View Full Version : Studying Abroad

11-20-2014, 07:54 PM
Iím a sophomore math/econ double major very interested in applying for an economics Ph.D in a few years, and Iím considering studying abroad during the fall semester of my junior year. Iím looking for advice on this, especially from those with experience studying abroad. Iíve posted the relevant parts of my profile below.

My relevant academic background:
Type of Undergrad: T-60 Midwest LAC, unknown economics department
Undergrad GPA: Overall: 3.96, Econ: 3.9, Math: 4.0
Math Courses: Calc I-III(AP, A, A), Transitions to Advanced Mathematics (IP, likely A), Linear Algebra (IP, likely A), Mathematical Modeling (Spring 2015), Real Analysis (Spring 2015)
Econ Courses: Principles (A), Urban (A-), Inter. Micro Theory (IP, likely A), Inter. Macro Theory (Spring 2015)
Other Courses: Intro to CS (Python) (A)
Research Experience:
Summer after Freshman Year: Hybrid research/consulting/internship doing math modeling for a major corporation through my home institution

Summer after Sophomore Year: Either the same program, a Math REU, or (hopefully!) an Econ RA position.

Semesters 2-4 (freshman and sophomore years): Part time RA for a math prof., working on a sports analytics/modeling project. This is very likely to result in a publication in a mid-tier applied math field journal.

One of the primary reasons that I am considering studying abroad is the relative weakness of the economics department. There is very little history of sending students to Ph.D programs, and the department as a whole is highly non-quantitative. For example, there is no guarantee that I would be able to take even an introductory Econometrics course. It seems to me that my best option is to go abroad to a major European university and take more rigorous economics courses there.

Iíve considered LSE, but I neither want to live in London (financial constraints) nor would it be possible for me to go abroad for an entire year, which LSE requires.

What do you think? Do you have program recommendations? How do adcoms weigh a semester abroad in situations like this? In my situation, would going abroad to somewhere like York, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, etc. be beneficial?

11-20-2014, 08:39 PM
Are you interested in studying abroad primarily due to wanting to take economics courses at a university with a better econ department, or are you also interested in learning about a new culture and living in a new country and the other non-academic reasons that one might go abroad? If it is mainly the former, I would advise you to also consider a semester as a visiting student in the US as another option, as some of the top universities allow students to visit for a semester. (I am not familiar enough w/study abroad programs to advise you on that, but just wanted to give a suggestion of visiting another US university as another option to consider.)

11-20-2014, 09:06 PM
Why not transfer? I think that'd be the first best if you don't have any constraints. This is of course conditional on your answer to the above question too.

11-20-2014, 10:37 PM
I'm interested in studying abroad primarily to take courses, but there is definitely a cultural element as well. To some degree, I view it as a "life experience." I may look into studying at another U.S institution for a semester.

However, I'm not willing to transfer entirely. I really enjoy my current institution for non-economics reasons, and I would do very poorly at a large school for an extended period of time.