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Study Abroad

Many departments encourage international students to enroll in their programs and certainly our international students vastly enhance our program. However, in an era of globalization, all public servants benefit from opportunities to develop skills that come with working with international partner organizations in their home settings.

MPA students can enroll for a semester study abroad experience. If combined with an overseas internship, and a capstone based on that internship experience, 18 of 42 program credits can be based on a student’s international experience.

The Department of Public Administration has developed a formal semester study abroad experience with the Department of Public Policy at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.

Students will enroll for 12 credits during any semester and take twelve (12) term-credits in residence on the CEU campus in Budapest, Hungary. Students will have an option to extend their time in Europe by taking their required 300-hour MPA internship in a public or nonprofit organization in Europe.

Why Study Abroad?

Public administration programs have always recognized the value of international education, and the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) has launched a global partners program designed to encourage students to study in the United States.

Additionally, as international nongovernmental organizations continue to grow in number and influence, American MPA students with an international focus in their studies have many employment opportunities. According to the 2004 Global Civil Society Yearbook, international nongovernmental organizations expanded from 12,547 secretariats in 1993 to 17,952 in 2003. (Data Program, page 302). Binghamton University’s Career Development Center maintains an index of international job opportunities on its website.

This program will be of particular interest to students who wish to work with international nongovernmental organizations or governmental agencies or who are enrolled in the 3/2 program of study with the Department of Romance Languages. When students enroll in the Budapest Study Abroad semester (12 credits), complete an internship overseas (2 credits) and focus their capstone course on their international experience (4 credits), they will be able to apply 18 of their required 42 credits (approximately 43 percent) to international or comparative interests such as European integration and the European Union, or transitional political and economic systems with an emphasis on Eastern Europe or the former Soviet Union.

What will study at Central European University be like?

Central European University is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York (U.S.) and is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The university, and particularly its Department of Public Policy, offers an outstanding opportunity to provide an international experience for interested MPA students. CEU offers several advantages for Binghamton University students, including:

Central European University’s Department of Public Policy offers a challenging comparative and international curriculum on topics related to international public policy, comparative political institutions, decentralized governance and communications. Students in the department represent 14 different countries throughout Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Americas. Thus, Binghamton University MPA students will receive an unparalleled opportunity to study with students from all over the world.

Binghamton MPA students will study comparative and international governance issues with a focus on the European Union and its member countries.

Program Specifics

Students enroll as visiting students for 12 credits during their study-abroad semester at Central European University. Their courses will be determined by the offerings at CEU and their particular interests, but the Department of Public Policy will provide a list of offered courses every August. The winter semester extends from the second week in  January through the end of March.

Binghamton University MPA students will have an option to extend their European experience by conducting their required 300-hour summer semester internship in Europe. Central European University will facilitate students’ placements, if they have participated in the semester-abroad program. Binghamton students will take their required Binghamton capstone course (and write their capstone project paper) in the following fall (or spring) semester based upon their European internships.

The required sequencing of the internship and capstone course essentially requires that students matriculating in the MPA program in a fall semester would enroll for the Budapest Study Abroad semester in the spring of their first academic year. If students delayed their enrollment to their second year, they would probably need to extend their MPA degree into the third year, enrolling in the capstone course in the third fall.

Students may also enroll in the semester-abroad program for the fall semester, which extends from the last week in September through mid-December.

Application and Admission

All Binghamton University Master of Public Administration students in good standing are eligible to apply for the program. The Binghamton University Graduate Student application will also be used for admission to the Budapest Study Abroad semester. Binghamton University’s Department of Public Administration and Office of International Programs will review students’ CEU applications and forward them with appropriate recommendations to CEU (see attached procedures). Applications will be forwarded to Professor Uwe Puetter, chair of the Department of Public Policy at Central European University, who has the authority to admit visiting students. The final decision to accept a student is made by Central European University.

The following tables outline the application and admission procedure for the program for each semester:

Winter Semester

the application and admission procedure for the program
Activity Due Date
Students notify Department of Public Administration of their interest Binghamton Graduate School Application January-April of previous year
CEU provides a list of available public policy courses to Binghamton University August
Introductory meeting for interested students Late August
Binghamton forwards applications to CEU September 15
CEU notifies students and DPA of acceptance September 30
Student submits visa application to Hungarian Consulate November 1
Binghamton Office of International Programs orientation Before December 15 (end of fall semester)
Final tuition and fee payment Second week of January
Budapest Study Abroad Second week in January – End of March


Fall Semester

the application and admission procedure for the program
Activity Due Date
Students notify Department of Public Administration of their interest March
CEU provides a list of available public policy courses to Binghamton University February
Introductory meeting for interested students April
Binghamton forwards applications to CEU May 1
CEU notifies students and DPA of acceptance June 1
Student submits visa application to Hungarian Consulate July 1
Binghamton Office of International Programs orientation Before departure
Final tuition and fee payment Second week of September
Budapest Study Abroad

3rd week of September- mid-December

Tuition and Fees

The total of tuition and fees paid by the student is approximately $7000. In 2007-08, for the 12 credits earned in a full-time semester, the tuition and fees will be approximately $4,402 (280 € multiplied by $1.31 per € multiplied by 12). In 2008-09, tuition costs will increase to 360 € or $5280. CEU will also charge the equivalent of two credits for the internship

Visas

American students must receive a student visa from Hungary, which will take approximately three months. For a January starting date, students should apply for their visa no later than the end of September. The application fee for a multiple-entry visa is $60 U.S. Additional information regarding the Hungarian visa process can be found at the Hungarian Embassy’s webpage. Permanent residents and non-citizens should consult the Office of International Programs to determine their eligibility for this program.

Housing and Living Expenses

CEU has a dorm for its students located about 40 minutes away from the CEU campus. Most American students choose to live in apartments closer to the center of Budapest. Students should budget approximately $700 per month for housing and living expenses in Budapest. A detailed breakout of all costs of living in Budapest can be found at the CEU webpage.

Health Insurance

Visiting students can subscribe to comprehensive health insurance arranged by CEU for about $100 per month. The insurance is valid in any EU member country. CEU has a health clinic with doctors who speak English.

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Last Updated: 9/10/13