Study Abroad for Math/SDS Majors
Why study abroad?
Studying abroad is fun, enriching, and can help you develop skills that are valuable to your own life and to employers.
• Develop intercultural competency
• Understand your own culture better
• Practice language skills (or miming skills!)
• Become more independent, resourceful, and self-sufficient
• Experience a different perspective on the topics you are studying
• Immerse yourself in a new way of life, a new environment, and a new community
Factors to consider when planning study abroad
To have a good study abroad experience, it is important to begin planning early! The following are some questions you should consider before talking to your advisor about your plans.
1. Location: Is there a specific country you have always wanted to visit? Would you prefer to live in a city, in the country, near the ocean?
2. Cost: UA-led programs will have different cost structures than independent programs, but no matter what, there will be extra travel and living expenses associated with studying abroad. There are some scholarships and grants that can help offset those costs, so do ask even if you are not sure whether you can afford it.
Most UA scholarships and federal financial aid can be applied to UA-led programs. You will generally pay similar tuition while on these programs to what you pay during a normal semester. See the UA Global Financial Information website for information.
If you participate in a non-UA program, you will enroll and pay tuition to that program directly. You will not be enrolled at the UA for the time you are abroad; instead, you will transfer your study abroad credits back to the UA. For this reason, your UA scholarships cannot be applied to these programs. If the program has a university of record in the United States through which it transfer credits (e.g. the BSM and BSME programs below), you may still be able to use your federal financial aid. There are some outside scholarships you can apply to for additional funding.
3. Major coursework: Since math coursework is sequential, it is important to consider whether you can study abroad while completing your major requirements. There are a number of ways to handle this. Sometimes your coursework can be rearranged to allow a semester off from math and SDS courses. Some programs allow you to enroll in math courses at the university abroad. There are even a few programs entirely dedicated to math or data science, where you can take upper-division MATH and DATA courses. Otherwise, studying abroad during the summer may be the best fit for your schedule.
4. Other program details: Study abroad programs vary widely in terms of the academic focus and how they are run. Do you want to take general education classes or electives while abroad, or would you rather your coursework focus on your major or minor, or an aspect of the country you are in? Some programs are in countries where English is spoken, others have coursework in English but allow opportunities to learn the local language, and still others will have coursework conducted entirely in the local language. Would you rather live with other American students, with local or international students, or with a host family?
Study Abroad Programs
CIMAT - Centro de Investigacion en Matematicas, Guanajuato, Mexico
Mathematical Sciences Semesters in Guanajuato (MSSG) is an international study abroad program with courses taught in English open to students with a strong grounding in Mathematics who want to increase their knowledge of data science, modeling and partial differential equations from a comprehensive, forward-looking, and cutting-edge perspective while acquiring a solid theoretical foundation, as well as exploring the rich culture of Mexico and learning Spanish as they go in the beautiful city of Guanajuato, one of Mexico’s most fascinating tourist destinations.
The program offers:
- Fall Semester in Mathematical Tools for Modeling
- Spring Semester in Mathematical Tools for Data Science
- Summer Program in Partial Differential Equations
The program has been developed based on the strengths of CIMAT in Pure and Applied Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science, and has been designed with an integrative approach to mathematics with emphasis on applications. This international experience offers as well optional courses in Spanish and Mexican culture, with the enriching possibility for the students of immersing themselves in the lively cultural life of Guanajuato.
Prerequisites: Completion of Vector Calculus (223) and Linear Algebra (313)
Most CIMAT courses are equivalent to upper-division MATH, DATA, or CSC courses at the UA. See the International Transfer Guide for details.
Math in Moscow - Independent University of Moscow, Russia
The main feature of the Russian tradition of teaching mathematics has always been the development of a creative approach to studying mathematics from the very outset. Not memorizing theorems and proofs, but discovering mathematics yourself under the guidance of an experienced teacher – this is our principle! We emphasize the in-depth understanding of the material rather than its quantity. Even in our treatment of the most traditional subjects, you will find significant connections with contemporary research topics. Indeed, most of our teachers are internationally recognized research mathematicians; all of them have considerable teaching experience in English. We stay in touch with North American universities, so after the appropriate formalities the courses taken in Moscow will be credited by your college for a BS, an MS, or a PhD degree. The “Math in Moscow” program was founded in 2001. Since then over 400 students from 190 universities have participated in the program. Now over 100 of them have already got their PhD degrees. You can now gain from the expertise of Moscow mathematicians without learning Russian: all courses in the “Math in Moscow” program are in English.
Prerequisites: Completion of Real Analysis (425A) and Linear Algebra (313)
Budapest Semesters in Mathematics - College International, Budapest, Hungary
Hungary has a long tradition of excellence in mathematics education. However, because of the language barrier, students have not been able to take advantage of the skill and dedication of the mathematics faculties of Hungarian universities.
Initiated by Paul Erdős, László Lovasz, and Vera T. Sós, the program Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (BSM) provides a unique opportunity for North American undergraduates. Through this program, mathematics and computer science majors in their junior/senior years may spend fall, spring or summer semester in Budapest and study under the tutelage of eminent Hungarian scholar-teachers. The instructors of BSM are members of Eötvös University, the Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Budapest University of Technology and Economics, the three institutions known for having educated more than half of Hungary’s highly acclaimed mathematicians. BSM classes are held at the College International, a Hungarian-based educational institution focusing on international students studying in Budapest. Most instructors have had teaching experience in North America and are familiar with the cultural differences.
- All courses are taught in English.
- Classes are small.
- Credits are transferable to North American colleges and universities.
- The school is near the center of historic Budapest.
- Living costs are modest.
Prerequisites: Completion of either Real Analysis (425A) or Abstract Algebra (415A)
Budapest Semesters in Math Education - College International, Budapest, Hungary
Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Education (BSME) is a study abroad program in Budapest, Hungary, designed for undergraduates, recent graduates, and in-service teachers interested in the learning and teaching of secondary mathematics. BSME was conceived by the founders of Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (BSM), and the two programs share a common goal—to experience the mathematical and general culture of Hungary. BSME is specifically intended for those who are not only passionate about mathematics, but also the teaching of mathematics. In the Hungarian approach to learning and teaching (which is the main focus of study at BSME), a strong and explicit emphasis is placed on problem solving, mathematical creativity, and communication.
Prerequisites: Completion of at least one year of college, currently or planning to pursue secondary mathematics teaching license or just curious about a student-centered approach to teaching and learning mathematics
These programs are neither UA-led nor specifically endorsed by the math department; however, past students have been able to transfer credits, specifically in math coursework, back to the UA. The responsibility for applying to these programs and ensuring transferability of credits lies with the student. However, your Math Center advisor will be happy to guide you in this process.
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