Guilherme Soares in Hungary:

BUDAPEST IS CERTAINLY A CAPITAL WHERE YOU SPEND SIX MONTHS WHITH NO SECURITY PROBLEMS OR BOREDOM.

[On the left: Guilherme. On the right: Heroes’ Square, Budapest.]

Year of the “Mobility Experience”: 2010/2011.
Home institution: ESAD.CR, Caldas da Rainha, Portugal.
Course: Graphic Design.
Host institution: Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest, Hungary.
Course or field of study: Graphic Design.

Why did you choose this school?
I chose mainly because Hungary, among all Erasmus partners, is the only mobility capital available in the graphic design area.

Did you like the school?
Yes, relatively well equipped in terms of computers (2 or 3 rooms with Macs), a typography workshop with Fonts in Lead, workshops of various printing techniques, a very good photo studio and lab. They do not have a graphic workshop to print small format.

[On the left: Underground journey. On the right: “Astória” Square (I was sitting in a Japanese buffet restaurant, 1.60 Euro – mini-dish).]

How far was the school from the city?
By underground 5min. +10/15min. by bus or tram.

Your field of study is well developed in the school?
I think so.

Besides Graphic Design, what areas of study are developed in this school?
They have a strong automotive design department; fashion, sculpture, architecture, animation and photography.

How did you relate to native teachers and students?
Teachers: I related cordially and in a normal way.
Colleagues:  ”authocthon” they are shy and do not interact much on its own initiative, but they are always helpful and friendly.

[On the left: “Deak” Park, central, it has 3 large clubs and a 2nd hand photo store). On the right: Street in Budapest, on the way to the store to develop films (1 Euro – color; 2 Euros – b/w).]

Other information/experiences about the school:
As I mentioned, the photography studio is well equipped with a wide collection of machines from small, medium and large format lenses, adapters for digital medium format machines and their Apple computers for viewing, various types of flashes and softboxes, and all the remnant material with regard to photography studio.

The teacher responsible for the studio lessons for the Erasmus students is originally from England, and speaks perfectly English, unlike the majority of other school teachers.

Where did you stay?
In an apartment in the center of Budapest.

[On the left: Typical English coffee shop. On the right: View of a courtyard (November).]

How far was the apartment from the school? And from the city?
It is at +- 25min. by public transport.

The apartment was good?
Let’s say that the price had the appropriate conditions for a good student life.

How much did it cost?
It cost 75,000 HUF, ie + – 260 Euros per T2 apartment (for 4 people) with kitchen and living room.

Other information/experiences:
The heating is expensive. In the winter it costs between 50 and 120 Euros per person by month, depending on the number of people who share the expenses. This applies to the city, in any home.

[On the left: Tram trip. On the right: View over a courtyard (November).]

What did you think of the city?
The city is perfect in terms of activities, nightlife and proximity of countries to visit.

Did you experience difficulties with the language?
Hungarian is practically undecipherable, yet numbers and basic words are relatively easy to learn.

Did you like the food?
As for the traditional Hungarian cuisine, I did not like, except in a country town lost in Hungary, however there are restaurants all over the city where you can eat enriched or new versions of traditional dishes that can be quite good. The “Nouvelle cusine” is easy to find and cheap.

How was the standard of living?
In general it is cheaper living in Budapest than in Lisbon, since transport is cheaper and very punctual, a meal out costs between 2 Euros and 7 Euros; the supermarket products are priced the same as those in Portugal but maybe a little cheaper (there are no fresh fish).

Did you visit other cities?
Yes, Debrecen – the second largest city in the country, where I did EILC, small, interesting, quiet. The university campus is in the middle of a forest.

[On the left: Overlooking the bridge (from inside the tram). On the right: Basement with pool tables (1.50 Euros/hour day; 3.50 Euros/hour night).]

What do you think are the major cultural differences?
Differences in the way of dressing, eating habits, and in all that relates to the profound differences between the two countries.

Did you receive a grant?
No.

Did you friendships with natives?
A few.

Do you plan to go back?
Absolutely!

What do you think that this experience brought to you in the personal and professional level?
What we can observe and absorb while living in a different country is invaluable, even being a “cliché”, Erasmus is a unique experience, especially for having taken place specifically at this age, but of course it depends on each one.

Did you experience some adventure or strange situation you’d like to share?
In Budapest there are “garbage days” once a year in each parish, where the Hungarians throw away treasures with 60 years old or more, of past regimes and wars, it may be found in trash, in the street: photo collections, furniture of all ages, frames and all sorts of antiques.

A recommendation for future “Mobility Students”:
Budapest is certainly a capital where you spend six months with no security problems or boredom.
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Helder Gorjão in Hungary:
TIME TO THINK, TIME TO LIVE, FREEDOM TO WORK WITHOUT ANY CONDITION – THAT’S WHAT BUDAPEST GAVE ME !


[On the Left: Mountains in northern Hungary. On the right: Parliament building.]

Year of the “Mobility Experience”: 2011.
Home institution: ESAD.CR, Caldas da Rainha, Portugal.
Course: Fine Arts
Host institution: Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest, Hungary
Course or field of study: Photography.

Why did you choose this school?
It’s a good question … This was the only option I’ve made, I chose this school because of the country – it is cheaper than Portugal (cost of living) and because of the photography department.

Did you like the school?
It is a good school but it cannot be compared with the ESAD.CR conditions.

How far were the school from the city?
The school is organized in several campuses, spread over various locations in the city. The central services with some departments (such as photography) are in the Buddha, is about 15 min. from the main station (tram, metro and bus), the department of textiles are in Pest (and other split by other buildings).

[At Left: Budapest. At right: Balaton (lake).]

Your field of study is well developed in the school?
Yes, it has a studio, digital lab (with Macs, scanners, an Epson photo quality printing), a analog lab (with about 5 enlargers), has also a lot of equipment for students request (including spotlights, flashlights, etc.).

Besides Photography, what areas of study are developed in this school?
Animation, textiles, ceramics and glass (I think).

How did you relate to native teachers and students?
The teachers were relaxed and accessible. I never knew very well the Hungarian students, I was more in touch with Erasmus students, because some of them were at our school earlier in exchange.

Other Information/Experiences:
All curriculum units frequented were extra-curricular, as in Portugal I had already made ​​enough credits, and the projects were advanced  to conclude what was lacking. So, I was not too caught up in school in order to respond to exercises.

Where did you stay?
I stayed in a rented apartment.


[Zichy Jeno Utca 27 :) my kitchen and a small dinner.]

How far was the apartment from the school? And from the city?
About 30 min. from the school using public transport and it is was at the center-center-center of the city.

How were the conditions of accommodation?
I still had bullets of war in the wall, had a bathtub in the kitchen that was transformed in a couch, two stoplights and a dreamlike Mediterranean garden. I loved the apartment! Well, it does not meet the general standards of beauty J

How much did it cost?
+- 137 Euros /month + expenses (was +- at 180 Euros in total), that is: 48298 Huf (Forins). In the 1st month you paid over the value of one month as security deposit.

In the winter it is necessary to pay attention to the cost of gas, because the heating is one of the things which increases the expenses account.

Other information / experiences:
I had the best landlord in the world! In general, landlords are usually quite strict, they make lists of the contents of the house and check everything…

What did you think of the city?
Perfect! For the architecture, the experience, the living, the services (they are open 24 hours), the beauty of the river, the bars and cafés (installed in degraded buildings, they call them ” ruin  bars” because they are made ​​of obsolete furniture, is very different from bars here).


[At Left: Lánchíd (bridge). At right: Market.]

Did you experience difficulties with the language?
The EILC are available (Erasmus Intensive Language Courses) in various cities of the country (which is a good way to meet other cities, and its surrounding areas because these courses have a tourist tour to learn things and habits about the country). I did this course, but the language is very difficult.

The younger people speak English.

Did you like the food?
The bread takes stickers on it directly, and people stir it with the hands (as we pick the fruit); the most Hungarian traditional is páprika (which is the equivalent of our chili) – put it in all sorts of cooked; the most traditional dish is the gulasch with potatoes (a kind of soup); meat (they put meat in everything, they do not have fish), I don’t know how to explain…; all the food is spicy (spice mixed with everything); traditional drinks are pálinka (like our aguardente) and unicum(an herbal liqueur).


[At Left: Impossible to give a title :P. At right: Hungarian candy.]

How was the standard of living?
It is lower than in Portugal, everything is cheaper but the coffee (no good).

Did you visit other cities?
I visited: Pécs, Balatonlelle and Szentendre. Out of the Country: Prague, Vienna, Belgrade.

What do you think are the major cultural differences?
The people do not laugh in the street, that’s what shocked me most when I arrived. However, when they are in groups of friends, they are very friendly.

Other Information / Experiences:
At the end of three months you have to register in the country. Do not leave Portugal without health insurance, because the card is provided in the social security card (European disease), has no validity for small emergency situations.

Less than 15 Euros a monthly pass for all public transport within the city with presentation of student card (it is important to take it!).

From the airport to the city, there are three options: taxi (the most expensive, 5000 Huf), bus and metro (640 Huf) or train (from Terminal 1, 320 Huf).

I found the city very safe, more than Lisbon.

The best thermal baths are the szechenyi – it has pools of hot and cold water, indoor and outdoor (the best time to go is after 7 p.m., it’s cheaper).

Did you receive a grant?
Just to make the language course (EILC) 200 Euros, which I have not received yet.

Did you make Hungarian friends?
Yes, with some people, they gave me freedom to go whenever I want; they give me “roof”.

Do you plan to go back?
I do not know, I recently returned!

What do you think that this experience brought to you in the personal and professional level?
Time to think, time to live, freedom to work without any condition – That’s what gave me Budapest. It’s what inspires me to continue to have in Portugal, although I doubt that this is entirely possible.

A recommendation for future “Mobility Students”:
Do not look for a house before you get there. It is preferable to stay in a hostel and then seek out calmly. If not, if you rent before you get there, the prices are too high.

The TAPortugal airlines have a promotion for Erasmus students, which offer 10 kilos extra for baggage.

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