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Two semesters are offered each academic year. Each semester comprises 15 weeks. Fall semester starts in early September and spring semester in early February. See below for specific information about the 2015–2016 academic year.

Fall 2015 semester:

  • Orientation session and Welcome party on Friday, September 4th.
  • Classes begin on Monday, September 7th.
  • Semester ends (with Farewell party) on Thursday, December 17th.

Spring 2016 semester:

  • Orientation session and Welcome party on Friday, February 5th.
  • Classes begin on Monday, February 8th.
  • Semester ends (with Farewell party) on Thursday, May 26th.


The spring semester includes a one-week break usually before the Easter weekend. There are no classes on March 15, May 1, Whit/Pentecost Monday, August 20, October 23, November 1, and American Thanksgiving Thursday. The BSME Budapest Office will be closed on these holidays.

Hungarian language course:

The Babilon Language School offers a 2–3 week intensive language course in Hungarian immediately prior to the beginning of each semester. This is optional and not included in the BSME tuition. The cost is approximately 80,000 HUF and is payable to the Babilon Language School upon arrival in Budapest.

If you indicated on your application that you would like to participate in the language course, you are already enrolled. If you did not indicate that and would like to attend, please contact the BSME Budapest Office. You will receive an email about a month before it begins from the school with details on the program.

If you have any questions about the course, please contact the Babilon school directly:

Babilon Language School
1075 Budapest, Károly krt 3/a IV em, Hungary
telephone: 011- 36-1-269-5531
fax: 011-36-1-322-6023

In the 2015–2016 academic year, the language course will be held on these dates.

  • Fall semester: Monday, August 17th to Friday September 4th.
  • Spring semester: Wednesday, January 20th to Friday, February 5th.


While a typical course load at BSME includes four courses, students may take as many courses as they feel they can handle. At the beginning of the program, students may try out a larger sampling of courses to get a broad overview of what courses are available. This way, students may analyze which courses would best fit with their interests or are required by their home institution. By the end of the third week, students select their own set of courses to study for the remainder of the term, with the guidance of the BSME faculty.

For more information on courses, click here.

Transfer of credits:

A semester in BSME lasts 15 weeks (14 weeks of classes and 1 week of exams). Each BSME course meets 3 hours a week for a total of 45 contact hours per semester. (Note: 1 contact hour equals 60 minutes.) BSME courses are designed so that credits will be transferable to American and Canadian colleges and universities. Typically, one BSME course transfers as either 3 or 4 semester hours, depending on an evaluation of course material done by the home institution. You should seek advice in this regard from the Registrar’s Office at your college or university.

Upon completion of work at BSME, the North American Office will send an official transcript to the Registrar’s Office at your home institution (unless your direct us differently). Transcripts will be issued by St. Olaf College. BSME courses may be taken as Graded or Audit, and transcripts will reflect either letter grades A-F or Audit.

You may find, at a later date, that you need additional transcripts (if you apply to graduate school, for instance). The BSME North American Office can provide official transcripts for $5 per transcript. Please contact us for more information.

Additional remarks about credit transfer: BSME uses course units to describe its courses rather than “credit hours” or “semester hours.” This is in concert with the St. Olaf system of counting courses toward graduation. We encourage each home institution to make its own evaluation of our courses relative to local requirements and credit levels. That being said, some description of what is done at other institutions might be useful. Most schools on a semester system give 3 or 4 semester hours per BSME course. Those on a quarter system give 4 or 5 quarter hours per BSME course. Those schools that use the course unit system (like St. Olaf) give 1 semester course unit for each BSME course. At St. Olaf, for reference, 35 courses are required to graduate, and one BSME course transfers as exactly one St. Olaf course.


It is possible to take the GRE in Budapest; just go to the GRE website for more information and to register to take the exam in Budapest. Fall semester participants may take the Putnam Exam while in Budapest. The BSME North American Office will contact the Putnam advisor at your home institution, but your home institution must list you on their home school Putnam list to be eligible for participation.