Information for Incoming Students

The Erasmus Programme of the European Union aims at improving the quality of education and fostering European cooperation. Various opportunities for student and staff mobility are offered, enabling BA, MA and doctoral students, as well as scientific and administrative staff at OR-ZSE and its partner institutions to visit each other. Students are encouraged to spend a semester abroad (credit mobility) during their studies, whereas staff can carry out research, build their academic network, acquire new skills and also observe good institutional practices in those institutions.

OR-ZSE submitted an application to the European Committee for accreditation in Spring 2020. Upon approval, and having entered the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education, inter-institutional agreements are being signed. We are working on improving our partnerships thus being able to offer you a wider choice.

Brief history

The Jewish Theological Seminary (Landesrabbinerschule) of Budapest was opened in 1877, as an “offspring” of the Breslau seminary, and quickly becoming the spiritual and intellectual centre of neologist (positive-historical) Judaism in Hungary. Now called Jewish Theological Seminary – University of Jewish Studies (OR-ZSE), it is a full-fledged university with a broad profile, including rabbinical and cantorial training programmes, Jewish studies, social work and community work and a doctoral school. Except for the rabbinical and cantorial training programmes, OR-ZSE equally accepts Jewish and non-Jewish students. We are especially proud of the cultural richness of our student body and the cross-denominational diversity of our faculty.

This small and cosy institution with a rich history represents a singular aspect of our shared European cultural heritage. Its vibrant student community, its professors specialized in rabbinical studies, cantorial arts, Judaism, Hungarian Jewry and the social sciences, their expertise in pastoral care, social work and community work, as well as the institution’s unique Judaica library collection, welcomes all students and scholars, from Europe and overseas, of any cultural background and denomination.


Dr. Tamás Biró
associate professor

Andrea Seregdy
head of Rector’s Cabinet

Inter-Institutional Agreements

Institution ERASMUS code Topic ISCED code Website
University of Antwerp / Universiteit Antwerpen B ANTWERP01 History and archaeology 0222
Babeș–Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca / Universitatea Babeș–Bolyai, Kolozsvár RO CLUJNAP01 History and archaeology 0222
Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra / Univerzita Konstantina Filozofa Vnitre SK NITRA01 Travel, tourism and leisure 1015
University of Potsdam / Universität Potsdam D POTSDAM01 Religion and theology 0221
Protestant Theological Institute of Cluj-Napoca / Kolozsvári Protestáns Teológiai Intézet RO CLUJNAP08 Religion and theology 0221
Partium Christian University / Partiumi Keresztény Egyetem RO ORADEA02 Social work and counselling 0923

Practical information

When you plan your mobility to Budapest, please feel free to contact us. The Erasmus coordinator and other staff members involved in mobility can be reached via email:

OR-ZSE – a small institution with a low number of full-time students from outside Budapest – does not operate a dormitory of its own. Therefore, we regularly help our students in finding accommodation, such as in dormitories of fellow institutions, or by renting a room. Please contact us ahead of time.

EU citizens are insured on the basis of the European Health Insurance Card, whereas non-EU citizens must have a health insurance. For further information, please refer to official sites such as Study in Hungary.

EU and EEA citizens do not need a visa to enter, or a resident permit to stay and study in Hungary. Third country nationals, however, are required to have a visa. Please plan ahead of time, and do not hesitate to contact us, should you have any question! For further information, please visit these sites:
Study in Hungary
National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing

Keeping shabbat and kashrut in Budapest
While Budapest is the home of a sizeable observant Jewish community, living in Budapest is certainly different from living in major Jewish centres. In case you keep shabbat and kashrut, please inform us about your “stringency level” before leaving, so that we can advise you accordingly.

Students and staff with disabilities
Being an institution based on a 3000-year-old religious tradition of social justice, our top values include caring for those encountering difficulties in life, including temporary challenges, underprivileged members of our society, and those with physical or mental health conditions. A small and homey university such as ours can provide personalized support. Please feel free to contact us prior to your arrival to Budapest, so that we can discuss your needs and make the necessary preparations.

ECTS credit information and grading system
By Hungarian law, 1 ECTS credit corresponds to an average of 30 hours of workload. Courses differ greatly in their credit value, ranging from 2-3 credits (for some BA courses) to 6 credits (typical for PhD courses). A semester corresponds to 30 credits on average; that is, a 3-year-long BA programme consists of 180 credits, and a 2-year-long MA programme involves 120 credits. Grades in Hungary are on a five-point range, covering: fail (1), satisfactory (2), fair (3), good (4) and excellent (5).
The ECTS Users’ Guide 2015 can be downloaded from the EU website.

Language courses
The Foreign Language Centre of OR-ZSE offers Modern Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew courses for credit. You are welcome to join the Hungarian students! These course units are required in our degree programmes, and so they can be taken by Erasmus students as any other regular university course. Please contact the Foreign Language Centre before the semester begins to ensure your placement in a group matching your language skills.

Further languages are also offered as electives in various programmes, such as Yiddish, Aramaic, and occasionally Greek, Latin or Ladino, as well as academic English reading skills. We do not offer Hungarian courses or “plain” language courses in modern European languages, but we can assist you with finding one in town. If you wish to start learning Hungarian before leaving, you can do so with projects such as Duolingo. Last but not least, feel free to make use of the Online Linguistic Support provided by the Erasmus programme.