About AIT Budapest
Aquincum Institute of Technology (AIT) is a selective study abroad program that offers a unique English-language experience for North American undergraduates majoring in computer science, software engineering, and related disciplines. Currently the program is made up of 60-80 U.S. students and approximately 20 Hungarian students.
Hungary has a proud tradition of creativity in computing: John von Neumann, who developed the principles of stored-program digital computers, Andy Grove, longtime leader of Intel, and Charles Simonyi, father of Microsoft Office, all got their start in the schools of Budapest.
Following in this tradition of innovative education, AIT brings together globally-acclaimed scholars, designers, and entrepreneurs to provide an inspiring academic program with small classes (5 to 15 students in a typical class) that emphasize interactivity and creativity. AIT was established in 2007 by the successful Hungarian software entrepreneur, Gábor Bojár, to provide an exceptional study abroad experience to North American undergraduates in IT fields. AIT’s curriculum integrates design, entrepreneurship, and foundational courses in computer science with advanced applications in computational biology and computer vision applications for digital cinema as well as humanities courses related to Hungary’s rich cultural heritage.
AIT’s distinguished faculty includes Erno Rubik (inventor of Rubik’s Cube), András Falus (Professor of Genetics and Immunology and member of the Hungarian Academy of Science), and software entrepreneur Gábor Bojár (founder of Graphisoft, the most successful global software company from Central Europe).
Get a first-hand glimpse into the life of a UR student studying at AIT by reading Becca's blog. Becca studied at AIT in Spring 2015.
Reproduced in part from the AIT website
- This program is usually only open to computer science majors and minors, however, any student who meets the following criteria may apply:
- At least one course that involves programming (in any modern language)
- At least one proof-based course (e.g,. combinatorics, mathematical foundations, theory of computation, or a theoretical algorithms course)
- Exposure to concepts in data structures
- Mathematical maturity developed through a college mathematics course beyond calculus (e.g. linear algebra, discrete mathematics, etc.)
- Students should generally be in their junior or senior year
- This program is selective; interested students should speak with Dr. Barry Lawson before applying.
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (GPA in the major is especially important)
- Note: Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university to study abroad. When reviewing applications for approval, disciplinary records will be taken into consideration and students must be cleared by the Dean's Office to study abroad. Students on conduct probation will not be able to study abroad if their probationary period extends beyond the start date of the semester abroad program.
The program is made up of four course groups, each containing several different course offerings:
(1) Foundational courses in computer science
(2) Advanced Applications
(3) Creative design and entrepreneurship
(4) Humanities courses related to Hungary’s rich cultural heritage
A full curriculum overview is provided on the AIT website (click here).
Richmond students are required to take the 2-week pre-semester Survival Hungarian course (not for credit) offered by AIT's partner, the Babilon Language School in downtown Budapest. The cost for this course will be covered by UR. This course is intensive, and is comprised of 80 hours of language study.
Additionally, Richmond students are required to take at least one (1) Hungarian language course OR course relevant to Hungarian culture during the regular semester.
Students may select the rest of their courses from the full list provided above.
In years past, AIT students have participated in summer internships at top Hungarian software companies, such as Prezi and LogMeIn. These internships proved to be a great opportunity for students to increase their practical software development knowledge in addition to experiencing a fun team environment at a successful company.
There is no single streamlined application process for students seeking a summer internship
in Budapest. Students who are interested in an internship are encouraged to
speak to AIT staff once they arrive in Budapest, so AIT can facilitate talks between the
student and software companies that fit the students’ interests. AIT also arranges a
networking event during the spring semester that brings students in contact with
representatives from Hungarian software companies so students can learn about various
companies, and the companies themselves can get to know AIT students.
AIT cannot guarantee that a student wanting an internship will be placed, but many AIT
students in the past who sought internships found a placement they were pleased with.
Most software companies in Hungary have expressed that they do not typically know their
needs for the summer until early spring, and this is why it is very difficult to arrange for a
summer internship before the students arrive to AIT. Those students who are very serious
about staying in Budapest for the summer are encouraged to book a flight that has a flexible return date.
If a student decides to stay in Budapest for a summer internship, their status as an AIT student terminates at the end of the academic semester. Students are responsible for extending their residence permit and arranging their own housing for the summer. AIT staff is happy to assist, but is not responsible for these services.
AIT is on the credit system. Academic courses will meet once or twice a week, for two hours per occasion. Hence the once-a-week courses typically correspond to 2 academic credits, and the twice-a-week courses correspond to 4 credits.
UR students are required to enroll in a minimum of 12 AIT credits and may not exceed a maximum of 18 AIT credits in one semseter.
All credit will be transferred back to UR using the Unit System.
Below is a table with the conversion into units as it will appear on the UR transcript.
Courses are graded using the A/B/C/D/F grade system with + and - for in-between grades, or with "Audit" (see note below about the latter). However, the official transcripts, which are issued by the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, use a 5-point scale (5 for A, 4 for B, etc.) which is common in the ECTS system. The conversion scale is in the chart below.
* A mark of "2" from AIT does NOT transfer back to UR. You must earn at least a "3" to transfer credit back to UR.
NOTE that UR students may not earn credit for audited courses. All courses must be taken for a grade if the student intends to earn credit at UR.
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AIT assists students in finding apartments in Budapest's city center. Students must complete a room match form within 2 weeks of acceptance to the program. Unless AIT cannot provide housing placement, students are not allowed to book alternate/independent housing. Further details are provided on the AIT Housing website.
There is no meal plan, as students will be living in private apartments. However, on the AIT campus there are 3 cafeterias and 3 snack bars. In the largest cafeteria a lunch costs $6-8 and includes options of international and Hungarian dishes, salads, vegetarian and gluten free foods. AIT is also adjacent to a big grocery store has a kitchen with microwaves and fridges if students wish to buy food, or bring it from their apartment.
Dates and Costs
Click here for the AIT Dates & Costs.
For AIT applications, the recommendation letters are very important. You will list the names of two faculty in your initial Gateway Abroad application, and Dr. Barry Lawson in the Department of Math & Computer Science needs to be one of your recommenders. If you are selected for the AIT program by Richmond, you will receive instructions for completing the secondary application for AIT. At that time you will need to secure traditional letters of recommendation (on letterhead). Again, Dr. Lawson should be one of the two faculty who will write you a letter of recommendation.
U.S. citizens are required to obtain a visa prior to arrival in Hungary. For guidelines, see Hungary Visa Guidelines - AIT. After arrival in Budapest, AIT staff will assist students in applying for a residence permit on-site. Non-U.S. citizens may also need to apply for a visa in advance of arrival. More details are found on the AIT Visa website. Students with questions about immigration matters should contact Amy Bergmann in the Office of International Education.
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For more information: contact Dr. Barry Lawson, Professor of Computer Science, or Amy Bergmann, Study Abroad Advisor in the Office of International Education.
Updated January 2019
This document represents the most accurate information available at the time of publication. Statements contained herein are not contractual obligations, and verbal or other representations that are inconsistent with or not contained within the documents are not binding. The University of Richmond reserves the right to change without specific notice programs and the conditions under which they are offered.