Vera in Debrecen

Field of study in Wageningen: Management and Consumer Studies
Study period exchange: 31/01/2022 – 01/07/2022
Country (exchange): Hungary
City (exchange): Debrecen
University (exchange): University of Debrecen
Faculty (exchange):
Faculty of Economics and Business

2. Motivation for exchange

Why did you choose to go on study exchange?

I thought an exchange could bring me much more than merely studying at the same university all the time. An exchange would allow me to experience more of the world, to live in a different country, to meet with different cultures, and to travel, all whilst still studying.

What is the reason you chose for this country/university?

I chose for the University of Debrecen because of the courses it offered. It offered exactly the courses I wanted to take, and the campus and living situation of the students really appealed to me. It seemed like a small university city, much like Wageningen, where everyone sticks together.

3. Accessibility to reach destination

Do you have any tips to reach your exchange destination?

There is a direct flight to Debrecen from Eindhoven Airport, which is much easier than flying to Budapest and then taking the train.

4. University and studying

Could you provide some general information about the followed courses?


How is the study formalized?

Overall, the workload is rather low. Going to class is often mandatory, but next to this no homework is required and additional study is not very necessary. Most courses are completed with merely a presentation, for which the teachers are not very strict. As long as you give a presentation, they will give you the maximum score. The tests however, are a bit more difficult. This is mainly due to language-barriers or wording of the questions. However, with a little bit of studying it is not difficult to get a good grade. The lesson material for most courses consists of the slides from the lectures. Only the course international marketing contained a book.

What is the culture of the university?

Within the university of Debrecen, international students are mostly kept separate from Hungarian students. Courses are often taught in both Hungarian and English, meaning that Erasmus students most likely will not interact with Hungarian students. I only had one course in which Hungarians and internationals were mixed. Lecturers in general are very approachable via email or in real life. However, they are often unaware of the bigger picture of your studies, meaning that you will need to write the coordinator for most of your questions. The coordinator is very helpful and will respond quickly. A big difference in the culture of the university with the culture of the WUR is the organisation. Whilst the WUR usually has everything planned out well in advance, in Debrecen you often need to have patience or need to send some emails in order to get to know exam dates, locations of classes etc.

What does the university offer the student additionally?

There are various sports facilities on campus which you can use for an additional fee. Additionally, every campus has at least one canteen, and various other eating options.

5. Housing-travelling-living

What are the possibilities for housing?

The University of Debrecen offers dorms for its Erasmus students. I highly recommend taking a place in one of these dorms. I lived in the dormitory called Kossuth, which is the home of most Erasmus students. The rent for this dorm was €110,- per month. You will live in a room you share with one other roommate, have your private bathroom and share the kitchen with your hallway. The dorms are a great way to communicate with fellow students. Both in Kossuth dormitory and Campus hotel, the Erasmus students connected very well with each other, which makes for a great environment for your Erasmus experience. Another option for housing is to look for an apartment yourself. However, I would not recommend so, as this might make you miss out on some experiences.

What is the culture of the country like?

In general, I did not experience the Hungarian culture that much, as I did not have contact with a lot of Hungarian students (because they separated the classes between Hungarian-speaking and internationals). I was able to explore some of the cuisine, but mostly explored the cuisines, habits, and manners of other internationals.

Could you give a general price indication of the place of residence compared to living in Wageningen?

My residency costed €550,- in total for 5 months, so €110,- per month. This also included doing laundry, cleaning of your bed sheets every other week, cleaning of your bathroom once a month, and cleaning of the kitchen every day.

Could you give some information about public transport infrastructure?

A monthly public transport ticket for Debrecen (which can be used everywhere in the city) costs about 11 or 12 euros. In my opinion this is worth it, as a single ticket for the tram costs about €1,50. Bolt: the local taxi, is also a good option, which costs about €5,- to go from the city centre to the main campus and Kossuth dormitory. From the main campus (and Kossuth dormitory) to the business campus you can either take the bus, or walk for about 20 minutes. Additionally, in summer, the university provides bikes which you can get for free the first 30 minutes, and afterwards for 1 euro every hour.

6. Free time

What are must-sees in the area? 

Hungary is a very central place for traveling. Everything is close by. By train you’ll be in Budapest within 2,5 hours. From there you can go to Vienna in 2,5 hours, Bratislava in 2,5 hours, Brno in about 4 hours, Prague in 6 or 7 hours. By bus you can be in Zagreb within 6 hours from Budapest. From Debrecen you can also go to Romania in about an hour drive, or 50km by bike if you would want to. Plain tickets from Budapest can be fairly cheap to anywhere in Europe, so I would recommend looking various times a week and just go to wherever it is cheap.

What does not appear in the travel guide, but is worth a visit?

Go wherever you feel like going. It will be worth it.

Do you have general tips and tricks about leisure time?

In Hungary, restaurants are very cheap. Sometimes it might even be cheaper to go to a restaurant than to cook for yourself. Therefore I would recommend to try every restaurant in Debrecen. They have various good ones, but you will explore that for yourself.

7. Challenges & best moment abroad

What was a challenge you have experienced?

I was the only Dutch Erasmus student, while every other nationality had at least two people. In the dorms it is the case that you will be placed with someone from your own nationality or someone close to your nationality. For me, this meant I was placed randomly, and everyone else had an easier connection with their roommate. I had to work a bit harder to fit in, as groups were naturally forming based on nationality, but after 3 or 4 weeks, I had managed to get along quite well with a lot of nice people, and I had made friends for life.

What was your best memory abroad?

The random experienced I managed to get into were the best I had ever had. I went to Rome once, just because a friend of a friend who I did not know wanted to go to a concert there, and I was like, why not join. And then all of a sudden, after a night of not even knowing whether we had a hostel to stay in, I was at a concert of an artist I did not even know, in the nicest place in Rome, with a person I did not know (and a friend of mine). I then realised that these random things can only happen in Erasmus, when you just commit to the experience and the ‘why not’.

8. Contact Details

Would you like to ask Vera more questions about her exchange? Send her a mail: