A national institute established to support the worldwide community of Hungarian education, the Balassi Institute plays a key role in the professional direction of cultural affairs. Similar to Germany’s Goethe Institut, the United Kingdom’s British Council, or Spain’s Instituto Cervantes, the Balassi Institute’s main objective is to project a quality-oriented image of our nation, thereby increasing Hungary’s prestige in the international sphere, while strengthening and preserving all facets of Hungarian culture both within and outside of Hungary’s borders.
The Institute not only spreads and promotes Hungarian culture abroad, it also introduces the traditions and cultures preserved by Hungarians from outside our borders to those living in Hungary today. The Institute’s uniqueness therefore lies in the content and scope of its activities, as well as in the methodology used to reach its goals.
The Balassi Institute Around the World
The Institute plays a key role in developing and attaining Hungary’s objectives in the area of cultural diplomacy. As an organizational hub, it coordinates and directs all activities provided by Hungarian institutes abroad.
For the last eighty years—whether from New York to New Delhi, Cairo to Helsinki, London to Warsaw, Brussels to Sofia, or in the cities of Stuttgart, Bratislava, Prague, Tallinn, Bucharest or Sfântu Gheorge—Hungary’s cultural and educational policies have been represented by 23 Hungarian cultural institutes located in 21 countries, as well as through the work of cultural diplomats found in 3 additional states. In Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Moscow and Belgrade these institutes also function as a Collegium Hungaricum, a strategic bastion for Hungary’s presence in international research and science.
Throughout the year, recipients of international research grants find housing and professional support at one or the other Collegium Hungaricum. The goal of Hungarian institutes abroad is to promote and support Hungary’s cultural heritage through the development of cultural diplomatic relations between our nation and partner nations, the encouragement of international cooperation in culture and science, the furthering of Hungarian language education and the introduction of Hungary’s vibrant culture and society to foreign audiences by means of various programs.