The new international secondary school for creative, courageous, compassionate teenagers.

Join the Academy to expand your perception and thrive in an increasingly uncertain world. Uncover original insights. Learn to unite arts and science for real impact. Make your academic studies relevant to your goals.

Is REAL Academy for you?

You get the picture.












A co-production of

REAL School Budapest

and the


the world's only neuroscience-focused

creative studio

The Programme

The Academy's programme is built on
three core elements

01 Quest

A year-long Quest project to expand perception and make a positive social or environmental impact

02 Academics

A personal academic programme supported by qualified mentors

03 Wellbeing

A wellbeing experience built on community, arts, movement, music and nature

Join the Academy to​

dream and bring to life an immersive public experience with a team

design and execute scientific experiments

look after your wellbeing, including mind, body and spirit

develop a TED-talk, a performance or an exhibition of your journey

discover original knowledge

learn to unite science and art for impact

make solid academic progress

have fun in great company

You will be accompanied on this journey by top mentors, such as a neuroscientist, experienced educators, a filmmaker, a permaculture designer, a clinical psychologist, a jazz musician, entrepreneurs and cool mentors from around the world.

Goals and measurement

This is science. Throughout the year, we will measure the 7 Cs that we believe to be key for change-makers: courage, community, care, critique, creativity, compassion, choice.

Differentiate yourself

from the crowd for university or career opportunities!


1.   The Quest

All learning begins with a question. And questions begin a quest into not knowing. At REAL Academy, your first year will include a group quest co-created with the other teenagers of the Academy. The question will be one that matters to you.


Your quest will be a series of experiments that you and your group will design. The capstone experience of your first year will be an immersive experiment for the public that will lead to original insights for you about important environmental and/or social issues.


Along the way you will uncover what you truly care about, why you care about it and you can apply this understanding into your adult life and effect real change.



We recognise that you will likely want to get into a top university. In addition to standing out from the crowd, you will also need to make formal progress towards a high school qualification.

The REAL academic programme will enable you to gain a qualification alongside the development of a world-class portfolio that celebrates your learning and wider achievements. There are therefore a number of pathways for our learners:

Creative Media Pathway  -  A diploma or extended diploma in creative media production and technology, with a University of the Arts London qualification.

Generalist Pathway  - Some students are not sure where their direction lies. The generalist approach achieves a diploma that provides breadth with quality of experiences.

Doctorate Pathway -  So this might sound crazy, but it is indeed possible for our most able students to achieve a PhD as a part of the neuroscience lab. Get in touch so we can explain how!

All pathways will open doors to great universities and the world of work. You will have access to a mix of mentored support, taught courses and independent study. 


3.   wellbeing

During your teenage years, it is more important than ever to look after your body, mind and spirit. Imagine a school where can safely explore topics that really matter to you during your teenage years. Topics such as social media, sexuality, relationships, identity, body awareness, substance use, future financial independence, the core values by which you wish to live your life. The real stuff that matter in your life now and will do so increasingly in the future.

You will not be instructed. Your learning will be question-based and embodied by cooking and eating sensational plant-based foods, by immersing yourself in movement, music, arts and nature. You will mentor younger students and in the process get to know yourself. In doing so, you'll become an essential part of the REAL School’s community of students, educators, parents, artists and the Lab of Misfits scientists and creators.


a different kind

of school


Schools teach us what we already know. What if, instead, we learned how to discover what we don’t know - about ourselves and the world? What if we learned to adapt and to thrive on uncertainty? To ask brilliant questions? To dream big and to bring our ideas to reality? What if we learned how to build a beautiful world?

Watch our co-designer, Beau Lotto (CEO of Lab of Misfits, a neuroscience-focused creative studio) talk about his vision for a new kind of school.

Beau is a Professor of Neuroscience at the University of London, as well as a visiting scholar at New York University. 



Why perception you ask? Because it underpins everything. How we think, what we know, what we believe, our hopes and dreams. Now, science tells us that perception is grounded in our history. But that creates a tremendous problem - how will we ever see differently if our perception is built on the past? How will we solve the world’s problems if we can’t see things differently?

The only way we can do anything new is to step into the space of uncertainty. 

Intrigued? Watch Beau Lotto in his TED talk on perception and uncertainty, and meet one of the youngest published scientists in the world:



The programme is designed to support the individual schedules of students who have particular out-of-school activities, such as drama, sports or additional academic preparation.


This illustrative schedule gives you an idea of what a day might look like for one person. Different students might well have different schedules. No, you don’t have to be at school all day. And yes, you will negotiate your own schedule with your mentors.

The academic year runs from the end August until the end of June, with 3 terms.


The Academy is hosted at REAL School Budapest, U2 building, at Graphisoft Park in Budapest, Hungary.



The 2021/22 programme fee at the Academy is EUR 11,900. A scholarship programme is available for up to 3 students of exceptional calibre and personality who otherwise could not afford the school. 

Fees include

educators, learning guides, mentors

school facilities


studio, makerspace fees and materials


production costs of the experiments and experiences



plant-based snacks and lunch

Fees do not include


​online courses, advance placement and remote tutor fees (these depend on the student’s goals and needs, but is likely to cost an additional EUR 2,000-3,000)

examination and qualification fees

a good quality notebook computer


to qualify


Strong academic credentials or evidence of effort and achievement in the arts or sciences
Evidence of self-guided learning
Genuine interest in making the world a better place
Fluent written and spoken English

What you need


Effort and commitment for everything you choose to do (“If you do it, do it well, go above and beyond, and then go further")
Kind personality
Evidence of your ability to take on board and change based on feedback.

Register your interest today! 

The formal application process will be shared in due course.