Contemporary world issues are complex and ever-changing, and Hungary is at the forefront. Gain insight into Europe’s current refugee challenges through a hands-on AFS Global Prep program in Budapest. Your program includes group visits to refugee camps, meeting the people who live and work there. You will also participate in a meaningful volunteer project helping refugee children tell their stories through art and creative writing. Global Prep participants stay with a local host family who will help you explore Budapest’s rich history, food, and culture.
Students age 13-18 are eligible.
- Airport Pick-up
- Community Service Placement
- Medical Insurance
- 24/7 Emergency Support
- Field Trips
- Cultural Tours
- Pre-Departure Orientation
- Global Competence Certificate
- Project Materials
- Access to Alumni Network
- Continuous Support
- Worldwide Presence
- 70 Years Experience
- Visa and Passport Fees
AFS Global Prep in Hungary:
If you want an authentic experience to fuel your passion for social change, culture, nature, or science—make friends while making a real impact through AFS Global Prep!
Thrive in an incredible new place, unlike anything you’ve experienced so far, and create authentic connections that will last a lifetime!
Pursue your interests, while becoming a real global citizen through an AFS structured intercultural learning program
Leave your mark on the communities you touch and work to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Global Goals
Your journey of change starts in New York City
Arriving in Budapest
Your journey will begin in New York City, where you’ll meet the other members of your group. Then you’ll travel together with your group leader to Budapest. When you arrive in Hungary, AFS staff or volunteers will welcome you at the airport and bring you to an arrival orientation. There you’ll learn the basics of Hungarian culture and practice some key words in the country’s unique language known as Magyar. You’ll get to soak in Hungary’s old world charms and find out why Budapest has been affectionately called “the Paris of the East.”
Your Volunteer Project
Your volunteer project starts in Budapest, discussing current issues related to refugees in Europe. After learning a little about refugees experience on their long journey to Hungary, you’ll visit the Fot Children’s Village camp. There you’ll meet with refugees and participate in workshops with representatives from prominent NGOs like the Hungarian Association for Migrants, the Hungarian Red Cross, and the UN Refugee Agency for Central Europe (UNHCR)
Once you’ve engaged with some of Hungary’s current relief efforts, you and your group will begin your own volunteer project: a creative writing workshop for children called Kids Tales. This non-profit was developed by AFS Vision in Action Award-winner, Katie Eder, and will be used as the basis for your volunteer program at the camp. As you help refugee children express themselves through art and creative writing, you’re bound to see evidence of the profound impact you and your friends are making in the world.
To find out what it’s like to volunteer in Hungary, check out this blog post by a Study Abroad Specialist who went on last summer’s program.
Enjoy Budapest like a local!
Exploring the area
As you near the end of your time in Hungary, you and your friends will go sight-seeing in Budapest. You’ll get to experience the city’s cultural history in areas like the Castle District, where you can see the Royal Palace and take in a panoramic view of the Danube River. During your tour, be sure to try some Hungarian food like goulash, a traditional stew made with meat, potatoes, and paprika. Before you head home, you and your group will have the chance to reflect on your intercultural experiences and take pride in all you’ve accomplished.
Experience Hungarian culture through the eyes of your host family
After giving back to the community at nearby refugee camps, you’ll get to spend a long weekend with your host family in the countryside. This is a great time to immerse yourself in the culture as you share stories over the dinner table. Maybe you’ll practice some of the Hungarian you’ve learned and discuss your experiences at the refugee camps. Or your host family might give you a tour of local sites so you can gain insight into everyday life in Hungary.
“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one. When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That transformation isn’t visible only to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers, ranging from language fluency to intercultural competence and critical reasoning. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.
AFSers in action: