BSM Past Review

By (Mathematics, Wellesley College) - abroad from 02/03/2014 to 05/21/2014 with

BSM: Budapest - Budapest Semesters in Mathematics

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot of math, first of all. I undoubtedly could have learned as much at Wellesley or MIT, but I learned in a different environment, so I appreciated that. I also got a lot better at cooking, and gained a lot of independence as well. I am confident that I could get myself out of a lot of bad situations in America, because I learned how to do this abroad, where people's first language is not mine. I gained a new appreciation for humanity, different cultures, and the world. I am a more optimistic, friendly, and tolerant person now. I can adapt better to change. Basically, I have changed so much, for the better, as cliche as that sounds. I also made one great friend.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Anna helped my room mate, my friends, and I through many problems, ranging from problems with classes, problems with land lords, problems with language and the city, and more. She was super helpful.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Location was great. It is very nice to live in the city. The size was definitely enough. My only problem was that my room doubled as the living room, so whenever people came over, they would have no choice but to be in my room.

* Food:

Hungarian food is delicious, but also very rich. Salads are definitely underrated and missed when spending time in Eastern Europe!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any health problems, so my rating should not be taken seriously. I wouldn't know.

* Safety:

I felt decently safe even when walking by myself at 3 in the morning. I think there are some sketchy neighborhoods (from what I've read on the internet) but I never experienced anything frightening at all.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I think I spent about $5000 for the whole semester, and much of that was travel. Groceries were about $20 to $30 a week, and I would normally eat out once a week for about $10. Rent was about $400 a month.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Not sure if this actually saved me money, but it saved time at the very least. My room mate and I split the groceries and the bill. This allowed us to buy things in larger, cheaper, quantity, and so food didn't go bad. I think it did save a bit of money. It also allowed us to split the cooking!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? I really only knew basic phrases by the end of the program, but even those were super helpful. Most Hungarians speak English, so it isn't necessary to speak Hungarian at all. A lot of Hungarians really appreciate the effort if you do though :)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Budapest, Hungary, and Eastern Europe
  • The coordinators
* What could be improved?
  • One specific class and professor (I will not name, but if you hear something bad about anyone or any class, it is probably true)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I pretty much only regret taking one of the classes I took. I wish I'd have taken a different one.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!