As the saying goes, “math is a universal language.” Those students looking to study mathematics abroad will have the distinct advantage of knowing a “language” that surpasses all cultural and political boundaries. Taking your mathematics studies abroad can lead you in many different directions, from finance and economics to straight arithmetic, learning how another culture approaches numbers and how they relate to day-to-day life abroad is an invaluable experience. Besides, where better to study mathematics than in the countries where the most famous of mathematicians once made their mark or where great strides are being made in modern day math?
Why Study Mathematics Abroad
As such an expansive field, mathematics can almost be seen as “alive,” as it is constantly changing and evolving with new developments and discoveries. Studying mathematics abroad offers students the opportunity to approach the subject from a completely different point of view, providing new perspectives and problem-solving methods. As the world continues to become more globalized, experiential learning is becoming essential to the development of well-rounded and culturally sensitive individuals. Mathematics is a very collaborative field and the experience of living in another country and adapting to a different way of life will not only equip you with skills for your degree and future jobs, it will also globalize your personal view of the world.
Mathematics is studied in every country in the world, so your options for study abroad program location are near limitless. However, there are a few countries whose universities are particularly well-known for their mathematics degree programs and courses.
Switzerland. With universities ranked in the top 10 in the world for studies in mathematics, Switzerland is far more than a collection of (highly impressive) mountain ranges and chocolate factories. The country can boast one of the most rigorous academic systems in the world. Additionally, the city of Zurich provides a center-stage for Switzerland’s strong free market and the world’s strongest economy, as well as a wide use of the English language (the Swiss can also claim Albert Einstein as a former resident). For those interested in how mathematics can be applied to international economics and engineering, Switzerland is the place for you.
United Kingdom. Do the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, King’s College London, or the University of Edinburgh sound familiar? These are just a handful of the United Kingdom’s universities, which rank among the top universities not only in mathematics, but also in the world. Many of these top UK universities are centrally located in “science parks,” or headquarters for scientific research institutions as well as engineering and technology companies, which fosters a culture that is specifically focused on STEM fields. The United Kingdom has churned out some of the most noteworthy academics in mathematics, from Isaac Newton to Stephen Hawking; its proud history and innovative approaches to new methods make it an excellent location for those looking to study mathematics in an academically prestigious environment.
Hong Kong. Skyscrapers, a bustling nightlife, and one of the fastest-growing economies in the world: what was once just a small autonomous territory off of China’s southern coast has now become one of the world’s most important cities. Many of its universities are ranked at the top when it comes to the fields of mathematics, accounting, and engineering. Hong Kong offers a very competitive environment not only for business, but also learning. It is one of the most international city-territories in the world, with students coming together from all over the globe to study various branches of mathematics.
Studying Mathematics Abroad
Your course structure will vary depending entirely on your program and the country you choose to study in. However, most study abroad programs will mirror the structure of Western classroom styles, with a combination of lectures, assignments, and multiple exams. The language of instruction may be in English, although you could be required to take courses in the native language if your mathematics study abroad program is fully immersive.
Some examples of mathematics courses that you can take while abroad include topology and advanced analysis, mathematics for economists, vector calculus, and game design. Although these courses may sound similar to those that you could take at home, keep in mind that the subjects will be taught from the perspective of your host country and this can drastically change how the courses are taught; studying economics in a country with a completely different political structure from your home country will have an effect on how you learn.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Studying abroad is far more than an academic experience. Although you will undoubtedly learn a great amount from such a pioneering field, the personal and cultural rewards of immersing yourself in another culture are endless. You will become far more culturally sensitive and you will learn what avenue of mathematics interests you, guiding you to your future career. Take a chance, step out of your comfort zone, and try speaking the universal language of math, and you’ll be surprised where it takes you.