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2010 News Releases

Another Longwood student chosen for math study-abroad program in Hungary

October 8, 2010

Nikole Varhegyi Nikole Varhegyi

There will be not one but two Longwood University students in a math study-abroad program in Hungary this spring.

Nikole Varhegyi, a senior mathematics major and computer science minor, learned recently that she is one of about 70 undergraduates from the United States and Canada to be selected from among about 300 applicants for the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (BSM). She will be in Budapest along with Longwood junior Crystal Peoples, who was chosen a few weeks earlier.

Varhegyi and Peoples will study from Feb. 7 through May 27 under eminent Hungarian scholar-teachers. Participants, juniors and seniors majoring in math or computer science, typically take three or four math courses and one or two non-math courses, for which they receive transferable credit.

"My family is Hungarian - my grandfather emigrated from Hungary in 1956 - so the Hungarian culture aspect of the program was a big draw for me," said Varhegyi, who grew up in Charlottesville and lives now in Waldorf, Md.

Varhegyi is a member of the Cormier Honors College for Citizen Scholars, Pi Mu Epsilon math honor society, and the women's rugby team, and she is a desk aide. She was a member of a three-person team of Longwood undergraduates that in April 2010 achieved a Meritorious ranking, earned by the top 19 percent of teams, in an international math competition, the 26th annual Mathematical Contest in Modeling sponsored by the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications. Her parents are Jim and Wendy Varhegyi of Waldorf, Md.

Varhegyi completed an internship last summer at the Air Force Cost Analysis Agency in Arlington, and she has been offered, and accepted, a permanent position with the agency. She will probably begin working in July for the agency, which in April will move to Andrews Air Force Base in Clinton, Md. Varhegyi, who is interested in applied mathematics, plans to eventually attend graduate school.

If not for the program in Hungary, Varhegyi would have graduated from Longwood in May 2011. Now she will graduate in August 2011, though after this semester she won't have any more Longwood courses to take.

For the math portion of the program, Varhegyi is interested in taking courses in combinatorics (a branch of mathematics that involves counting), graph theory, and statistics. For the non-math courses, she wants to take one in the Hungarian language and another in art and culture. She will arrive in Budapest in time to take an optional two-week course in Hungarian that begins Jan. 18. She will live with a Hungarian family.

The BSM program, which began in 1985, is described as "one of the most prestigious and essential study-abroad programs for undergraduate students of mathematics." Offered in both the fall and the spring, the program features 14 weeks of teaching plus one week of exams, with a  one-week midterm break. All courses are taught in English, and classes are held on the College International campus of the Technical University Budapest.