While majoring in actuarial sciences, you’ll learn how to calculate, assess, and manage risk, so you should know that studying abroad is one risk that is truly worth the rewards. Studying actuarial science abroad will broaden your perspective and expose you to new cultures, people, and friendships, all while working toward your degree back at home. Math is truly a universal language that is spoken around the world, so why not take advantage of the benefits of international programs?
Why Study Actuarial Science Abroad
Actuarial science is a unique application of mathematics that is practical wherever you choose to travel. Studying abroad is not only an eye-opening personal experience; it can also open the eyes of your future employers. Adding travel to your resume illustrates your willingness to take risks that pay off, a key thing to be able to understand in the field of actuarial science.
Studying actuarial science abroad will also increase your communication skills, your ability to think on your feet, and it will change the way you see the world. All of these abilities are important in the field of actuarial science, because you will need to make important calculations, think critically and creatively, and execute influential decisions.
Actuarial science often gets a bad reputation for thinking “inside the box.” But, studying abroad, adapting to new cultural customs or languages, and making friends from all over the world will illustrate that you can actually think outside the box. Studying actuarial sciences abroad will show you that mathematics can be exciting and applicable worldwide.
Math really is a universal area of study, which means, fortunately, actuarial sciences can be studied in a number of countries all over the world. Whether you’re looking to expand your language skills, indulge in new foods, or explore history in an interesting place, there is a perfect location for your study abroad experience.
Specifically, England and Ireland are top contenders for those looking to study actuarial science abroad in English-speaking countries. Studying in London will expose students to a diverse, fast-paced, and economically powerful city. Math is present in nearly every aspect of what makes London great, from the architecture to the economic system. Studying abroad in Dublin, on the other hand, can broaden your education immensely, with history classes or even Gaelic courses. Study abroad programs in the UK offer a fantastic experience, with opportunities to travel to other European countries during your stay too.
Another popular location to study actuarial science abroad in is Australia. Whether looking for the sunny beaches of Sydney or the art and culture packed streets of Melbourne, Australia offers world-class academic institutions and a very attractive lifestyle down under. All courses in Australia are taught in English, making the study of actuarial science even easier.
Australia’s island neighbor to the north, Malaysia also offers the same tropical climate, with jungles and sand beaches all within reach. Kuala Lampur, Malaysia’s capital city, offers intellectual insight into Asia’s economy, but studying actuarial science anywhere in Malaysia will be nothing short of fascinating.
If Spanish is in your wheelhouse or you’re working toward fluency, studying actuarial science abroad in Latin America will be extremely beneficial. Both Argentina and Costa Rica are home to universities that offer upper level mathematics courses, which can be paired well with Spanish classes or other interests. Experience in Latin America, or any Spanish-speaking country, will instantly represent your degree of language abilities to future employers too.
Studying Actuarial Science Abroad
Since actuarial science majors typically take a variety of math, science, and elective courses, it's an even better major for study abroad, as you can fill in many of your required courses during your time abroad. Students will most definitely be able to take mathematics, but all study abroad students should also step outside their comfort zone and take a foreign language, history, or culture class too.
Luckily, nearly any university abroad will offer statistics and probability courses. Other common mathematics courses offered universally include calculus and linear algebra. Check with your university’s study abroad office (or your academic advisor) to see what courses you should take during your time abroad as well as which course credits will transfer home, so as not to fall behind in terms of your graduation requirements.
Most actuarial science degree programs also require that students take microeconomics or macroeconomics, both of which can be taken at many universities abroad. Accounting, finance, and business are additional courses related to actuarial science that can typically be taken abroad and applied toward your degree at home with some flexibility.
Since one or two math or math-derived classes usually fill a large percentage of a semester’s workload, consider taking elective courses during your time abroad, such as a history or literature class related to the location where you are studying. Be sure to double check your school’s general education requirements for gaps in your transcripts that can be filled with courses abroad, such as European literature, Latin American studies, or Asian Economics. Lastly, you should, above all else, take advantage of foreign language classes during your time abroad, whether formal or informal.
Prepare For Your Future Career. Developing a career in actuarial science is a practical, calculated risk that takes hard work and dedication. But with international experience in your back pocket, you’re certain to secure a good job in the future. Studying abroad will require you to step outside your comfort zone and try new things, all while working toward your educational and professional end goal. The rewards of studying actuarial science abroad are nearly incalculable, even for actuarial science majors!
Marked Job Skills. Studying abroad will improve your communication skills and your ability to be flexible and adapt. With an uncertain economy, it is important for those looking to become actuaries to be flexible and have the ability to think on their feet. Showing future employers that you’re willing and excited to travel makes you an asset to hire.
Whether you’re flying to Europe, Australia, Asia, or South America, there is one thing that will make your semester abroad stand out from all others; it will be an experience you will never forget.