Balassi Insitute


The Balassi Institute was established by the Ministry of Education and Culture was appointed to promote Hungarian culture as well as providing information about Hungary’s geographic and social features, including her history and contemporary characteristics, both for foreigners living in Hungary and abroad within the framework of Hungarian international cultural relations. Since January 2007 the Hungarian Scholarship Board Office, the Hungarian Institutes abroad, the Office of the Márton Áron Students’ Houses and the Balassi Language Institute operate under the auspices of the Balassi Institute. In our era of globalisation, beside economic competition there is also an increasingly intensifying cultural competition among nations; responding to such a challenge requires the deliberate understanding of our own culture and publishing its values. Several countries of the world sponsor well-organised institutions, or networks of institutions, whose goal is to project as attractive an image as possible of the country concerned, and to spread linguistic knowledge, culture and information about it, as for example the well-known British Council, Goethe Institute and French Institute, all of which are present in Hungary.

Conscious of these processes and realising that it is impossible to effectively support Hungarians living beyond the borders of Hungary in preserving their native language without state support, and that new tasks will emerge when joining the European Union, the Ministry of Education has decided to establish an institution which is able to perform all the duties related to the preservation, development, presentation, spreading and research of the Hungarian language and culture, and which unifies the presently disorganised system of institutions of Hungarology.

The Balassi Bálint Institute, founded on January 1, 2002, was launched in the spirit of the above-mentioned objectives. As a legal successor, with full authority, of the Hungarian Language Institute (with a history of nearly half a century) and of the International Hungarological Centre (established in 1989) the new institute carries on the basic activities of these two institutions, to which several new ranges of duties have been added, according to its Deed of Foundation.

How can you find our Institute?

Central building: Balassi Institute
Address: 1016 Budapest, SomlĂłi Ăşt 51.
Postal address: 1519 Budapest, Pf. 385.
Telephone (central): (+36 1) 381 5100, (+36 1) 381 5119
Telephone (dormitory): (+36 1) 381-5160
E-mail:bbi at

Basic activities of The Balassi Institute

The Balassi Institute contributes to the teaching of the Hungarian language and Hungarian studies for non-Hungarians living or provisionally residing in Hungary. For foreigners who receive a state scholarship and are admitted to higher education, it provides preparation in their main subject, information technology and a foreign language. It performs the duties related to the cultivation of the Hungarian language and education of Hungarians living beyond the borders of Hungary; participates in the extended education, linguistic and terminological follow-up training of teachers of Hungarian and other experts beyond the national borders. It organises courses on Hungarian studies and minority rights. In co-operation with the international network of institutions for Hungarian studies, it promotes the education and research of the Hungarian language and culture as well as Hungarian studies abroad. It gives preparatory courses for state-approved language exams in Hungarian as a foreign language, organises exams and takes part in formulating the quality assurance requirements of the language exams. It supports the network of institutions of higher education of Hungarian studies abroad – departments, divisions, workshops – formed on the basis of an inter-departmental bilateral educational agreement, and in this context sends out guest teachers to educational institutes abroad. It establishes and maintains connections with every other Hungarian and foreign institute, workshop, circle, etc. of higher education carrying out activities in Hungarian studies, and creates a common professional workshop with them whenever possible. It carries out research and organisational tasks and takes part in improving and publishing of textbooks and the subject matter of instruction; in the framework of the latter it publishes scientific and popular science publications in Hungarian and foreign languages. It establishes and operates a scholarship and assistance system in Hungarian studies. It establishes, enriches and runs a reference library for teachers, researchers and students, which will join the international network of libraries collecting special literature on Hungarian studies; it participates in the searching, collecting, recording and elaborating of legacies and hungarica materials abroad. It creates and develops databases that aid the communication of people, communities and institutions in the field of Hungarian studies, by making available information on educational institutes, teachers of Hungarian language and educational materials. By means of a home page it provides a direct exchange of information between all the institutions and persons interested in the Hungarian language and culture, as well as teaching of Hungarian studies. It organises exhibitions, events, and professional conferences aimed at making the Hungarian language and culture and Hungarian studies as widely known and popular as possible.