International Relations and European Studies at the Central European University in Budapest

What was the reason for choosing and applying for this course of study at Central European University?
This institute was recommended by many European students studying in the U.S and other scholars/professionals in the U.S. etc for its excellent programes, especially the Social science programes. Also, the location itself was a major motivation for me to choose CEU.

Where and how did you get informed about study possibilities?
As mentioned above, through academic circles and the web.

How did you acquire required language skills?
My second native language is English, hence it was not required that I learn the language from scratch.

Where and how did you apply?
I applied while in my home country (Sri Lanka) and online.

How did you find your accommodation/ flat?
I had made connections with some Americans who reside in Budapest; they were instrumental in finding me the flat that I now live in.

What were your first experiences/impressions (e.g. of the language, when …)?
Since I have already had experience living in a foreign country the blending in and adjusting wasn’t difficult. The university staff and the students are very friendly and accommodating. I also felt that the institution was very organized and planned. As for the language, it would be a barrier if you let it be. While within CEU premises it is not at all a problem as everyone speaks English, I think one could make an effort to learn a few basics in order to get around the city and communicate in public places etc.

What are, in your opinion, the advantages of studying in Hungary?
Its central location and the fact that students are within reach of many other European countries.
The country’s cost of living is rather low compared to other Western European countries.
Great link to Eastern European countries!

What are, in your opinion, the disadvantages of studying in Hungary?
Maybe the fact that it limits certain resources to students who want to study further about regions such as South America, South Asia etc.

What would you suggest to the German school-leavers who are interested in such a course of studies?
There is a way to enrich your interests at CEU, with its array of research hubs, enthusiastic and renowned professors. CEU is also unique in the sense as it is one of the most diverse institutions in Europe today, where no group is a majority. Students can get valuable experiences inside and outside the university. They can select classes from different disciplines. Hence, if a prospective student is not sure for which programme he//she wants to apply to he/she can always apply to 2 programs and you are also automatically qualified for some sought of financial aid.

What are your positive and negative experiences of study that you have gained till now?
My study experience has been quite positive so far. However, I do wish that the departments were allocated more grants for students to travel for their MA research purposes.

What are your plans for the future?
I intend on working in the humanitarian field, most preferably for an International Organization that deals with forced migration issues and post-crisis development strategies.

Would you go the same way one more time?
Yes, of course…I have no regrets! Coming to Budapest and CEU was the ebst decision I’ve made by far : ) I encourage others to give it a try too…

We thank Rashindu de Mel!

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