It is our pleasure to welcome you among a very special group of American students: this is our group for the 2005 Spring Semester of the BSM program. The staff has great expectations of working with you!
I ask all of you to read the letter carefully, including the last part containing info about the courses of the new semester.
First of all, let me apologize for being late in sending out this letter (due to a conference trip) and, as a consequence of that, some of you receiving the letter after your arrival to Budapest. But even though the information of the first couple of paragraphs below is outdated for some of you, the rest of the letter contains important information, please read it carefully till the end.
Be sure you carry the Hungarian student visa (type D-5) when you come. If your luggage gets lost during the flight and the carrier ask for your address in Budapest where to deliver it later/next day the best is to give the address of BSM (College International BSM, 1071 Budapest, Bethlen Gábor tér 2.) because you still do not know yours and here we have a 24-hour reception. When you arrive in the airport hall (or at the train station), look for the "BSM" sign! An escort will be waiting for you and will see you to your Budapest home even if your flight arrives late at night or on weekends. Don't forget to notify our office and/or Bonnie Humke's office about your arrival time, carrier, flight number, etc. in advance.
If any unforeseen change happens in your travel plans please let us know immediately. Our phone: (361) 413 3038 (BSM office), or (361) 413 3003 (College International central office), fax: (361) 413 3030, while the BSM (mobile) hotline is (3630) 4743924.
You may send your message to Budapest through email to the following addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. In a dire need of urgent info or in case of an unexpected change or delay in your arrival data or on weekends (or being lost upon the arrival) you may call our student coordinators' (Miss Eszter Cseke and Miss Agnes Marosan) mobile phone 30-4743-924 with a prefix 06 within Hungary or a prefix 0036 from outside of Hungary.
Please note that most probably the first person you will meet from the staff (apart, in some cases, the student helper meeting you upon your arrival) will be Eszter or Agi, who will be available during the Babilon courses as well to assist your needs. Normally you will meet me on the opening ceremony in February, but most of January (from the 13th) I'll be also available at firstname.lastname@example.org. For those who come in January and take the intensive Hungarian language course: be prepared for the difficulties of the first couple of days because the course at school Babilon is indeed intensive! Though it includes an orientation tour in the city, the long school hours will take almost all of your days leaving hardly any gap for the daily routine of shopping, etc. The Babilon course begins on Wednesday, the 19th of January.
Some other technical issues (for all): we do our best to find you housing as requested. If you are not satisfied with the accommodation or don't get along with your roommate(s), let us know ASAP because change is possible! However, you may be asked to be patient for a few days until our student coordinators will find you another place to live. Due to our earlier experience, let me stress: We can solve your housing problems only if we know about them. So please, in case of having any problem, visit or contact the BSM office and let the coordinator handle the problem.
Please be aware that although BSM is an intermediary between you and your landlord, you have to agree and sign the Lease Contract with your landlord. We put a blank contract in English and Hungarian, which you can use, in the welcoming information package. Be sure you read and understood it before you sign it. Please do not pay any rent until the contract is signed (but sign a contract as soon as possible). Since during the last couple of semesters there were several debates between landlords and students in cases students changed apartments we encourage the use of the following policy (and informed the landlords about this):
During the first month of your arrival, you are free to change apartments by simply leaving the first month's rent behind (plus paying the used utility fees, of course) plus any other fees which are due. If you change apartments later, the policy set in the contract is to be followed (usually you will loose your deposit as well). Therefore, please be sure that the contract has details about this case. In case the apartments are occupied by several students, everybody who exchanges their present apartment for a different one will forfeit their money (again, usually the remainder of the month's rent plus perhaps a security deposit, if one was paid).
By Hungarian law, all visiting students must register at the designated local authority. This is a bureaucratic nuisance, but our office is going to arrange the appointment for you during the first weeks of your stay in Budapest.
Let me draw your attention to the importance of having an appropriate health insure policy during your stay in Hungary. Before you leave, please call your home insurance company and make sure you insurance is valid in Hungary and what type of costs and up to what extend are met by it. An alternative solution is to buy the local insurance sold by our home institution, College International, which for about 25 USD per month will offer you treatment in a relatively good local hospital.
Please note as well that the building of BSM is equipped with security entrances and you will be able to enter the building only by your chip card given to you on the orientation session. You will have to pay 3000 HUF deposit, which will be returned prior your departure upon returning the chip card. The list of the name of the forthcoming BSM students will be deposited to the entrance desk of the building, so in case you have to or want to visit the BSM building before the official beginning of the semester, you will be allowed to the building.Some advice from our students of previous semesters regarding money things:
You all will have Internet access and may use your home e-mail address if you wish at the computer lab of College International. Recently we have set up a room for connections of laptops as well. However, if you wish to use a local e-mail address, let me know it and by your arrival so a local e-mail account (email@example.com) will be set up.
A printed version of this welcome letter with some additional information and survival package will be given to you as well upon or a bit after your arrival, while the Academic program will be delivered to the Babilon course. In the Academic Program you will find information about the requirements, courses, program of the semester; however, the first version of the schedule of classes will be distributed only on or around the orientation session. Those who will arrive only by the beginning of the semester, will receive their Academic program upon the arrival as well.
In case you are a non-US citizen and you will need to apply for a return visa to the US while you are in Budapest please let Eszter know about this issue as soon as possible since the bureaucratic procedures might take long time.
Finally I'd like to inform you about our course offers and ask your assistance in preparing the schedule of the courses. Since we will have most of the time 2 or 3 classes parallel to each other, in order to avoid (as much as possible) conflicts of classes I need to know in advance what courses you plan to take.The semester starts with a trial period of three weeks, when you can sit in as many classes as you wish. Only after this you must register for the courses you really want to study; therefore your pre-registration will only inform me about the approximate number of students in the courses and the possible conflicts of classes I should try to avoid when preparing the schedule but will no carry obligation. On the other hand, if you mark 6-8 math classes you might take, it will have little help for me. In case you are not decided - but only in that case - try to weight at least the courses (weight 1 meaning you surely want to take the course, any smaller trying to indicate the chance you'll take the course).
Please note that in effect from the last fall semester we introduce an extra tuition fee (payable at the Budapest office) for the 6th and further math courses you would take. That is, your paid tuition covers as much as 5 math courses and the OFFERED non math courses and for any further math course a non-refundable tuition of 350USD should be paid by the registration time (i.e., by the end of the third week). In case anybody would like to drop a course later, it can be done by submitting a written request (form will be provided) signed by the instructor of the course to the Budapest BSM office. Failure of doing it will result a "U" (unsatisfactory) grade for the course.
Let me emphasize that the list of the courses below is not obligatory for us either. In case of having low interest in a course or due to any other reason they might not be offered or may be cancelled later. Altogether, I'd like to ask you to pre-register (indicate the courses you may like to take) either on a sheet of paper given to Eszter if you are already in Budapest (please indicate your name on the sheet) or in an e-mail sent to (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the 25th of August.Here follows the list of courses:
On your pre-registration you may indicate any other topics (within mathematics) you wish to learn - in case of many similar requests I will do my best to design an appropriate course for you.
The syllabi of the above courses and the Academic program will be given to you soon, and both will available on the Internet at the URL: http://www.renyi.hu/~dezso/budsem
Please note that the opening of the program (orientation session followed by the welcome party) will take place at our Bethlen ter headquarter on the 4th of February, Friday from 3 p.m. and the participation of each of you is absolutely essential. Please do not plan any other activity for this time.Looking forward to seeing you in Budapest