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Schools in Hungary: types, advantages, features of enrollment for foreigners

Secondary education in Hungary is compulsory for all citizens of the country. The official language of instruction is Hungarian, but for national minorities, there are schools with instruction in their native language (Serbian, Romanian, German, Croatian, or Slovak).

Among the main advantages of secondary education in Hungary for foreigners, the following points can be highlighted:

  • Hungarian education meets European standards, which guarantees its high quality;
  • low cost of training;
  • there is no discrimination against immigrants;

studying at a Hungarian school allows you to receive a diploma from a prestigious European university.

Type of educational institution

The education system in Hungry is consist of:

  • Kindergarten

5-6 years (required)

  • Elementary School

6-14 (15) years old

  • Gymnasium

10 (12, 14) -18 (19) years

  • The secondary specialized educational institution

14-18 (19, 20) years old

  • Professional educational institution

14-18 years old

  • University (universities, institutes)

If you have a certificate of secondary education

Compulsory attendance at kindergarten is required only one year before the start of school. 

Children are admitted to the school based on a certificate obtained at a preschool educational institution.

School education is divided into two levels:

  • initial;
  • the average.

After primary school, the child is transferred to a gymnasium or a secondary specialized educational institution. You can enter such institutions only if you have a certificate confirming the completion of the education in primary school. Upon graduation from the gymnasium, children receive a secondary education certificate.

You can enter a secondary specialized educational institution from the age of fourteen – after finishing eight-year elementary school.

Hungarian schools: features of the educational process

The academic year begins on the first working day of September and ends in mid-June.

Autumn vacations last one week, winter – ten days, spring – one week, and summer – 11 weeks. The schools provide for a five-day school week.

The formation of classes takes place taking into account the mental abilities of children – children with different abilities should study in the same class.

Knowledge is assessed on a five-point scale. Students in the first and third grades are not given marks, only a textual description of the student’s abilities are given.

Teachers discuss teaching methods with parents, but the choice of textbooks remains with the teacher. All textbooks are purchased at the expense of parents.

There are specialized schools and gymnasiums. In gymnasiums with in-depth study of foreign languages, there is an additional preparatory class, where students study the chosen language for a whole year. Besides, general education disciplines are taught: native language, mathematics, literature, etc.

In Hungary, children usually go to school without basic reading and writing skills. This is not taught in all kindergartens and therefore these skills are not considered mandatory. In the elementary grades, training is based on the principle of the minimum load. Homework is done either with the teacher on an extended day or at home.

Many schools practice notifying parents of grades by email. Also, grades are put down in special notebooks with the school stamp, where the child’s achievements and detailed recommendations are also entered. School education provides for three or four physical education sessions per week.

How to send the child to a Hungarian school?

When registering a child in a Hungarian school, several peculiarities must be taken into account.

Firstly, in Budapest, it is difficult to arrange a child in a school outside the place of registration. Even if the family lives several houses from the school, but is assigned to another institution, you will have to enroll in the latter. The registration also takes into account such a factor as the remoteness of the parents’ workplace.

A few days after enrollment, one of the students may want to transfer to the school at the place of your registration, but there are no vacant places there. In such situations, students are exchanged between schools. Thus, sometimes there is still a chance to get into the desired school.

There is a small student card and school pass fee upon registration. At the end of the summer, textbooks are sold. It is better to immediately buy the whole set at a parent meeting, so as not to run around the shops later.

The first of September in Hungary is a holiday for both children and parents. On the Hungarian “Day of Knowledge”, you can give the main teacher a small bouquet. The academic year begins with a solemn event at which the school director speaks. Then the floor can be given to one of the high school students. Classes begin on the same day.

Standardized exams in Hungary

Standardized exams in Hungary start at high school and continue until University. After graduating from high school, students take an exam called Matura (final exam), which consists of five subjects: mathematics, literature and grammar, foreign language, history, and the student’s written or oral exam. choice. These exams are required for university admission.

Private schools in Hungary

There are private schools in Hungary, but most of them are located in Budapest. Private schools provide a specific curriculum and modern approaches to teaching and are free from government regulation.

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

Private school cost in Hungary

Most private schools do not show tuition or fees on their website. A meeting is welcome to talk about packing and boarding. Typically, private tuition can cost up to thousands of dollars (USD) per semester. Many schools also charge an application fee.

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