Program Overview

Summer@BSME is a six-week summer program in Budapest, Hungary, designed for undergraduates, recent graduates, and in-service teachers interested in the learning and teaching of secondary mathematics. Participants take a variety of courses in mathematics education and complete a week-long field experience. Come experience the Hungarian pedagogy based on guided discovery—which emphasizes problem solving, mathematical creativity, and communication—as well as the rich and vibrant culture of Hungary.

Home to eminent mathematicians such as Paul Erdős, Vera Sós, and George Pólya, Hungary has a long tradition of excellence in mathematics education. In many Hungarian classrooms, students learn concepts by working on problems with complexity and structure that promote perseverance and deep reflection. These mathematically meaningful problems emphasize procedural fluency, conceptual understanding, logical thinking, and connections between various topics. Teachers carefully sequence such problems to provide focus and coherence to their lessons. For every lesson, an overarching goal is for students to learn what it means to engage in mathematics and to feel the excitement of mathematical discovery.

At BSME, participants immerse themselves in mathematical exploration to experience first-hand learning in the Hungarian approach. Through a week-long field experience (at a mathematics camp for secondary students), they also examine how the Hungarian approach is put into practice. Then they investigate how to bring this pedagogy into their own classrooms. Above all, participants enjoy a shared experience with others who are passionate about teaching mathematics, forming a rich support network and professional community that will extend beyond their time in Budapest.

The BSME instructors are Hungarian teacher scholars who follow their own mathematical upbringing in Hungary and bring a creative spirit to the program. They challenge our participants to take part in creating, rather than just learning, the material. All courses are taught in English, and BSME instructors have had experience teaching both at the secondary level and college level. Class sizes are small. BSME classes are held at the College International Budapest near the city center, together with other study abroad programs.

BSME courses are designed so that credits are transferable to American and Canadian colleges and universities. Transcripts are issued by St. Olaf College. For details about credit transfer, see this page or contact us if you have further questions.