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    Preparatory Year

    at ELTE International Study Centre (ISC)


    • Who is it for?


    This foundation English language programme has been designed for students who wish to undertake further studies at ELTE or any other European university, but do not yet have the necessary level of language competence, study skills and cultural background knowledge to start a BA degree programme.


    • Who can apply?


    Required minimum level of English:  A2 level of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference), i.e. a minimum of approximately 250 hours of previous studies


    • How do I apply?


    You will have to fill in a form provided by the University stating your personal details (see here)


    • How much does it cost?


    Currently the tuition fee for two semesters (i.e. for an academic year) is €1500.


    • How can I prove my language proficiency?


    No language certificate is required, but meeting the above requirement is strictly the applicant’s responsibility. Should you fail to the meet this minimum requirement, you will not be able to follow the classes and will only waste your tuition fee


    • Who is this programme NOT for?


    This programme has NOT been devised for complete beginners, i.e. if you have not had any previous studies in English we strongly discourage you from applying


    • What happens if I apply and it turns out that my English is not good enough?


    You will have to find alternative arrangements yourself (you may, for example, want to find a good language school that will bring you up to the required level of proficiency)


    • Will my stay in Hungary be official?


    After sending in your details and clearing your tuition fee, the University will issue a Letter of Acceptance. Upon receiving your visa, you will acquire official student status, which enables you to apply for a student visa. Once in Hungary, you will have a student ID, you will be able to borrow books from the library, etc.

    Arranging for a visa in the country of origin is done individually by the applicants.


    • How long does it take to complete the programme?


    This is a two semester long programme, approximately 9 months in length starting in September and finishing in late May. The first semester lasts from mid September until mid December, the second from early February until late May.


    • Are there breaks during the semester?


    The programme has been tailored to fit into the general schedule of Hungarian higher education. There is a longish winter break (from mid December to early February), as well as an autumn and a spring break. The dates vary. You will be informed about the outline of the academic year when you start the programme. There may also be national holidays when there is no teaching


    • What do I get when finish the programme?


    The University will issue a transcript of records stating the courses you have completed, the credits, etc. This is NOT a BA degree, but you may wish to use the credits that you have earned at ELTE or at any other university that is ready to accept them


    • What happens if I decide to quit before the programme ends?


    You will get a transcript of records stating the courses you have completed, but your tuition fee will not be refunded


    • What if I decide to continue my studies at the School of English and American Studies?


    Please note that completion of this preparatory year only  means automatic admission to the ELTE English or American Studies BA programmes if you pass the B1 level language examination offered by the University at the end of the academic year (in mid June). You may alternatively opt for an officially acknowledged external exam of the same level.


    • Will I get an official language exam certificate after completing the programme?


    No, but the knowledge that you have acquired during the programme enables you to take any one of the following internationally acknowledged (external) language exams at the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) B1 level, which is the minimum requirement for foreign students to start their studies on the ELTE English or American Studies BA programmes. This is equivalent to the following:


    • TOEFL PBT (Paper-based test): 500

    • TOEFL IBT (Internet-based test): 60

    • IELTS (International English Language Testing System): 3.5/4.0/4.5

    • CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference): B1



    • Will I only get language lessons?


    No, but language lessons form a vital part of the curriculum. The programme offers much more than that: it equips students with the basic linguistic, cultural and study skills necessary for beginning BA level studies at ELTE


    • What will my week look like?


    There are 24 taught lessons a week in both semesters: 3 double lessons every day, except for two days – usually Tuesday and Friday –  when there are only 2 double lessons in the morning


    • What courses exactly will I have?


    • Language practice (8 lessons/week)
    • Self-directed learning (not a taught class)
    • Study skills (2 lessons/week)
    • English-speaking cultures (2 lessons/week, focus on Britain in one term and focus on the US in the other)
    • Background to Hungary or Basic Hungarian Language (2 lessons/week)
    • Cultures of Europe (2 lessons/week)
    • Basic grammar and pronunciation (2 lessons/week)
    • Speech and writing (2 lessons/week)
    • English language texts (2 lessons/week)


    • Will I get grades?


    Yes. The grades are the following: fail (1) and pass (2, 3, 4, 5)


    • Can I miss any of the lessons?


    It is you right to miss any of the lessons but make sure you understand it is our right to deny your grade. You can miss a maximum of 3 occasions (communication is vital: do NOT forget to tell your teachers that you will be absent when you know about it in advance). After missing a lesson for more than 3 times, your teacher may decide to fail you

    • Why do I have to take lessons that are not proper language lessons?


    Every course has been carefully designed and offers not only culture/grammar but also gives you a chance to expand your knowledge of the English language itself by learning new vocabulary, for example, or improving your pronunciation.


    • What do I do if I want to have English language lessons only?


    You are free to choose any language school, but you will have no student status if you choose to do so.


    • Who can I contact for further details?


    Mr József Bíró, the Faculty’s manager of international students, by writing to the following address: biro.jozsef@btk.elte.hu

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