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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Budapest, Hungary
  • Program Terms: Fall
  • Budget Sheets: Fall
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: No previous study
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Credit Available For: College
Other Eligibility Requirements: 1 Area Studies Course in Language or Culture (Recommended) Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad
Housing Options: Apartment/Off-Campus, Program Provided Housing Application Deadline: Fall/Year: March 1
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

Central European UniversityBUD Logo

Central European University (CEU) is one of the most densely international universities in the world. Its rare mix of nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures creates an ideal environment for examining such “open society” subjects as emerging democracies, transitional economies, media freedom, nationalism and human rights.  All of the students at CEU are working toward a better, more just and sustainable global society.
In 2001, Bard partnered with CEU, and since then, students from over 30 U.S. colleges and universities have participated in the Bard-CEU study abroad program.  The courses at CEU will strengthen your understanding of complex global issues and historical events through debate with a diverse set of classmates. Building upon your undergraduate coursework, enrollment in master's level classes at CEU will facilitate your personal development as a student in the graduate environment.
For additional information, visit the CEU website and the Bard program website.
The City of Budapest

Home to 1.9 million people, Budapest is the vibrant center of Hungary as well as its capital city. It was originally two cities built on either sides of the Danube, Buda and Pest. The two districts are still distinct in their contrasting makeup, with the older and more charming Buda comprising atmospheric cobbled streets, little picturesque colored houses and a medieval, neo-Classical mixture of architecture set among the gentle hills of the west bank. Pest lies on a flat plain and is the commercial core of the city. It bustles with fashionable shopping areas and has characteristically wide, leafy boulevards.

Did you know…?

Budapest’s numerous thermal springs give rise to 70 million liters of thermal water rising to the surface – daily! This has caused Budapest to be a hot spot for medicinal baths and hot springs across the city.



The Bard-CEU program is for College credit only.

Admission to the CEU is highly selective.  All candidates should identify a second choice program.
Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0 cumulative, 3.4 within applicant’s chosen area of study

Language Prerequisite: No previous study required.
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Relevant course background in the applicant’s chosen department of study (typically a minimum of at least three college-level courses). Successful completion of 1 Area Studies course recommended.  

Other Requirements: Completion of at least two full years of undergraduate study by the end of the academic semester (fall or spring) prior to departure is required.


Language of Instruction



All courses on the Bard-CEU program are master’s level courses.  Students will receive Penn undergraduate credit for courses taken at CEU.  A full course load at CEU consists of 12-16 credits (typically 4-5 courses) per semester.  Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad.

Students are required to take an introduction to Hungarian language course.  Students build the remainder of their schedules from designated subject areas within the CEU curriculum.  A list of possible areas of study can be found here.  Students must apply to a specific area of study and take the majority of their courses from within that department.

CEU Academic Calendar
Bard-CEU Course Catalog for Incoming Exchange Students

Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average.  The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.

Grades are reported to Penn on an A-F scale. 

Special Features

BUD Special FeaturesOrientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by the Bard-CEU program prior to the start of each semester.  The program begins with a comprehensive online pre-departure training. Upon arrival on campus, students undertake a two-day orientation that will focus on program expectations (academic and behavioral), safety and health information, a discussion of cultural adjustment strategies, and an introduction to life in Budapest.

Language Courses

Students are required to take an introduction to Hungarian language course.

Internship Opportunities

Internships are available for students wishing to enhance their studies with practical experience. More information can be found here.

BUD Special FeaturesGroup Excursions

The Bard-CEU program facilitates several social and cultural events each semester, including optional excursions to the hills of Buda and other nearby attractions, as well as trips outside of the city. The program also includes a weekend trip to a city outside of Hungary. The weekend trip includes museum visits and mixture of free and guided time.

Student Associations

Penn students studying at Central European University have access to a wide range of student activities and associations. More information can be found here and here.


BUD CampusParticipants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

All Bard-CEU Study Abroad Program participants live in shared rental. The apartments are located in the city center, which constitutes the 5th, 6th, and 7th districts of Budapest, and within walking distance of CEU and all amenities. The apartments have been recently renovated, are fully furnished, and include internet access. Students complete a housing profile and are placed in an apartment according to their study habits and lifestyle preferences.

You can view some typical apartments at Budapest Lets.

Cost and Finance

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.

Budget Sheets


Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

Next Steps

For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics in Budapest, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.


This program is currently not accepting applications.