Collage of Europe

Country: European Union

Location: Italy and France

Program type: Study abroad

Faculty: Engineering, Mathematics, Science

Duration: 90 days (late April - late July)

Requirements: Math students (not ELAS) having successfully completed both MATH 135 and MATH 137 with a minimum of 65/100, and registered in MATH 136 and MATH 138 (or equivalent) or having a minimum of 60/100 in each of these courses. Must be 18 years old by April 25.

Housing: Typical residence you would experience on the program

Housing in program

More info:

Would you like to spend a school term in Europe, and take University of Waterloo mathematics courses taught by Waterloo mathematics professors?

Each spring term, two University of Waterloo mathematics professors take a small group of students to Europe. They teach three Waterloo mathematics courses generally taken by students during their 2A term. The main goal of this initiative is to provide the opportunity for the students to live in a couple of European cities while they continue with their studies in mathematics and take a French language course as an elective.

For more information about this opportunity and to read about student experiences please visit the Math in Europe program site.

Why would I do this?

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to live in two different European cities for an extended period of time: about five weeks in Rome, Italy and eight weeks in Montpellier, France. You'll be able to wander the ancient streets; become immersed in the local environment and culture, visit historical monuments, museums and art galleries; have lunch at the local trattoria and coffee at the café on the corner; and shop for fresh produce at the local marke - all while being a full-time student taking the 3 math courses offered in this program.

During your 90 days in Europe, you'll be taking the same three mathematics courses offered in Waterloo, and thus would not fall behind in your studies relative to your peers. The courses will be offered in English by two Waterloo professors who will accompany you in Europe. You will receive a numerical grade for the math courses (as you would have in Waterloo) counting toward your GPA. The program includes a French language course as an elective credit - this cost is contained in the program fee – and receive a pass/fail credit for it. This is a great way to learn a new language or brush up on your French skills!

Participation in this program would fulfil the International Experience component of the Global Experience Certificate and give you a transferable asset, which you can add to your resume.

Where would we be going?

Tentatively:You'll spend about 5 weeks in Rome at the University of Waterloo Campus Building, situated in Trastevere (the historic centre of the city), walking distance halfway between the Coliseum and Vatican City, and about eight weeks at the University of Paul Valery (Montpellier 3). It is an extension of one of the oldest universities in Europe (1289) and is situated 3 km from the centre of the city of Montpellier, and 14 km from the Mediterranean coast.

How many students will be going?

The minimum number of students is 20. The maximum is 40.

What courses would be offered?

Initially we will offer MATH 235, MATH 237, and STAT 230, but we will only teach those courses which have an enrolment of more than 15.

  • Students will take exactly the same math courses that they would have taken in Waterloo, taught at a similar pace.
  • Students will be taught in English by instructors which they can meet, and may even take a course with, in Waterloo before leaving.
  • Students will receive a grade for the math courses (not pass/fail).
  • Students will receive a credit (pass/fail) for the French language course taught at Montpellier.
  • The students will not fall behind their peers who do not take advantage of this opportunity.

Will there be time for additional travel?

Yes, lectures will be scheduled to provide the occasional three or four day weekends. There will be at least 3 group trips organized as part of the program (cost included in program fee) and enough free time for students to engage in their own European travel.

What is the cost involved?

The costs to participate in the Math in Europe program are:

  1. Fees for 3 University of Waterloo courses (the amount is identical to the cost if you took the same courses in Waterloo) *this is not included in the program fee
  2. About $1,000 to $1,500 for airfare (Toronto-Rome, Rome-Montpellier, Montpellier-Toronto, or your chosen return destination) *not included in the program fee
  3. €4400 (about $6,700CAD) Program Fee. This fee includes:
    1. Accommodation in Rome and Montpellier
    2. All organized group trips (accommodation and transportation included)
    3. Some meals in Montpellier
    4. One French course as an elective (Pass/Fail credit transferred) – level to be individually determined once in Montpellier.

What does the program fee cover?

This fee covers the following major expenses in Europe.

  • 13 weeks of accommodation and three meals per day.
  • three-day, two-night transfer trip between Italy and France.
  • One French language course for which a transfer credit will be given.

What is not covered?

  • University of Waterloo incidental and co-op fees.
  • Books, stationary.
  • €2,500 (about $3,700 CAD) personal living expenses (this is an approximation for the remaining cost of food/meals, sightseeing, visits to museums, souvenirs – this amount will vary based on lifestyle of each student)
  • Additional (optional) trips, other than the ones organized by the program, taken while in Europe.

Is there an application process?

An information meeting will be held on October 3, 2018 at 5:30 pm in DC 1350. Students interested in the Math in Europe program will have to contact Francine Vinette before October 15, 2018 to indicate their interest in the program, and put their name on a list so that all information can then be forward directly to them. 

Any student who is making reasonable progress in their Fall 2018 studies will be allowed to make a refundable deposit at the end of November. By January 1, 2019, only students who have passed with a 65/100 in both MATH 135 and MATH 137, and who are registered in MATH 136 and MATH 138 (or who have already passed these courses with a 60/100) will be allowed to make the first non-refundable payment.

What are the timelines involved?

  • October 15th – an email must be sent to Francine Vinette indicating the interest to participate in the Math in Europe program.
  • November 21st – $500 non-refundable deposit.
  • January 15th – first non-refundable payment of $2,100 (amount to be confirmed by November 20)
  • February 15th– second non-refundable payment of $2,100 (amount to be confirmed by November 20)
  • March 15th– third non-refundable payment of $2,000 (amount to be confirmed by November 20)

Who are the University of Waterloo Personnel involved?

Conrad Hewitt has taught Mathematics at the University of Waterloo, and St. Jerome’s University for the past 29 years. He was awarded a Distinguished Teacher Award in 1997. He has a Ph.D. in Inhomogeneous Cosmology from the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo. He works in the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing and has interests in classical cosmology and differential equations. Conrad has completed numerous triathlons in Europe.

Francine Vinette has taught Mathematics at the University of Waterloo, and St. Jerome’s University, York University, and Wilfrid Laurier University for the past 29 years. She has a Ph.D. in Symbolic Computation and Quantum Mechanics from the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo. She works in the Dean of Mathematics office and is fluent in both Italian and French, and has lived and travelled extensively in Europe.

Conrad and Francine have two daughters at university. Tanya is in third year at the University of Ottawa and Julia is about to start first year at Queen’s University.

For any additional questions or to submit an application contact:

Conrad Hewitt or Francine Vinette in the Faculty of Mathematics.