It would be a great opportunity to be a part of such elite university with a long history which has also been widely acknowledged of its academic performance.