Many Middlebury students wish to integrate study abroad into their undergraduate programs.
For mathematics majors, the keys to a successful experience are early planning and consultation with departmental advisors.
Students wishing to study abroad should try to complete at least one of the two required core courses (MATH 302 or Math 323) before their abroad experience. In practical terms, this will mean that a semester abroad is preferable to a full year.
Credit while Abroad
It can be difficult to determine the true content of a mathematics course taught abroad, especially one taught in another language. It also happens that courses scheduled to be taught at foreign institutions get changed at the last minute. We are therefore hesitant to approve an application for study abroad if your ability to complete the mathematics major depends on a particular offering to be taken while away from campus. To be safe, students planning to spend a semester off campus should arrange to take the necessary courses for their math major while at Middlebury.
There are exceptions, of course. Most students who have succeeded in taking advanced mathematics courses while abroad have done so at English-speaking institutions. The London School of Economics offers a range of applied mathematics and statistics courses that extend what is available at Middlebury. Other institutions where students have transferred major credit back to Middlebury include the University of York, the University of St. Andrews, and the University of Otago (New Zealand). Be aware that in the British system, undergraduate courses with similar titles to those at U.S. institutions tend to be more advanced. In all these cases, courses need to be approved ahead of time in close consultation with the advisor and the department chair.
There are two high-quality advanced mathematics programs. One is the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics. This program is expressly developed for U.S. and Canadian students who wish to devote a semester to either advanced mathematics or mathematics education. Middlebury has traditionally sent one or two students a year to this program with highly satisfying results.
The second program is Math in Moscow. This program is open to students from the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and exposes them to the Russian tradition of teaching mathematics. Admission to both programs is based on a competitive application process.