Case studies, projects and exams are not the only things that kept us busy for last 5 odd months! We did a lot more during our just concluded first trimester. My friend Stanislav was so excited he wanted to write this post himself, so here is giving you a peek into Budapest’s student life, in his own words –
Right since we started this MBA program, it’s been a very fast paced and exciting experience. Now that it is over, at least for a while, we are officially on holidays and it’s time to reflect on some moments I spent together with my fellow classmates outside of studying hours. Everybody knows that location matters, it works for everything and business school is no exception. Luckily CEU Business School has a great location and apart from the well-known fact that Budapest is a business hub it’s definitely a leisure hub.
I can describe Budapest as a city of gastronomy, the variety of cuisines offered by local restaurants is simply amazing. Usually along with my fellow classmates we go out on Friday and Saturday nights to have dinner or a couple of drinks at the local cafes or restaurants. It became a sort of ritual to get together after classes and to discuss which place to pick for our rendezvous. As far as I remember for the last 5 months we have been to Iranian, Taiwanese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, Hungarian, Lebanese and Chinese restaurants, and all of them had great food and lavish portions. In comparison to my native Kiev it is quite cheap to eat in Budapest’s restaurants where you can get a lavish portion and there is something for every palate. For my friend Sam who is a vegetarian it was not a problem to find the proper restaurant or café offering good vegetarian food. It could happen that a bunch of guys who cannot live even a day without a good slab of meat, sometimes accompanied Sam to a humus bar or Indian restaurants for vegans.
It’s hard to imagine student life without parties and Budapest is the right place to embark on a party tour. City streets are full of all kinds of night clubs with queues often spilling out on to the streets. One of the popular places we love is Hello Baby bar, a multi-storey night club that occupies the beautifully renovated Haggenmacher Palace. Inside, it is easy to get lost and never meet those you came with. You can meet people from all corners of the world, so in the end you feel like you have been traveling globally for a while. Nice cocktails, great music, what more does one need?
Some of the students coming for weekend classes are from different cities and countries. Luckily I am not the only one from our cohort that needs to commute every other weekend. I along with my two friends bonded with the same needs and now rent apartments together. Handy and easy to use online rental service AirBnB helped us a lot in the beginning. Until we found a permanent place we were like wanderers who stayed in different parts of the city and sometimes in apartments with really weird interiors. Once we got an apartment situated on the street where a scene from Die Hard movie was shot. Also I cannot but forget when our friend Sam, who is originally from India, was responsible for booking accommodation, we got a flat complete with Indian décor to our surprise!
Budapest’s public transport is very convenient and relatively cheap. You can get to any point of the city by metro, bus or tram. Our classes start in the afternoon and since I usually fly, it takes me a while to reach school from airport every time. For my early trips I used a so called “shuttle bus” a sort of shared taxi, it is convenient but for those not in a rush. It takes a lot of time to drop off all passengers on the way to school and moreover it is likely to get stuck in a traffic jam and then to wait for hours. Later I learned that the safest way in terms of time is a mixture of city bus and metro.
Of course speaking about leisure time I need to mention so called “in-house events”. Parties and events organized by CEU Business School or fellow students. From the regular get together in pubs, to very formal dinners and glamorous balls on the boat along the Danube, we got to enjoy the whole range.
In my point of view, this part of student life is equally, if not more, important as the studies itself. As only when you get together outside of the class you can get to know each other well and make meaningful connections. I’m looking forward to be back to school in September.