Budapest Semester in Mathematics
About the Program | Budapest, Hungary | Eligibility
Academic Culture | Fields of Study | Student Life | Housing | Helpful Links
About the Program
Tulane students of mathematics in their junior/senior years have the unique opportunity to spend one or two semesters in Budapest and study in Budapest, Hungary under the tutelage of eminent Hungarian scholar-teachers. Hungary has a long tradition of excellence in mathematics education. However, because of the language barrier, students have not been able to take advantage of the skill and dedication of the mathematics faculties of Hungarian universities.
Initiated by Paul Erdos, László Lovasz, and Vera T. Sós, the program Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (BSM) provides a unique opportunity for North American undergraduates. Through this program, mathematics and computer science majors in their junior/senior years may spend fall, spring or summer semester in Budapest and study under the tutelage of eminent Hungarian scholar-teachers. The instructors of BSM are members of Eötvös University, the Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Budapest University of Technology and Economics, the three institutions known for having educated more than half of Hungary’s highly acclaimed mathematicians. BSM classes are held at the College International, a Hungarian-based educational institution focusing on international students studying in Budapest. Most instructors have had teaching experience in North America and are familiar with the cultural differences.
Students reside in spectacular Budapest, a city of two million situated on both sides of the river Duna (Danube). Eight graceful bridges link the charming hills of Buda on the river's west bank to cosmopolitan Pest on the east. The construction of the Royal Palace on Buda's Castle Hill was begun over 700 years ago. Buda and Pest were united in 1872 and the union grew into the friendly metropolis seen now in modern Budapest with its elegant boulevards, coffeehouses, and concert halls.
The architecture of Budapest displays the influence of many other cultures---from Turkish baths reminiscent of the country's 150 years of struggle with the Ottoman Empire, to the modern Hyatt Hotel on Roosevelt square which in turn faces the 140-year-old edifice of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Budapest hosts eleven universities, two opera and ballet theaters, scores of theaters, museums, art collections, and parks plus many cinemas, discos, and sports arenas.
- 3.0 CGPA
- Strong interest and background in mathematics
- Completion of Real Analysis (Math 3050) and Linear Algebra (Math 3090)
- Interested students should meet with Dr. Kalka before applying
The program begins with a required non-credit, two-week intensive Hungarian language course taken at the Babilon Language School in Budapest for which Tulane reimburses students with the submission of a receipt.
Once the semester starts, students take three or more mathematics courses, plus one Hungarian language course and one area studies elective with Hungarian content. During the first two weeks of the semester, students will sit in on all courses (European style) to get a broad overview of what courses are available. Students then choose courses that fit best with their academic interests for a minimum of 15 credit hours.
In general, class stress problem solving, foster student creativity and support group learning. The instructors at BSM have experience teaching North American students, and are familiar with the US system of high education and the employment effective methods to expose students to Hungarian culture. The student body at BSM is comprised of mathematically motivated students who wish to have an immersive experience with both mathematics and another culture. You may be able to take advantage of research opportunities with professors as well.
Except for the Hungarian language courses, all courses are taught in English by Hungarian professors from Eötvös University and the Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences solely for program participants.
Fields of Study
Students participating in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics will take courses with other American students taught by preeminent Hungarian professors. In order to increase integration into Hungarian life, all students participate in a pre-semester language intensive program. Additionally, students have the option of living with a host family in order to maximize the cultural immersion of their experience. No matter where you live, the BSM program staff will assist you in learning as much as possible about local life in Budapest to help you get the most of your experience both inside and outside of the classroom.
Students have the two housing options, renting a furnished apartment and sharing it with other BSM participants or living with a Hungarian family as a member of the family. Opting for an apartment offers most of the comfort to which students are accustomed. Living with a family, however, could be the most rewarding choice by enhancing the cross-cultural experience. Please note that "family" is loosely defined and could consist of the traditional mother, father, and children; elderly couples, newly married couples, or a pensioner. All homes will be within easy reach of the university using the frequent and inexpensive public transportation. Program administrators in Budapest will help students with housing and any problems that arise.
BSM American Website
BSM On-Site Website
Budapest Bucket List
BSM Facebook Page
BSM Course List and Syllabi.
Contact Past Participants
Click HERE to contact recent study abroad alumni in this region.