AIT is going entirely online for the spring of 2021.

AIT has made the decision to suspend in-class education for Spring 2021 and will, instead, offer an entirely online experience for that semester. Students who have already been accepted for Spring 2021 will have the option to participate online or defer to a later term when in-class education can resume. For those who do not wish to participate in a whole "online semester" experience, AIT will offer selected courses and students may enroll in up to two such courses while remaining full time students at their home institution.

Both options -- the entire online semester and the possibility to enroll in one or two selected AIT courses -- will come with official transcripts for those students who successfully complete the courses and with the possibility to transfer credit to their home schools. Please read on for the course offerings, application procedure, tuition and more practical information.

Why did we decide to cancel in-class education?

Hungary had managed the first wave of the COVID pandemic relatively well in the spring, with relatively a low number of infections and ample resources in its health care system. That record gave us cautious optimism about our ability to run the program safely in Spring 2021, and we started planning and implementing safety measures to make on-site education viable, including the redesigning of classrooms for social distancing and procurement of protective gear and equipment for all members of the AIT community. 

Unfortunately, the second wave of the pandemic arrived this fall and the case numbers are higher than anticipated by the authorities.  Therefore, the on-site experience and the cultural immersion part of the program would be limited by lockdowns, travel restrictions and the possibility that the health-care system could become overburdened. After reviewing the current state of the pandemic and our plans, we have come to the conclusion that we must cancel in-class education for Spring 2021 in order not to put anyone's health and safety in jeopardy. We do regret this as we were looking forward to welcoming the Spring 2021 cohort, but we do believe that this is the responsible way to move forward under the current circumstances.

What is AIT offering online?

AIT will offer two options for those students who wish to participate in AIT's program in the coming spring:

  1. An entire "Online semester at AIT", with AIT's most popular courses, allowing students to take between 12-22 credits of coursework
  2. "Taste of AIT" comprising one or two courses for 2-8 credits of coursework for those who cannot commit to an entire online semester.

All courses are taught live online and recorded for watching again later. Students are expected to participate in most live class meetings.

A. "Online semester at AIT" option

AIT will offer an entire "Online semester at AIT" to those students who wish to spend a semester studying with AIT and gain 12-22 credits after successfully completing their selected courses.

Course offering and credit

This "Online semester at AIT" will come complete with the option to enroll in 3-6 of AIT’s selected courses along with AIT’s cultural offerings and extracurricular services such as distinguished lectures and career support in the Computer Science field. (The minimum requirement for a full-time status is 12 credits, but AIT is suggesting students to take between 16-18 credits. Although there is no extra fee in case someone wishes to complete all courses to gain the maximum of 22 credits.) Courses will be recorded for later viewing, but in order to gain credit for completing a course, students are expected to participate live in at least 80% of all class meetings. All students accepted to the “online semester at AIT” will have the option to choose from the following theory, applications, and humanities courses:

  Course title Faculty Credits
Nr.1 Algorithms and Data Structures Judit Csima 4 credits
Nr.2 Combinatorial Optimization Dávid Szeszlér 4 credits
Nr.3 Computer Graphics László Szécsi 4 credits
Nr.4 Mobile Software Development Péter Ekler 4 credits
Nr.5 Deep Learning Bálint Gyires-Tóth 4 credits
Nr.6 Budapest Studies – life and culture of a city and its dwellers Mariann Schiller
Anna Gács
2 credits

The following services will be available for those students accepted to the "Online semester at AIT", and more will be added throughout the program:

  • One-on-one student advising, office hours with professors
  • Culture – Theory - Industry: Distinguished lectures from AIT’s faculty members and guests
  • Careers in computing advising – High quality advising and support for students preparing and applying for internships and permanent positions in the computing and software industry

Schedule

The semester is 14 week long with classes beginning on February 1 and ending on May 14. There is a one-week spring recess between March 20-28.
The schedule of courses makes it possible to take all offered courses although AIT suggests that students take between 16-18 credits.

4 credit courses meet twice a week and the 2 credit course meets once a week.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
5pm-7pm CET
8am-10am PST
11am-1pm EST
Combinatorial Optimization Deep Learning Combinatorial Optimization Algorithms and Data Structures  
7pm-9pm CET
10am-noon PST
1pm-3pm EST
  Algorithms and Data Structures   Deep Learning Budapest Studies
9pm-11pm CET
noon-2pm PST
3pm-5pm EDT
Mobile Software Development Computer Graphics Mobile Software Development Computer Graphics  

Tuition

Tuition for the entire "Online semester" is 9,000 USD and allows students full access to all offered courses.

Application procedure

Students taking the "Online semester at AIT" should complete the application form available here. The application is a streamlined version of AIT’s regular application and comprises a few short answers, a short essay, transcripts, and one recommendation letter. Students who are already accepted to AIT’s regular program do not need to reapply.

Students accepted to the “Online semester at AIT” program will be allowed to take any of the courses offered. At a later date students will also be asked to take a placement or self-evaluation survey in order to inform the faculty about their preparedness.

Application deadline is: December 15, 2020.

B. “Taste of AIT” option

This option is designed for those students who wish to take one or two of AIT's signature courses, and this option may also be completed while still being enrolled full-time at the student's home school. Students have the option to enroll in a maximum of two courses from the full list of courses listed above.

Course offering and credit

AIT will issue official transcripts for all students upon successful completion of the course requirements. For the rules and conversion methods for credit transfer, please consult your advisor or study abroad office at your home school.

The course selection and schedule of theory, applications, and humanities courses are the same as in the "Online semester at AIT" option. For the complete list and schedule please see above under option A. Students enrolled in the "Taste of AIT" option will take courses together with students in option A. Please refer to the list of courses and the schedule above. Courses will be recorded for later viewing, but in order to gain credit for completing a course, students are expected to participate live in at least 80% of all class meetings. 

Tuition

Tuition for the "Taste of AIT" courses depends on the number of courses taken and whether a student remains enrolled at their home schools for the semester.
Tuition for a single course is 2,000 USD for a 4-credit course and 1,000 USD for the 2-credit course.
If a student decides to enroll in up to two of AIT’s courses while still being enrolled full-time at their home school (but not taking the full "Online semester at AIT") AIT offers heavily discounted tuition levels in recognition of the financial burden of paying for the home school’s tuition and additional AIT’s courses. 4 credit courses in this option will be available at the rate of 800 USD per course and the 2 credit humanities course at 400 USD.

Application procedure

Students wishing to take the “Taste of AIT” option will not have to go through an application process to AIT. Instead they will need to create an account on AIT's website and fill out this short registration form where they indicate which course(s) they are interested in.

After registration AIT will send entrance tests for the theory courses (Algorithms and Data Structures and Combinatorial Optimization) and self-evaluation for the practical courses (Deep Learning, Mobile Software Development and Computer Graphics) to applicants. There is no entrance tests for the humanities course. These tests and self-evaluations will be sent to students prior to enrollment and the results will be evaluated and returned with the professor’s recommendation within one week of receipt. Professors will let applicants know if they a) approve of them taking the course, or b) not recommend that they take the course due to inappropriate preparation for the material in that course.  This process is important in order to ensure that students are well-prepared to thrive in AIT’s robust curriculum.

Application deadline is: December 31, 2020.

Comparison of the 2 options AIT is offering for the upcoming spring term:

Name "Online semester at AIT" "Taste of AIT"
Brief description Enrollment in entire online semester at AIT Enrollment in maximum two AIT courses online
Possibility to transfer credit
and transcript
Yes, 12-18 credits

Official transcript

Yes, 2-8 credits

Official transcript

Tuition $9,000 4 credit course – $2,000  ($800 with home school enrollment)
2 credit course – $1,000 ($400 with home school enrollment)
Application procedure Simplified application procedure Entrance test or self-evaluation for each course selected (except Budapest Studies)
Extracurricular services Office hours
Distinguished lectures
Career in computing advising
Office hours

What is available for accepted students, and what do they need to do now?

First, as there will be no on-site education in Budapest in Spring 2021, students should cancel their plans for obtaining visas to Hungary. This includes notifying the embassy or consulate if you already have an appointment for the interview and cancelling any travel plans that have been made for travelling to Budapest in the spring.

Second, accepted students should decide if they want to attend online courses at AIT, cancel their application and seek refund for the deposit, or defer acceptance to a later semester when in-class education will be available again, hopefully by Fall 2021.

All other matters and further questions

Students are encouraged to consult with their home school's study abroad offices to verify if their institution allows credit transfers for the online program. Many schools have made their decisions to accept transfer credit, but some have not yet declared their policies. If your school has not decided yet, you may inquire about the date of the planned decision. Your options at AIT listed above (attending online, cancelling or deferring) will be open until December 31, 2020.

If you or your advisors have questions, the AIT staff is here to answer them. Please write to office [uhlztasp] ait-budapest [shzpokiz] com, or schedule an advising appointment with us: https://calendly.com/aitfair/advising?month=2020-10

We are looking forward to working with you, seeing you online, or welcoming you in person in Budapest once we can all travel and meet safely again.