Beautiful Mathematics, Beautiful City Past Review

By (MATHEMATICS AND STATISTICS., Middlebury College) - abroad from 02/03/2014 to 05/22/2014 with

BSM: Budapest - Budapest Semesters in Mathematics

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Going to Budapest was one of the most meaningful experience I have had. I gained so much from being able to immerse myself in mathematics, as well as an appreciation for a culture and place distinct from anything I had experienced before.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The mathematics itself was fascinating and challenging, and I got to immerse myself in more math courses than I ever would at Middlebury. Some of the professors are more accessible than others, which could be frustrating at times.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There was a student coordinator who was approachable and helpful, but it could be difficult to get in contact with her.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any personal experiences with healthcare, but the few people I knew who did were able to contact the appropriate people.

* Safety:

Budapest felt very safe, as long as you're cognizant of the fact that you're living in a city.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Assuming I wasn't traveling outside the city, generally I spent a bit under $100 a week.


* 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

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?
  • The city
  • Academic opportunities (course choices)
* What could be improved?
  • Course advising
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish that I knew that exam scores tend to be much lower than in the US, but it ends up working out okay for most people in the end, even if the professors don't necessarily explicitly say that they curve.

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!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Graph Theory

Course Department:
Instructor: Gábor Simonyi
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class was possibly the most challenging math class I've ever taken, but also one of the most rewarding. Gábor loves graph theory, particularly focusing on results by the many Hungarians who are prominent in the field.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Introduction to Number Theory

Course Department:
Instructor: Csaba Szabó
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The workload of the class is more manageable than several of the other classes. The class is taught in the traditional Hungarian model where half of class time is devoted to problem sessions, so there's a lot of opportunity to practice problems. The exams are very fair, and Csaba prepares you well.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Combinatorics of Finite Sets

Course Department:
Instructor: András Gyárfás
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The material was very interesting, but sometimes it was difficult to follow and the lectures tended to be scattered. András is clearly very brilliant, but sometimes doesn't convey concepts clearly.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Intermediate Hungarian Language

Course Department:
Instructor: Erika Fallier
Instruction Language: English/Hungarian
Comments: More than anything else, Erika wants her students to gain an appreciation for the language and culture of the Hungarian people. To that end, it is not a very academically rigorous course, but it gives good perspective into the city that can be hard to obtain otherwise. You learn enough Hungarian to get around, but most people do not become particularly proficient.
Credit Transfer Issues: