Education and Child Care

Hungarian School System

Child Care in Pápa

International School in Pápa

Costs and Financial Help

Checklist

Dictionary

Hungarian School System

The System in General

Children in the Hungarian system can enter the public school system at the age of 6. From

  • 6 months to 3 years they can go to nurseries and
  • from 3 years to 6/7 years they can attend kindergartens.

It is obligatory to enroll children to a kindergarten once they turn 3.

It is also compulsory for the children to start school from the age of 6 or 7 depending on their maturity, and they have to stay schooled until they are 16.

Generally, they attend primary school for eight years (until the age of 14) and then enter secondary school that lasts for four years. It is not uncommon to come across secondary schools that host 6 or 8 grades, where, consequently children start before they reach 14.

In Hungary two semesters make a school year.

The first semester lasts from September to January, the second from February to June.

Secondary school usually finishes with a ‘School Leaving Exam’ (Érettségi), which serves as an entry exam to universities.

Higher education takes place according to the ‘Bologna System’ in Hungary, that is common in most of the countries of the European Union.

According to this, a Bachelor degree can be obtained in 3-4 years, a Masters degree in 1-2 years and a Ph.D. in 3 years.

Nurseries

Unlike kindergartens, day nurseries do not belong to the educational system in Hungary, they are not under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, rather they are supervised by the Ministry of Human Capacities.

It is free to attend public nurseries, however you need to apply for entrance and to pay a lunch fee. Since nurseries are not compulsory, not all applications are accepted.

Nurseries take care of children usually between 08.00 and 16.00 on weekdays (Monday-Friday), following the normal working hour pattern of the parents.

Children are given meals four times a day, breakfast and lunch, a snack between them, and one before leaving.

Children are not required to be toilet trained when entering the nursery. Teachers are trained to change diapers and most of the nurseries train children for toilets.

However, it is a prerequisite for children to be potty-trained before entering kindergarten. The application procedure takes place in May, but upon special circumstances you can enroll your children at other times, too.

Be aware, however, that there is a limited number of places, therefore they get filled up fast.

Please contact the Community Liaison Office as soon as you decide to enroll your child, even if it will only happen later on.

Kindergartens

Kindergartens take children from the age of 3.

Kindergartens in Hungary serve the aim of preparing, teaching the children how to communicate with each other and how to behave in a social environment.

Children in kindergarten are separated into three (or sometimes four) age groups:

  • Little Group’ (Kis csoport) is for 3-4-year olds,
  • Middle Group’ (Középső csoport) is for 4-5-year-olds and
  • Big Group’ (Nagy csoport) is for 5-7-year olds.

Opening hours are usually from 07.00 to 17.00.

Teachers of the kindergarten supervise safety and order in the groups, while playing common games with the children, through which they motivate them to enrich their vocabulary, get to know the basics of mathematics, build their interest towards computers and science, just as towards music and arts.

Another important benefit of the kindergartens is the opportunity for the children to get to know social behavior.

Application to the kindergarten takes place every May. Upon special circumstances (like moving during the summer or the school year) you can enroll your children at other times, too.

Be aware, however, that there is a limited number of places, therefore they get filled up fast.

Please contact the Community Liaison Office as soon as you decide to enroll your child, even if it will only happen later on.

Primary Schools

In Hungary, having your children schooled is compulsory from the age of 6-7 to 16.

Most of the children in Hungary go to public primary schools, which is free of charge. There are some private schools, especially in Budapest, where tuition fees apply.

Primary schools usually have 8 grades of age groups, of which 1-4 are the lower grades and 5-8 are the higher grades.

Classes typically have a form teacher, who is ideally permanent throughout all the 8 years of the school, or throughout the lower or the higher grades. Classmates are ideally permanent throughout all the 8 years.

In lower grades (6-10 years old), there are 3-4 teachers teaching all the subjects, which are

  • Mathematics,
  • Hungarian grammar and literature,
  • Environmental studies,
  • Foreign language,
  • Information Technology,
  • Physical Education,
  • Arts & Crafts,
  • Music.


In higher grades (11-14 years old), all the subjects are taught by a specialist teacher, which are

  • Mathematics,
  • Physics,
  • Chemistry,
  • Hungarian grammar and literature,
  • Foreign language(s),
  • Biology,
  • Geography,
  • History,
  • Music,
  • Arts & Crafts,
  • Physical Education,

as well as Optional classes like

  • Drama
  • Dance
  • Ethics
  • Media

The purpose of Hungarian primary school education is to develop literacy and mathematical thinking in the children, while educating them on the basics of sciences, social studies and forms of art. Corporal punishment is not allowed in Hungary.

Secondary Schools

There are several kinds of secondary schools operating in Hungary.

Most of them provide 4-year long education (from 14 to 18), but there are some 4, 5, 6 and 8 grade high schools too, where students start their secondary school education before turning 14.

As for the type of education, there are three kinds of secondary schools:

  • Grammar Schools provide academic education in preparation of further academic studies.
  • Trade High Schools provide a combination of academic education and practical training, providing a trade for the students as well as a School Leaving Certification.
  • Trade Schools provide mainly practical training in order to train skilled professionals in certain trades.

There are special programs in some of the secondary schools, such as an art or a drama program or special language training.

Bilingual secondary schools teach certain subjects in a foreign language, and require students to take a certain percentage of the School Leaving Exam in the given foreign language. These schools provide an advanced level language certification upon graduation.

Dormitories

Secondary schools focus on advanced academic education or specialized practical knowledge, therefore children from outside the school’s geographical range might want to attend, too.

To solve the problem of travelling too much, the system of dormitories exists with a long lasting tradition in Hungary.

Children, whose families live far from the school, live in dormitories where they are provided with meals, supervision and space and time to study.

Students travel home every weekend, they spend the time of Monday to Friday in the dormitory.

Further Education

After secondary school graduation, you can attend a Higher Level Trade Program or you can enter a University or College.

Higher Level Trade Programs provide you with a trade certification, while Universities and Colleges provide degrees (diplomas).

There are several colleges and universities in Hungary you can choose from. There is a limited number of tuition-free places in almost all disciplines. Hungary’s further education system follows the EU Bologna-pattern.

After secondary school graduation, you can apply for a Bachelor’s Program, which lasts for 3-4 years.

Once you’ve earned the Bachelor’s Degree (B.A., B.Sc.), you can go on to a Master’s Program (M.A., M.Sc.) (1-2 years). The prerequisite of starting a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program is a Masters Diploma. The amounts of tuition fees vary depending on where your residency is (Hungary, EU, Non-EU).

For further details, please see the information of the school of your choice.
There are three types of tuition available at universities/colleges

  • Full-time – During working days in working hours
  • Part-time – Usually on weekends, twice a month
  • Evening – During working days after working hours

Child Care in Pápa

Sün Balázs Private Nursery

Sün Balázs Private Nursery is a fee-paying private institution taking care of children between the ages of 20 months to 3 years. Each group includes a maximum of 7 children. This nursery allows for a more flexible daily schedule for the little ones, providing parents the opportunity to spend more time with their children than regular Hungarian nurseries would.

Fáy András Lakótelepi Óvoda - Kindergarten

The assigned Pápa kindergarten for international children is Fáy András Kindergarten.

Kindergartens take children from the age of 3. Kindergartens in Hungary serve the aim of preparing, teaching the children how to communicate with each other and how to behave in a social environment. Children in kindergarten are separated into three (or sometimes four) age groups. ‘Little Group’ (Kis csoport) is for 3-4-year olds, ‘Middle Group’ (Középső csoport) is for 4-5-year-olds and ‘Big Group’ (Nagy csoport) is for 5-7-year olds.

Opening hours are usually from 07.00 to 17.00. Teachers of the kindergarten supervise safety and order in the groups, while playing common games with the children, through which they motivate them to enrich their vocabulary, get to know the basics of mathematics, build their interest towards computers and science, just as towards music and arts.

International School in Pápa

QSI International School of Pápa

 

The QSI International School of Papa has been accredited by the Middle States Association since 2018. The school maintains its accreditation with MSA through a continual process of identifying areas for growth and implementing a community supported action plan to push the boundaries of success and achievement in those areas.

Point of Contact

QSI International School of Pápa
Pápa, Komáromi Street 12
+36-89-777-999 /444
papa@qsi.org

or your School Liaison personnel if you are USAF

Costs and Financial Help

Public

Public nurseries, kindergartens, primary and secondary schools are free for children to attend, with some nominal operational fees and the cost of equipment the child needs during the school year.

QSI

QSI International Schools Pápa has a tuition fee, however SAC-related children can apply for full or part scholarships, depending on the financial situation of the parents or on the tuition fee payment policy of the sending nation.

NATO staff may be eligible to education allowance. Please ensure you contact your HR department before making a commitment. NSPA employees, who have not been registered in Hungary for a year, are entitled for education allowance, which is calculated on individual basis.

Private

Every other private school in Hungary has tuition fees, for specific information please contact the school of your choice. Colleges and universities have a limited number of free places for Hungarian and EU citizens, but for the majority of disciplines and schools you have to pay. For specific amounts, see the information of the school of your choice.

HAW members

HAW families should contact their NSEs or SNRs for financial tuition contribution from their own nations.

Enrolment Checklist

What to bring for school/kindergarten/nursery enrolment?

Birth certificate of child


Passport of child


Residency card of child (issued in Hungary)


Passports of parents


Residency cards of parents (issued in Hungary)


Vaccination Record Sheet of child


Certificate of finished school year supported by list and thematics of subjects taught (if applicable)

Education Dictionary

nursery


kindergarten


primary school


high school


grammar school


further education


dormitory


tuition fee

bölcsőde


óvoda


általános iskola


középiskola


gimnázium


felsőoktatás


kollégium


tandíj

Still have questions? We can help you.

24/7 emergency on-call service: +36 30 857 5606

Contact your NSE (NLD, NOR, SWE, USA)

Contact your SNR

clo.namp@nspa.nato.int

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