On 18 March State Secretary Orsolya Pacsay-Tomassich expressed her sympathy for Stipendium Hungaricum students– and asked everyone to obey the rules and regulations set out by the Hungarian Government in order to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Her words were directed at all the students who were unable to return to their homes. Two weeks later, with the state of emergency still in effect, we try to answer some questions you might have if you are in this situation.
Is it safe for you to return to your home country?
In view of the emergency situation, we recommend that scholarship holders do not leave Hungary and we strongly advise that you stay in your current place of residence. This is the safest option for you and your loved ones at home. If you stay in Hungary, you will receive the benefits provided by the programme: contribution to your housing and living expenses, health insurance, and the additional health services.
Please note, that by travelling home, you risk being unable to return to Hungary and continuing your studies within the framework of the scholarship programme. However, it is important to stress that, whilst TPF advises against the international travel of the scholarship holders, it is only a recommendation and travelling home will in no way result in any direct sanctions against students deciding to return to their home country.
Will you still be entitled to your scholarship if you decide to leave the country?
If the scholarship holders leave the territory of Hungary, they can do so only with the permission of the institution, and if they are absent for more than 30 days, they will lose their right to their living and housing allowance until their return, as these allowances are intended to contribute to their costs of living in Hungary. However, they do not lose their scholarship status.
In addition to the above, scholarship holders will of course still have the opportunity to suspend their studies (passive semester), through the procedure set out under Section 45 (2) of the Act on National Higher Education 204/2011.
However, please bear in mind, that during the passive semester, scholarship holders are not entitled to their allowances provided by the programme. It is worth bearing in mind that, pursuant to paragraph (1) of the same Section, a continuous interruption shall not exceed two semesters unless authorized by their host institution.
If you decide to return to your home country, but do not want to suspend your studies, you will be able to continue your studies online through distance education.
Are you currently staying abroad?
If you are staying abroad, we encourage you to follow the news and visit http://abouthungary.hu/ for current information and rules regarding border crossing – and contact your institution before you decide to return to Hungary.
If you manage to meet the requirements through distance education – or in case you have already suspended your studies for this semester – even if your return to Hungary is not possible due to unforeseen circumstances, your scholarship status will not be affected by your absence.
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