Hungary: Justice Studies

Fall Study Abroad Program

Fall term program with justice studies emphasis at Karoli Gaspar University.

The Justice Studies Budapest Program (COLA 657) is a study abroad program for students intending to deepen their knowledge of modern European justice systems. Each spring a group of UNH students, under the supervision of a Justice Studies faculty member, study at Karoli Gaspar University of Budapest. Situated along the Danube River, Budapest is an exciting and cosmopolitan city, close to other beautiful European cities such as Prague and Vienna.

  • Fulfill 3 Discovery Requirements (WC, HP, HUMA)
  • Travel with UNH students and faculty
  • Learn about Hungarian law and culture
  • Courses are taught in English
  • Build your resume
  • Costs less than a semester at UNH Durham
  • Broaden your horizons!
Program dateS

January - May 2020 (Exact dates TBA)

Information Session

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Application Deadline


Deposit deadline


How to apply Financial Aid/scholarships


Susan Siggelakis
Associate Professor of Political Science
Justice Studies Budapest Program Director
Phone: (603) 862-1780 Fax:

Jim Parsons
COLA Study Abroad Coordinator
Phone: (603) 862-3962

At the time of application, all students are expected to meet the following criteria:

  • At least 12 credits earned at UNH
    • Freshmen students not meeting the 12-credit requirement may be allowed to participate in the program. Approval is needed from both the Program Faculty Director. Contact the COLA Center for Study Abroad for guidance.
  • A declared major
  • A minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA
    • Students who do not have a declared major or who have an established GPA between 2.0 and 2.5 may still apply. Admission will be at the discretion of the program faculty director.
  • Good standing with the Student Conduct System
    • A student who is on probation, regardless of the underlying violation, must successfully petition through the Academic Standards and Advising Committee (ASAC) for permission to participate. Students who have had a past violation will also be required to petition. Please contact your Dean’s Office for more guidance and the petition form, if needed.

The program is open to all majors from all UNH Colleges, though preference is given to justice studies dual majors.

Please read the JSBP Policy Manual before applying. 

Curriculum (Updated information for Spring 2020 program coming soon)

All students participating in the Budapest Program take 16 credits of coursework. Two courses, JUST 650 and JUST 651, will be taught by a UNH professor at Corvinus University of Budapest. These two courses will satisfy Justice Studies Minor or Dual Major elective course requirements. The earned grade in JUST 650 will figure into the student’s UNH cumulative grade point average. JUST 651 is a credit/fail course. Two other courses will be taught by Hungarian faculty. Students’ grades in these two courses will not figure into their UNH cumulative GPA but, will qualify for transfer credit provided students earn a grade of a C or better.

The program is open to all students and no prior coursework is necessary or expected, though preference is given to Justice Studies students The program is hosted by Corvinus University located in the center of Budapest. While courses take place at Corvinus, the courses are closed to UNH students only. 

Students who study abroad in Budapest are allowed to count another approved JS elective course in place of the JUST 601 (Internship) requirement. Students may still choose to take JUST 601 but, it is no longer be required. For more information please contact the Justice Studies Office.

Fall 2018 Courses

UNH Associate Professor of Political Science, Susan Siggelakis, will lead the Fall 2018 Justice Studies Program in Budapest and instruct both JUST 650 and JUST 651.

JUST 650 (4 credits; graded)

Special Studies in Comparative Justice Systems: Judicial Review in Comparative Perspective

This course will center on the concept of judicial review in Post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe. Judicial review is the power of a court to determine whether laws made in the legislative process are consistent with constitutional and foundational principles. We will seek to understand these countries’ efforts in the latter part of the 20th century to establish both judicial independence and judicial review in regimes in which judges have been distrusted historically as corrupt, inherently political actors. These systems will be compared and contrasted with the historical development and operation of the United States’ system of constitutionalism and judicial review. The Hungarian experience will be highlighted particularly.

JUST 651 (6 credits; CR/F)
Field Studies in the Hungarian Justice System

This course is designed to provide program students first-hand experience with the workings of the Hungarian justice system. Weekly field trips to agencies in law enforcement, the courts, and correctional facilities in the Budapest area will be arranged and periodic lectures by Hungarian criminal justice professionals and scholars will complement these visits.

COLA 657F2 (3 credits; transfer credit)
Hungary in the 20th Century: A Historical and Political Overview

Hungary in the 20th century has had a turbulent history, with its political regimes changing radically. Liberal democracy, limited democracy, diverse authoritarian and totalitarian regimes alternated with one another. These general conditions may explain why introductions to 20th century Hungarian political developments are dominated by the historical approach. While the course will respond to change, it will also use a political science approach when providing a conceptual and political institution framework against the background of the historical context. In addition to past history, the course will deal extensively with more recent events, including the Communist heritage, the change in the system, and current issue of consolidation.

COLA 657F1 (3 credits; transfer credit)
Contemporary Cultural Trends in Central Europe

This course is intended to provide an introduction to contemporary Central European culture. Central Europe is defined here in a rather narrow sense for practical purposes: the cultural trends of the “Visegrád countries" that is, of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary are discussed. "Contemporary" is defined as post-World War II.

The course starts with a short overview of the linguistic, ethnic, and religious diversity of the region. The course centers on an analysis of the activities and certain selected works of the following authors, who might be termed as representative of their respective cultures: Czeszlav Milosz, Slawomir Mrozek, and Witold Gombrowicz from Poland; Václav Havel, Bohumil Hrabal, Milan Kundera, and Ivan Kilma from the former Czechoslovakia; and Sándor Márai, Péter Esterházy, Tibor Déry, Péter Nádas, Gyula Illyés, and György Spiró from Hungary. In addition to essays, dramas, short stories, and short novels by the authors listed above, the history of the Central European film after 1945 is discussed with special reference to the works of Andrzej Wajda, Krzystof Kieslowski, Krzystof Zanussi, Milos Forman, Jiri Menzel, Miklós Jancsó, and István Szabó.

Situated and defined by the Danube River, Budapest is one of Europe's most romantic and stunning citites. The history of Budapest and the region extends back to the early Romans who were drawn to the region by the thermal baths. Extensive remains of the largest Roman settlement in the region lay just outside the modern city. The Romans were succeeded by Attila and the Huns in the early Middle Ages, and then by the arrival of the Magyars and the founding of Hungary at the end of the 9th century. In its modern history, Hungary has been occupied in turn by the Ottoman Empire, the Austrian Empire, and the Soviet Union. Hungarians have fought for their independence in two tragic and unsuccessful revolutions – in 1848 against the Austrians and 1956 against the Soviet Union. Each of these has left its marks on the city, making it an extraordinary museum and laboratory for studying this extraordinary history.

Post-communist Budapest is a modern and continually growing metropolis of nearly 2 million people. The city has a young and cosmipolitan feel with a large student population and vibrant nightlife. Today the city seems to hang in between its status of a modern EU capital and its cultural traditions dating back to its late-19th century heyday. It retains the romance of Old Europe with its decadent cafes, neoclassical buildings, and stately beauty while offering students a fun, accessible, and culturally enriching living environment.

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Students pay their usual tuition but are exempt from mandatory university fees for the semester. Students pay a program fee covering housing and excursions for the semester, an international health and travel insurance fee, and a study abroad administrative fee. Students are responsible for their own meals and travel expenses. Financial aid recipients continue to receive their scholarships and aid. 

Students participating in the Justice Studies Budapest Program will pay the following on their UNH tuition bill:

  • UNH Tuition
  • UNH Fees
    • Technology $102.50
    • Study Abroad Administration $200
    • International Health Insurance: $150
  • Estimated Budapest Program Fee $3,500 
    • Covers housing and activities/excursions organized by the Resident Director

Note: Students must also pay a housing damage deposit of $500, any refund of which is returned after the students return to the United States.

Housing and Meals

Students will be housed in international student dorms at Karoli Gaspar University. The dorms are located on the Buda side of the city, within easy commuting distance to the main academic buildings of the university. Students must plan for their own meal costs, though there are some limited common meal preparation spaces at the dorms. Otherwise, Budapest is a great city for budget-concious eaters. 

Other Inclusions

In addition to housing, the program fees also include:

  • Excursions. These include weekly cultural outings in the city as part of classwork and occassional trips outside of Budapest. Past visits include theatre performances, museum visits, concerts, and trips to other cities in Hungary or neighboring countries in Europe.
  • Pre-departure preparation by UNH faculty and staff. In-country support by program faculty and staff
  • Visa fee
  • Comprehensive international travel insurance and assistance program

Not Included

  • Airfare to and from Hungary
  • Travel to and from New York City for the required visa application
  • Meals
  • Mobile phone (required)
  • Local transportation
  • Personal spending and travel money

Payment Information and Refund Policy

All students must submit a non-refundable $400 deposit payment following acceptance.

View study abroad payment deadlines, cancellation and refund policy