Debrecen 08 FAQ

1. About travel

1.1. Do I need a visa?
Hungary is in the EU. Moreover, it is also part of the Schengen Area, and applies the Schengen legislation in full. You do not need a visa if: (i) you are a citizen of an EU country, (ii) you have a visa or a residence permit issued by one of the Schengen States, or (iii) you are a citizen of one of the following countries (non-exhaustive list): Australia, Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, the USA, Venezuela. In principle, you need a visa if you come from Belarus, Bosnia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, and Turkey. For more information, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Hungary at http://www.mfa.gov.hu/kum/en/bal/ . Obtaining a visa is primarily your responsibility, but the local organization will assist you in the application procedure as much as possible. If you need help, send a mail to rakosigy at hotmail.com .

1.2. What is the nearest airport?
If you fly, it is definitely Budapest Airport that makes the best destination (http://www.bud.hu/english). It has 2 terminals: Ferihegy 1 mainly for budget airlines (including, among others, Clickair, Germanwings, Ryanair, and Wizz Air), and Ferihegy 2 for traditional airlines, including flights to and from non-European destinations. Ferihegy 1 is closer to the town, but it is also on the way if you are coming from Ferihegy 2.

1.3. From Budapest to Debrecen
If you arrive in Budapest, it is the best and the easiest to take a train to Debrecen. The timetable is available at http://www.elvira.hu/. Some trains depart from the Eastern Railway Station ("Keleti Pályaudvar"), and some others from the Western Railway Station ("Nyugati Pályaudvar"). Each can be reached by the underground, and there are also various buses and trams. Here you will find everything you need to know about public transport in Budapest, including a link to a route planner: http://www.bkv.hu/english/home/index.html. The train service between Budapest and Debrecen is pretty good during the day, and you always have a chance to catch a direct train. The journey is between 2.5-3.5 hours, depending on which train you take. Intercity trains are faster, because they stop less frequently. A full price ticket for a single journey is 3.230 HUFs (13 Euros), plus an 520 HUFs (2 Euros) supplement for IC trains. If you are an EU citizen under 26, you can get a 33% discount on the train ticket between 10:00 Friday and 24:00 Sunday.

1.4. From the Airport to the train
In general, you do not need a taxi. Some of the trains stop at a station right outside terminal Ferihegy 1, so if you land there, you are lucky person (check out at www.elvira.hu if your train stops at "Ferihegy"). If you arrive at terminal Ferihegy 2, you can just simply take the Airport bus (bus 200) from the terminal for the price of a regular bus ticket, and get off at Ferihegy 1. Train tickets can be purchased inside the Ferihegy 1 building. If you need to go to either of the railway stations mentioned in the previous paragraph, do the following. Take the Airport bus (bus 200) from either Ferihegy 1 or Ferihegy 2 and travel to its terminal, the Kőbánya-Kispest Exchange. The Exchange itself is a leftover socialist design, so you can already have fun with interesting people in an interesting piece of construction. From here, take the underground M3 (enter the building and go down the stairs to the nearest platform) directly to Nyugati Pályaudvar (Western Railway Station). If you need to go to Keleti Pályaudvar (Eastern Railway Station), take M3 to Deák Ferenc tér and change for M2 and get off directly at this station. Underground tickets can be bought at the Kőbánya-Kispest Exchange. If you need to change the line, buy a transfer ticket ("átszállójegy").

1.5. From the railway station to the dorm
There will be EGG people waiting for you on Sunday during the day at the railway station (between 10am and 20pm), so look out for people with EGG-tags when you emerge from the walkway under the platforms. The best is to take bus 14 to the dorm. The bus stop is right outside the building of the railway station. The journey is 24 minutes, and you have to get off at "Veres Péter Kollégium", which is in fact our dorm.

2. The EGG in Debrecen

2.1. On-site registration
The registration will take place at the dorm on Sunday when you arrive. It is also possible to register at the EGG school on Monday. If you stay in the dorm and you do not arrive on Sunday, contact Gabor Csernyi at csgabor@delfin.unideb.hu (see Section 3 below).

2.2. The dorm - general
Our dorm is called "Veres Péter Kollégium", and it is situated on the campus of the Agricultural School of the University of Debrecen. The address is: Böszörményi út 140. They have a website, which is unfortunately only in Hungarian (http://www.agr.unideb.hu/kollegium/), but you can at least have a look at some pictures if you click on the "Galéria" link.

2.3. The dorm - facilities
We will have the top 3 floors of the dorm, and 4 students will share one apartment. Each apartment has a four-bedded bedroom, a small entry with two washbasins, and one study room, where you have a fridge and internet connection. (Please bring your own lan cable to connect to the internet, there is no wireless access in the dorm.) Towels and linen are provided, and the towels are changed after the first week. There are common showers and toilets on every floor. There is also a kitchen on the sixth floor with two micros, but dishes and utensils are not provided. You will be able to use the washing machines in the basement for 240 HUFs a (1 Euro) a ride. We have a package deal with the dorm, which includes two renovated floors (floor 5 and 6), and one floor which has not been renovated (but it has the above facilities just as well). Consequently, some of you get renovated rooms, and some of you do not. The better places are allocated first, so if you come late, you get a non-renovated room.

2.4. What do I do if I want to share a room with my friend?
If you wish to share the room with other people, you can tell your requests to Gabor Csernyi (csgabor@delfin.unideb.hu), and we will try to put you up with the people you want to be with. We apologize if not all requests can be satisified.

2.5. The classes - the venue
The classes will take place in the main building of the University of Debrecen. For pictures of this building, visit the gallery at the website of the faculty of arts at http://www.englishstudies.sci.unideb.hu/ .

2.6. From the dorm to the classes
Unfortunately, this year the dorm and the classes are separated in space. But that's what has made accommodation cheaper for us. The distance between the two venues is 10-15 minutes walking eastwards from the dorm. We will guide you through the intervening housing estate on the first day, and you will also get the directions in your registration package.

3. Accommodation: How much does it cost?

3.1. What do I do if I want to arrive or leave early or late?
If you wish to arrive at the dorm or leave on any dates other than the default dates July 27 and August 9, you have to contact Gabor Csernyi and let him know about this. You will also have to figure out how much, if anything, you need to pay for any extra nights that you might stay in the dorm. See below on this.

3.2. I have no accommodation grant, how much will my accommodation cost?
If you participate in the school and stay in the dorm, then you will have to pay 100 euros registration fee. This gives you the right to occupy a bed in the hostel from Sunday, July 27 (arrival), to Saturday, August 9 (departure). But everybody who is not teaching or organizing the school will have to pay. If you do not even spend a single night in the dorm, you are still strongly encouraged to pay the 100 euros registration fee. Please do support our efforts and make this donation. However, we are willing to reduce the fees for those who do not stay in the dorm to just the minum registration fee of 25 euros.

If you want to spend any nights that fall outside of the window from July 27 to August 9, you have to pay for each night outside of that window and you have to tell us about it. Send an email to Gabor Csernyi (csgabor@delfin.unideb.hu) so that we can plan and your room is ready when you arrive.

The two nights immediately before the school (arrival July 25 or July 26) and the two nights immediately after the school (departure August 10 or August 11) are priced at a special discounted rate of 1325 HUF/person/night.

All nights falling outside of the window July 25 to August 11 must be paid at the regular rate of 2500 HUF/person/night.

Examples:
You arrive on Sunday, July 27 and want to leave on Tuesday, August 12. You will have to pay 100 euros, plus two nights at the discounted rate plus one night at the standard rate.
You arrive late to the school - on Monday, July 28 - and you want to stay one extra night and leave on Sunday, August 10. You will have to pay 100 euros, plus one night at the discounted rate.

3.3. I have an accommodation grant, how much will my accommodation cost?
Basically - nothing. If you have an accommodation grant, then you do not need to pay the regular 100 euros registration fee. We cover your accommodation between July 27 and August 9. In fact, you can stay two extra nights (either before or after the school or one on each end) without having to pay for your bed yourself. However, we do need you to let us know about it. Send an email to Gabor Csernyi (csgabor@delfin.unideb.hu) so that we can plan and your room is ready when you arrive.

If you want to or need to stay more nights beyond the two extra nights that we pay for, then you will have to pay those additional nights yourself at the rates indicated in the answer to the previous question.

3.4. How do I pay the registration and the dormitory?
We will ask you to come and pay your registration fee and any additional dormitory nights in HUF during one of the first days of the school. Payment night will probably be Wednesday, July 30. You will be asked to pay everything in HUF, i.e., you will need to have the equivalent of 100 euros plus the payment for any extra nights in HUF. The details will be announced on site.

4. Social events

4.1. Fun at the EGG
The social side of EGG has always been just as important as the classes themselves. We hope you will enjoy your stay in Debrecen and have as much fun as you can. In order to start us up, we are organizing three social events that are described immediately below. The floor is open for you to expand upon this - we will be there to assist you if you need help.

4.2. Opening party
On Monday 28 July, everyone is invited to an opening party at a bar called Sikk Music Café. The place is five minutes walking from the main square, but it is easy to reach from the dorm by bus (you get the directions later on). We are planning to start at 21:00 and the place is all ours till the morning. They have a small dancefloor, too, and when we feel like dancing, someone will be there to play for us whatever music we like. Please feel free to bring along your own music. If you like the place, the owner is happy to host parties any time of the week. And if you are interested in learning traditional Hungarian dances, you can ask the owner to invite a band that plays folk music and they can even teach you how to dance - and it all comes for free!

4.3. Garden party
Thursday 31 July is the day for a Hungarian-style garden party behind the dorm. We invite you for goulash soup that we cook on the spot (we are also going to cook a vegetarian meal), plus for some Hungarian pálinka (strong, fruity schnaps) and kisfröccs (wine and soda). Your contributions are also welcome, especially if you have something from your home country.

4.4. Daytrip to Tokaj and Hortobágy
Many of you told us that is your first time in Hungary - so why not have a look around? We are organizing a daytrip on 2 August to take you to two famous tourist destinations: Tokaj and Hortobágy. Tokaj is the centre of the most renowned wine producing region in Hungary, and it is a small town that is also worth visiting for its splendid location and architectural heritage (see http://www.tokaj.hu/tourism/index.html for more info on Tokaj). As a start, we go together for a wine tasting visit to the historic Rákóczi cellar. They will tell us about the history of the place, and we get the unique opportunity to taste 6 excellent Tokaj wines (check out the details at http://www.rakoczipince.hu/). If you don't get drunk, you will have time to walk around the town, have lunch, or buy wines in the afternoon. In the late afternoon, we leave Tokaj and visit the barren flatland of Hortobágy near Debrecen, also known as the "puszta". The area is a natural park today, and they put up a special outdoor zoo of all sorts of indigenous Hungarian animals (http://www.hortobagyikht.hu/eng/index.php?id=idegenforgalom&subid=allatpark). The zoo is in the middle of the puszta, so besides the animals you also get a facinating view of the flatland. If you wish, we can also stop at Hortobágy village, which is the centre of the natural park with some interesting pieces of traditional housing. We do the trip in an air-conditioned coach that leaves from behind the dorm at 9:45. The whole trip costs roughly 20 Euros (11.5 Euros for the wine tasting, 2 Euros for the Hortobágy zoo, and 6.5 Euros for the bus), which I hope to able to reduce by at least 2 or 3 Euros from our local budget. So we will ask you to contribute the equivalents of roughly 17-18 Euros in Forints - for the sake of comparison, a return ticket between Debrecen and Tokaj alone would cost you 12 Euros. If you have decided to come, please report it to Gábor Csernyi at csgabor@delfin.unideb.hu . This helps us to hire another bus in time if many people want to join the daytrip.

5. Debrecen and Hungary

5.1. Travelling around the town
Public transport is quite good in Debrecen. There is only one tram in the town, but it a goes a big circle around the center from the railway station to the University of Debrecen, where our classes will be. The university stop nearest to the dorm is cc. 15 minutes walking. You can alternatively get on severeal buses if you want to travel directly from the dorm to the center of the town or to the railway station. Tickets bought prior to the journey cost 200 HUFs (0.8 Euros), and they are 250 HUFs (1 Euro) when bought on board. If you use public transport (you might do that if you frequently want to go the centre), it is best to buy a week-pass, which is 2540 HUFs (10 Euros).

5.2. The town
For comprehensive info on Debrecen, visit iranydebrecen.hu/en.

5.3. The weather
The weather is generally quite dry and hot at this time of the year, but there may be periods of rain and relative cold. Have a look at the situation before you leave at www.met.hu/omsz.php.

5.4. The language
Be prepared that most Hungarians you meet outside of EGG only speak Hungarian, and things in the street are often written exclusively in Hungarian. Older generations tend to speak German, if anything at all, and younger ones usually know some English. A relatively good and trustworthy online translation service is provided for free at www.webforditas.hu. It translates from Hungarian to English and vice versa.

5.5. The currency
Hungary is not in the Euro zone, and it uses its own currency called "forint", or HUF for short. The exchange rate may obviously be subject to variation. Nevertheless, the Forint has been gaining strength recently against the Euro, and right now the exchange rate is about 235 HUFs/Euro. If you come from Central-European countries, you may be better off exchanging your local currency into HUFs than buying Euros for the purposes of your EGG stay. The official daily exchange rates are published at english.mnb.hu/Engine.aspx .

6. About the registration

6.1. What happens if I submit my registration form several times?
Only the last one will be counted.
(If you submit them with different names, then they will all be counted and you will receive the shame-of-the-egg punishment for giving additional work to organisers.)

6.2. If I register, can I later decide to withdraw my registration?
Yes, of course!! Just send a msg to egg-withdraw@auf.net and you will be automatically removed from the list of participants. We do request though that you tell us before June 20th.

6.3. What is this stuff about a mailing list?
When you register, you are automatically subscribed to a mailing list for annoucements about the school and for general discussion. (Notice that you must remain on that mailing list as long as you are registered with the school, we need a way to reach you!!)

7. Grants

7.1. Are grants really only for Central/Eastern Europe?
Yes. See the blurb on the purpose of the school for a brief explanation of why this is. It would be great if we could give out more money, but we're on a shoestring budget and it's already difficult like this...

7.2. What about people from Central/Eastern Europe living abroad?
That's to be seen on a case by case basis. But in general preference is given to those living out of reach of all these nice euros/dollars ;-)

7.3. Is it true that grants are given only to people who stay for the whole school?
Yes!! And we are pretty strict on this (see the following question).

7.4. I have a travel grant, how does reimbursement proceed?
You are expected to pay your travel, and then be reimbursed during the school. The reimbursement will be at the end of the school. We will be pretty strict on this, as there has been some abuse in the past.

7.5. Is it true that rejected grant applicants cannot attend the school?
Yes. Grants are for people who want to attend the school but cannot afford to do so. Since we cannot and would not want to check how much money you have in your bank account, we have decided that those people who apply for a grant (because they need one) but do not qualify for one are excluded from the school (because then they couldn't have come anyway).
Also, choosing among the many grant requests is long and difficult for organisers, so we want to cut down on the number of grants applications in a fair way.

8. About the classes

8.1. Are all classes in English?
Yes.

8.2. Am I supposed to attend all the classes?
No way!! This school is supposed to be benefit you, not stuff too much down your throat!! So attend as much as you can digest, and only the parts you are really interested in.

8.3. When will the schedule be known?
Scheduling is a long and difficult process, wish us luck!

9. MISC

9.1. Who should I contact if I have more questions?
First make sure that the answer to your question is not on this website!! If it's not, then you have two options:
- either you feel your question is of general interest, in which case you should send an email to the entire mailing list (where every registered person will receive it)
- or you feel it is a private issue that would not interest all the participants to the school, in which case you should contact the organisers directly, at: summerschool at auf.net