The Hungarian Student Card: Things to Know about the Application and the Discounts06.01.2009.
The Hungarian students card system has undergone significant transformations in the past few years. Not only did the procedures of requesting the card change in this period, but the discounts available are also different from former options. These modifications have made applying for the student card and the online follow up of the necessary information and changes easier. But has this made the lives of foreign students arriving here easier, too?
The national student card system has a long tradition in Hungary. Before 1998, the card was a small folded paper certificate with the student's photo and his or her data and the data of the school listed on it. Real changes were made towards the end of the 1990s, when the student card became a modern plastic card the size of a credit card, bearing the photo, signature and personal data of its holder, the individual identification number of the card, the data of the educational institution, and an icon signifying the type of the program (full time, evening, correspondence or distance). In Hungary, every student studying in higher education can obtain a student card, and they may also receive various discounts depending on the program schedule (evening, correspondence, full time or distance). In most cases, the card entitles its holder to use different institutional services.
Who can request a student card?
All students enrolled in Hungarian higher education institutions can get a student card. They can apply for it at the time of enrolment, and the institution's coordinators as well as the representatives of students' offices also help with the administration. It is important to know that a registration form should be filled and a photo not older than one year should be submitted with the request.
What kinds of discounts are available?
If you hold a student card, you can access a number of services and discounts. Some higher education institutions require the card for entering their premises or the dormitory, and it is needed for using the library services with a discount or free of charge. Discounts are also available in the sports facilities if you hold a student card. The kinds of services for which the student card must be presented vary by institutions, but some discounts are centrally regulated and available for every student who holds a student card. Among these are various travel, cultural and commercial discounts.
Explore Hungary, travel with a discount!
Railway discounts are available for students in full time as well as evening and correspondence courses, only the extent of the discount and the destinations for which it is available vary. While students in correspondence programs can travel at half price between their place of residence and the educational institution, the rest of the students can use the discount to any destination. The same applies if you want to explore a place by a long-distance bus. Travel within the city is also easier and more affordable with a student card. The so-called student pass is much cheaper that a full-price travel card: 3250 HUF (13 Euros) in 2008. This discount is worth using if you attend courses at your higher education institution every day and you have to change lines at least once on the way there. In other major towns within Hungary, students in full time and evening programs are entitled to a 90 per cent discount on travel cards in local transport.
Explore Hungarian culture!
This is not linked directly to the student card allowance, but it is worth keeping in mind that permanent exhibitions at state maintained museums can be visited free of charge in Hungary by young people below 26 who make an appointment and arrive in groups organised by their educational institution. However, citizens of the European Economic Area between ages 6 and 26 enjoy a 50% discount on entrance fees even if they choose a temporary exhibition.
If you hold a student card, you are entitled to travel discounts if you visit certain cultural institutions. Among these are the Historical Museum of Budapest, the Museum of Military History, the Museum of Applied Arts, the Hungarian National Gallery, the National Museum of Hungary, the Museum of Ethnography, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Parliament.
Apart from travelling and visiting museums, going to libraries is also an indispensable part of student life. You can not only use your student card to visit your institution's library free of charge, but you can also access services at different public libraries at lower fees.
Commercial discounts are also available to those who hold a student card. Nearly 1300 places accept the card and offer different discounts for students. The extent of these varies between 5% and 30%. A list of all the places offering student discounts can be found at the www.diakbonusz.hu website.
Further information: http://www.diakigazolvany.hu/english.php