The British invasion has conquered the math department … by subtracting one of its students from the equation. Senior Bethany Burney has left the States behind to study for a semester in Bradford, England.
Burney completed her mathematics degree requirements last semester but wanted to study abroad before graduating. Through Missouri Southern’s Institute of International Studies, she learned about the International Student Exchange Program, which allows students to pay the same amount of tuition for a normal semester at Southern while attending classes at one of the cooperating universities around the globe.
She chose to study in England because of her love to explore. During her stay, she plans to discover the culture from her own perspective and at her own pace, which she figured would be easier to do in a country that speaks her native tongue. The University of Bradford, where she was placed by the program, is located in a fairly small town filled with diversity. The largest film festival in the United Kingdom takes place in Bradford, and the town claims to offer the best curry in England.
The University of Bradford does not offer a program specifically for mathematics, so Burney said she signed up for master’s-level courses such as engineering and computing that will help prepare her for the classes she’ll take while attending graduate school in the fall. Burney is interested in researching climate modeling, and the University of Bradford offers courses in that field. During her stay, Burney plans to meet her Bradford advisor’s colleague, who works in climate modeling and cloud formation.
“I am hoping the connections made through studying abroad will advance me toward success in my career goals,” she said.
Burney has started a blog – acupofculture.com – to document her experiences while in England. She said she plans to share the information she learns from the school’s weekly organized trips to different parts of England and neighboring countries, the differences of British culture, and photos of her experiences.
So far, the hardest adjustments to the English lifestyle have been walking everywhere, getting used to the reversed flow of traffic on the roads, and functioning in places where everything is much smaller than in America, she said. She has encountered some colloquial differences, such as the British calling their classes “modules,” but feels she’ll soon be familiarized with the slang.
Later this semester, the MSSU math club will host a Skype session with Burney for a short discussion on her classes, her experiences in England and a Q&A session. Burney invites anyone interested in her travel experiences to check out her blog or attend the Skype session.
“I hope that from this trip, I will gain memories and friends that will last a lifetime,” she said. “I hope I will be able to see and discover places I’ve always dreamed of going and that this trip will be my first of many trips around the world.”