You are a citizen of Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei,
Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Hong Kong (the exemp$
United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela: your country
has a visa waiver agreement with the EU
(but do check the full country list for visa waiver agreements)
2. Obtaining your visa: you do not need visa to enter Hungary with an intended stay of up to 90 days long. Thus you may enter Hungary without a visa, however, you need to apply for a residency permit within 30 days of your arrivel (see below).
Another option is to get a D type visa still in the US or Canada -- if you opt for that, the same rules apply to you as to non-US, non-Canadian, non-Schengen country citizens (choose the link for the 3rd group on the previous page).
WARNING: last semester a few airline officers attempted to deny boarding some BSM students who had no visa claiming that they have a visa exemption only for at most 90 days and those students either had open return tickets or their return tickets clearly showed they intended to stay more than 90 days in Europe. According to Hungarian law you can (and, in fact, are encouraged) to apply for the residence permit once you are in the country and we are just negotiating with the local immigration office about a mean of proof of this fact to be presented to the airline officers.
3. After your arrival in Hungary: as required by law, you MUST apply for a Residence Permit (and register your local address) with the Immigration Office within 30 days of your arrival. As outlined in this document. The application procedure will be guided by the BSM office. You can find the list of necessary documents following the above link. Please, note that you will have to pay a one time residence permit application fee at the Immigration Office (not included in your tuition).
Once you have your residence permit, you might travel with that freely within the Schengen region, independently whether you are an EU citizen, US or Canadian citizen or are required to get a visa to enter Hungary. BE AWARE, though, that some of the neighbouring countries that are rather popular with past BSM students, such as Croatia, Serbia, Romania, UK, Russia or Turkey, are NOT in the Schengen region, and though you may freely return from those countries, you MAY NEED A VISA TO ENTER those countries. Check with their consulates in Budapest.