Being a student has many perks and benefits, and one of these things is that you own a student ID. In Hungary, this card is one of the best things that can happen to you, as it unlocks a world of discounts and special offers. read our article to find out how you can get the most out of your ID.
Anyone enrolled at a Hungarian institute of higher education is eligible for a student ID. The student ID has two basic functions. For one, it has an identification number which proves that you are a student in the education system. This code is unique to each card holder. And second, it entitles you to using student discounts, at the same time proving that you are eligible for them.
Besides the card's ID number, it also has your name, personal data, a black and white photo, the name of your university, your major, the training method, and a date of validity.
The card itself only works if you validate it. This is quite simply done by placing a sticker on it: the stickers are different each semester, and their individual number is registered to your name and ID number. You can get the sticker at the validation points, or the Registry. Stickers for the fall semester are valid until March 31, while stickers for the spring semester are valid until October 31. This means that you can use your ID in the breaks, and also for a couple of months after you've finished your studies.
Foreign students can apply for two types of student card:
Keep it in mind that you cannot apply for the temporary certificate without doing the student card application!
The application process is pretty simple, and usually starts as soon as you've enrolled at your university. Usually, you have to be registered in the university's online system (either Neptun or ETR). In most cases, the Central Registrar’s Office is responsible for foreign students’ ID numbers. This office applies for this identification number at the Educational Authority, so you don't really have much to do besides submitting a photo and your signature. For this, you have to:
ID, passport or driving license or
birth certificate (anyakönyvi kivonat) and address card (lakcímkártya) with you.
You can go to any Document Registering Office. You can find their locations on Google Maps by typing in "okmányiroda".
You will receive a NEK-code from the office which you will have to use in Neptun when you fill in the application.
Your student card will be posted to the address registered in the online system, so make sure you have one.
If you need help with the application, you can contact your school's Registar, or the Student Council.
The biggest benefit of having a student ID is that it makes traveling a lot cheaper. Both your monthly Budapest pass and your train/coach tickets will cost 50% less. When buying a monthly pass, select Student pass, higher education. When purchasing a train or coach ticket, ask for the student discount.
You can also use your card in museums and cinemas. In museums, the discount is usually 50%, while the rate differs with every cinema. Some concert venues and theaters also offer discounts for students, such as MÜPA, or the National Theatre. You also get a 50% discount when you go to libraries.
At the moment, the webpage listing all available discount only works in Hungarian (and is not fully uploaded), you can get a general idea of your options. Click here. As you can see, you get discounts on food, travel, culture, health, education, and other services.
As a rule of thumb, you can ask for a student discount everywhere you go. Some places do not list it, but have discounts nonetheless. The worst that can happen is that they don't ave any.
Hungary is part of the European Youth Card Association, an organization that offers a large number of discounts on culture, travel, accommodation, shopping and services in most European countries. The Hungarian student ID is already an EYCA card, and has its logo, so you don't need to purchase a separate one. You can read all about the organization and the discounts in each country on this webpage.