Spend your Spring semester on the banks of the Danube river in beautiful and historic Budapest, Hungary. Participants earn 15 credits from George Mason University over the semester while interning 3 days per week and taking classes two days per week.

This program merges the academic, cultural and social experiences of a semester abroad in Europe with the practical experiential-learning of an internship. Students participating on this program can expect to return with a semester of European travel memories and a professional internship experience as an enhancement to their resumes before graduation.

Participants live in shared apartments with other students in the program. Included is a transportation pass for the public transit system, to make travel in and around the city as easy as possible.

Budapest Timelapse 2013 from Peter Dancsó on Vimeo.

Cultural and sightseeing trips in Hungary during the orientation week and throughout the program are included in the program fee.

Budapest Interns exploring the city on the first day of the program, Spring Semester 2014.

Weekly Schedule in Budapest

Day Morning Afternoon
Monday Class Class
Tuesday Internship Internship
Wednesday Internship Internship
Thursday Internship Internship
Friday Class Free time

Map of Central Europe

Hungary's location in Central Europe provides an exceptional starting point for weekend trips all over the continent.


Potential Internship Placements

NIOK – Hungarian Nonprofit Information and Documentation Center

  • Strengthen civil society in Hungary – Supporting non-governmental institutions and NGOs.

Open Society Institute, Budapest

  • Acts as the administrative and operational headquarters for a number of Open Society initiatives.

Open Society Archive

  • Research center dedicated to the history and afterlife of communism and the cold war

Roma Education Fund

  • Established with the vision of expanding education opportunities for Roma communities in Central and Southeastern Europe.

European Roma Right Center

  • International Public interest law organization which monitors the situation of Roma in Europe and provides legal defense to victims of human rights violations.

Menedek – Hungarian Association for Migrants
Hungarian Helskini Committee

  • Monitoring, criticizing legislation and providing legal assistance.

Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU)

  • Legal aid for vulnerable population: drug users, psychiatric patients, people with HIV.

Center for Media and Communication Studies (CMCS)

  • Research center of CEU dedicated to advancing media and communication scholarship and policy and democratic potential of the media.


  • A cultural anthropology association and public benefit organization and one of the most active NGOs in global education.


  • Non-Profit  alternative art institution with the objective to register changes in art and to present and document the most interesting art experiments.

Hungarian Europe Society

  • A non-governmental and non-partisan organization with the objective of promoting ideas of a united Europe and European common values in Hungary and Abroad.

DIA Foundation for Democratic Youth

  • Organizes voluntary work among young people

Political Capital

  • Political research institute focusing on Central-european policy research and consulting.

Republikon Institute

  • Liberal think tank organization focusing on and analyzing Hungarian and international politics


  • Social research institute; an independent organization.

American Chamber of Commerce

  • Focus on American business connections in Hungary

Hungarian Tourism Board

  • National tourism agency for Hungary

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What do I need to apply?

Apply online and pay the $150 registration and processing fee ($300 for non-Mason).

Submit all supplemental materials: 

  • 1 Passport-size photo

  • Electronic Resume

  • Electronic Cover Letter discussing your motivations for the internship, your academic and professional goals and why Hungary interests you

  • 1 letter of recommendation (academic or professional)

  • and copy of of your passport.

For Non-Mason students: Official Transcripts from home university and Non-degree contract course enrollment/VA tuition rates form. Non-Mason students (in-state or out-of-state) pay the same program fee.

Materials can be sent to the CGE office or emailed to

Q: What should my cover letter look like and to whom should it be addressed?

The cover letter should be thought of as a "statement of motivation" rather than a typical cover letter. This document should give CGE, our partner organization working on the internship placement and potential employers an idea of who you are as a student, a young professional and an individual.


  • Address the cover letter to "Dear Sir or Madam"
  • Discuss your reasons for participation in the internship program
  • Discuss your academic background and relevant professional experience
  • Discuss the type of work placement you may be interested in
  • Discuss your career ambitions
  • Discuss why this internship location interests you
  • Do NOT discuss what experience you are lacking. Instead, discuss how this experience will benefit you as a young professional.

Q: What are the requirements for acceptance?

Minimum of 45 credit hours completed by the start date of the program and an overall 2.5 GPA. Exceptions for Freshmen made on a case-by-case basis.

Q: What are my chances of being accepted to the program?

As long as students meet the minimum qualifications, they have a very good chance for acceptance. Apply early to reserve a spot.

Q: If I don’t attend George Mason University, can I still apply?

Absolutely. Many program participants attended universities in Virginia and across the United States and Canada. 

Q: Do I need Hungarian language experience to apply?

No. Students are not expected to have any Hungarian language skills to participate in the program. Courses will be in English and your internship placement will have English-speaking staff. Getting around Budapest without knowledge of Hungarian is not difficult.

Q: What is the process for be placed in an internship?

Program participants are placed in an internship after acceptance to the program. Participant resumes and cover letters are forwarded to potential host employers for selection. The placement process can take weeks to months, however every participant is guaranteed an internship.

Q: Do I get to choose the company and placement?

You are placed in an internship based on your academic background, personal interest, and professional experience, however you cannot choose the exact company. A placement is guaranteed and your background is used to place you in the position. All efforts are made to place you in a position most related to your field.

Q: How can I earn internship credits in my major?

All students earn 6 internship credits. To earn internship credits in your major, you must first speak with your department’s internship coordinator. If you fit the department’s requirements to earn credit, the CGE will work with you and your department to obtain your preferred credit. If you are not eligible to earn credit in your major, you can still earn the same amount of credit with the program’s default credit options.

Courses previously approved for internship credit include:

NCLC 490, HIST 399, GOVT 480, GLOA 495, CONF 385, ECON 498, ANTH 495, ARTH 393, and more!

Q: Where do I live while in Budapest?

Participant housing is in an Apartment with other GMU program participants in Budapest.

*CGE reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, or any other unforeseen circumstances.