Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Education

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Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Education (BSME) undergraduate participants will immerse themselves in mathematical exploration to experience first-hand learning in the Hungarian approach; then they will investigate how to bring this pedagogy into their future classrooms. They will observe Hungarian mathematics classrooms and will plan and teach their own lessons to Hungarian students (in English).

In the spirit of Hungarian instruction, BSME faculty will challenge our participants to take part in creating, rather than just learning, the material. BSME courses are designed so that credits will be transferable to American and Canadian colleges and universities, with transcripts issued by St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.

BSME welcomes students who are:

1) Currently pursuing secondary mathematics teaching license at their home institutions
2) Planning to pursue other paths to mathematics licensure
3) Or simply curious about learning and teaching of mathematics

  • Practicum - observing and teaching in a Hungarian Classroom
  • Internships available during the semester (for credit)
  • Live independently in apartments
  • Learn from Hungarians who have first had knowledge of the Hungarian approach to teaching
  • Travel independently on weekends to surrounding European cities

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Questions & Answers


10 Rating
based on 2 reviews
  • Academics 7
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 7.5
  • Safety 9.5
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Yes, I recommend this program

BSME educates more than just math

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

A Beautiful City

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.