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Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Education


Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Education (BSME) is a semester-long program in Budapest, Hungary, designed for American and Canadian undergraduates and recent graduates interested in teaching middle school or high school mathematics.

BSME was conceived by the founders of Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (BSM), and the two programs share a common goal: to provide their participants with an opportunity to experience the mathematical and general culture of Hungary. BSME is specifically intended for students who are not only passionate about mathematics, but also the teaching of mathematics.

Our academic program includes the following components:
- Mathematics education courses that focus on the Hungarian approach.
- Internships in mathematics education for additional teaching experiences.
- Mathematics courses from the BSM catalogue.
- Courses in humanities, language, and culture.

Upcoming Deadlines

- The Spring Semester deadline is November 1st.
- The Summer Session deadline is March 1st.
- The Fall Semester deadline is April 1st.
- All applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so reserve your spot early!


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Yes, I recommend this program

The BSME program was a fantastic program that’s unlike any other program I have come across. This program was geared towards my major (Secondary Education - Mathematics) more than even my classes in college were. I learned so much in these 6 weeks about mathematics education. I am now a teacher, and I have been using the skills that I learned abroad every day in my classroom. I also learned how to navigate the city, which is an empowering feeling by itself. The city is beautiful and you can easily get around by public transportation, which is extremely cheap. It is also easy to travel to surrounding areas such as Prague, Vienna, or even Italy. There are so many beautiful views and monuments to go see in Budapest. The food is amazing, I recommend a place called Al Dente close to Rákóczi tér. It is so cheap to live in Hungary. You can get a meal for a fraction of the cost it would be in the US. Most importantly, I made the most amazing friends over in Hungary. It is a unique experience to be surrounded by so many like-minded people, especially when mathematics education is such a small cohort of people. I still remain in contact with my friends from this trip nearly every day. I recommend this study abroad trip to every mathematics education major because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

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Yes, I recommend this program

I participated in the first Summer 2018 BSME program, and I couldn't have asked for a better first experience abroad. I am a mathematics major with interest in attending graduate school for secondary math education. The BSME program helped me to develop skills and acquire new ones for my future in teaching. I came back to the states with an abundance of knowledge of not only the Hungarian system of teaching mathematics, but also how we can add to the American system for the better. I am also very grateful for all of the relationships I made abroad. Everyone in the program was so welcoming, kind, and some of the best people I have ever met. I have made friendships that I will cherish forever. I would highly recommend this program for anyone interested in mathematics and learning more about a culture in the beautiful city of Budapest, Hungary!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Choosing to come to Budapest for a semester through BSME is one of the best decisions I have made. As a rising junior, my studies had begun to stagnate. I was feeling the senior slump since freshman year. Classes weren't giving me a better sense of "what I wanted to do with my life;" I was monotonous, dispassionate, and simply going through the motions. But BSME flipped that around from Day 1. BSME provides a safe learning environment for me to start rethinking the way I process math. I am pushed out of my comfort zone into exploring concepts that are unfamiliar and a culture that is completely new. The BSME curriculum allows me to visit Hungarian math classes and experience alternative teaching methods that we are not exposed to in the US while helping me improve my critical thinking and reasoning skills.

One of the famous Hungarian mathematicians is Posá, who developed a method called "discovery learning" where the goal is to lead students to deriving generalizations on their own through iterated problem solving. Even though only one of the BSME classes focuses on discovery learning, it has been the theme of my semester. Whether I am discovering underground pubs, a new cafe, friendships, how to cook for myself, or new math tools, I am learning in an environment where mistakes are celebrated and thinking outside the box is encouraged.

What would you improve about this program?
I love the current size of the program. I want more students to have access to BSME, but as the size grows, the program will lose the intimacy that it currently has.

I also wish there was more of a diversity in subject matter. DLP and PSM feel very similar, so it would have been nice to have a different alternative instead of one of those.
Yes, I recommend this program

This program could not have been better. The teachers were all incredible and obviously very talented at what they do, and presented problems that were both challenging and hard to stop thinking about. The visits to Hungarian math classrooms were fascinating and gave me tons of ideas for practices I would like to use in my own class. The administrators were all incredible supportive, and were always checking in to make sure we were adjusting well to living in a foreign country. I made friends I know I'll never lose, and who all shared a love for math or math education. The city is beautiful, safe, inexpensive, and full of festivals and delicious food, as well as a great starting point for travel anywhere in Europe, especially the Czech Republic and Austria. I really couldn't have asked for a better study abroad program or a better place to spend four months of my life.


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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Jill Fisher

Job Title
Program Administrator
Jill has a BA degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN with a double major in International Relations and Scandinavian Studies. As a student she has participated in three foreign exchange programs living in Finland, Israel and Denmark and as well as living in Slovenia for several months. She currently volunteers as a Rotary Youth Exchange country officer for Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. She has been working as the program administrator for BSME since it's inception in 2014. One of her favorite hobbies is improving her Danish language skills.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite travel memory is the four weeks I spent living in Israel as a high school youth delegate. After all of these years I still remember the tastes, smells and sounds of this beautiful country and the feeling of being part of a group of students who were all experiencing something so life changing.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

A successful organization treats all of its employees as part of the team, listening to and considering input from everyone.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

If I were an undergraduate student now, I would definitely participate in BSME. The courses offered are rich with content not found in North American colleges.

Being young and living independently in the beautiful city of Budapest would be so positively life changing.

At the same time, I would be forming lifelong friendships with students from all over who have similar interests and goals.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

What makes BSME unique is that it is one of the few opportunities available (possibly the only) for students studying mathematics education. BSME has really filled a void.

Our Budapest team has put together an amazing program that provides incredible experiences for our students. I believe we are growing a generation of future math teachers that could change the way mathematics is taught in the USA.