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Study Abroad

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The Mathematics Education Study Abroad Program has been to Peru (in 2007 and 2009) and China (in 2011 and upcoming 2013). This faculty-led program offers a focus on mathematics education in other cultures, including the nature of mathematics and mathematical behavior, and theories and issues in the teaching and learning of mathematics. These study abroad experiences have provided UW Oshkosh students and future mathematics teachers with a powerful means for viewing our culture and norms with respect to mathematics and education in contrast with those of other cultures.


Mathematics Education in China

with faculty leaders Jen Szydlik and Eric Kuennen

Imagine climbing the Great Wall, exploring the Forbidden City, visiting Buddhist Temples and soaking up the beautiful scenery at West Lake. This is no ordinary study abroad trip!

HFSL math classMathematics Education in China will be going to China in Spring Interim, 2013. The course that will be offered on the program will be Math 430/746 International Comparative Mathematics Education Seminar, in which you will have the opportunity to study the nature of mathematics and mathematical behavior, and theories and issues in the teaching and learning of mathematics. We will examine the similarities and differences of education practices in the US and China, including teaching philosophy and methodology, teacher preparation and training, and cultural attitudes towards mathematics and education. Ask your advisor about substituting this course for a required or elective course for your math major or minor.

The first week of May Interim we will hold class at UWO, then we will go together on a three-week trip to China. After a few days taking in the amazing cosmopolitan city of Shanghai, we will spend two weeks in Hangzhou which is one of the most beautiful cities in China, on the scenic West Lake. We will be hosted by our partner Zhejiang International Studies University with mornings typically given to seminars discussing selected readings, and guest lectures on the Chinese education system, and afternoons will be spent visiting mathematics classes at local elementary and secondary schools. At end of the second week will present mathematics lessons in English to Chinese students at Hangzhou Foreign Language School. During the last week of the trip, we will travel to Beijing, explore the Forbidden City and climb the Great Wall.

To get a great taste of what our trip will be like, please see the excellent Beyond Classroom Walls Report on our previous trip to China.



There will be three days of class in Oshkosh May 13-16, 2013. We will then travel to China May 17-June 6, 2013.


How Much?

The estimated total cost of participating in the program is $4470.

This estimated total cost includes:

  • UWO program Fee: $2330. This includes tuition, health and accident insurance, Chinese Visa, all hotel and university accommodations, all ground transportation (buses, trains) except for taxis, airfare and taxes within China, all group tours (including tips for our guides), all breakfasts, and many group dinners.
  • Airfare to China, $1513 including taxes and fees. We have a block of seats reserved at this very good rate. However, if demand for this program is high, we may exceed this block and we may need to get additional seats which could be at a higher rate or on a different flight. So apply early to assure that you get a seat at this low rate!

Other approximate expenses not included above are:

  • $100 Application Fee, if you don't already have one.$150 to get a US Passport, if you don't already have one.
  • $370 spending money while in China, for dinners, lunches, and snacks on your own, taxis and entertainment during free time and money for souvenirs and things you might buy. This can vary significantly, depending on how frugal or spendy you are.

For updates about costs, please visit the OIE's webpage for our Program.


Is there Financial Aid Available ?

Yes. Please visit the Office of International Education's Study Abroad Financial Aid Information Webpage for information about financial aid.


How do I sign up?

You can start the application process now! To apply, follow the step-by-step instructions on the Office of International Education's Study Abroad Application Webpage. The application deadline will be Friday Feb. 1, 2013, but you are encouraged to start the application process as soon as you can, as it is a multi-step process. Space is limited and seats will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, though preference is given to UW Oshkosh mathematics majors and minors.


For More Information:

Check out the links at the bottom of this page, including the Office of International Education's webpage for our program. Feel free to contact Jen at or stop by her office in 218 Swart Hall, or Eric at or stop by his office in 111 Swart Hall if you have any questions about the program. For more information about studying abroad through UW Oshkosh, visit the Office of International Education in Dempsey 146 or visit their website at


Preliminary Program Itinerary:

Note: This itinerary is very preliminary at this point and is subject to change. Travel dates will not be set until airfare is reserved, which will likely not happen until December 2012.

DEPARTURE on Friday, May 17, 2013

Mon May 13 to Thursday May 16 – class on UWO campus, 10 am- 12 noon, Swart 127

Fri May 17: Depart for China.



Sat May 18:  Arrive in Shanghai (overnight Shanghai hotel)

    • Afternoon Transfer from airport to hotel
    • Boat tour on the Huangpo River with night views of Shanghai
    • Dinner included with tour

Sun May 19:  Cultural sightseeing in Shanghai (overnight Shanghai hotel)

    • Sights will include Pearl Tower, China Pavilion, Yu Gardens
    • Lunch included in tour
    • Students free for dinner (Eric takes students to Nanjing Road)


Mon May 20:  Travel to Hangzhou in afternoon;

    • Free morning in Shanghai; Lunch on your own
    • Afternoon travel to Hangzhou by high speed train
    • Orientation to Hangzhou and ZISU
    • 5pm match ZISU students with UWO partners
    • Welcome dinner at ZISU

Tues May 21:  Sightseeing in Hangzhou

    • Tour of West Lake causeways, 6 harmonies Pagoda, and Lingyin Temple
    • Lunch at Longjin tea village included
    • Dinner on your own

Wed May 22:   ZISU Day 1

    • Morning Visit to School
    • Lunch at university in cafeteria
    • Introductory Chinese Language Class
    • Class discussion
    • Dinner on own

Thur May 23:   ZISU Day 2

    • Morning visit to school
    • Lunch at university in cafeteria
    • Lecture by ZISU faculty on Mathematics Education in China, including teaching methodology
    • Class discussion
    • Evening Travel to Ningbo

Fri  May 24:   Ningbo

    • Morning visit to Ningbo University
    • Lunch at University
    • Afternoon visit to Beilun port
    • Return to Ningbo University Hotel

Sat May 25:   Ninghai

    • Early Morning visit to Pacrim factory
    • Mid-day visit to mountain school
    • Lunch in Qiantong
    • Visit to Qiantong Ancient Town
    • Evening Return to Hangzhou

Sun May 26:  Free day in Hangzhou

    • Optional visits to West Lake sights, silk museum, shopping districts, etc.

Mon May 27:  ZISU Day 3

    • Morning Visit to local school
    • Lunch at Institute
    • Afternoon visit to College of Education
    • Lecture by ZISU faculty on Mathematics Education in China, including Chinese education system and teacher preparation
    • Class Discussion
    • Dinner on own

Tues May 28: Hangzhou Foreign Language School Day 1

    • Morning Lecture and/Class discussion
    • Lunch at HFLS
    • Afternoon Visit to Hangzhou Foreign Language School, meet with Junior English classes
    • Dinner at Hangzhou Foreign Language School
    • Return to Institute

Wed May 29:  ZISU day 4

    • Morning Visit to local school
    • Lunch at Institute
    • Afternoon lectures and/or class discussion
    • Dinner on own

Thu May 30:  Hangzhou Foreign Language School Day 2

    • Morning presentation of math lessons at HFLS
    • Lunch at school at HFLS
    • Class Discussion
    • Group Dinner at Luowailou Caiguan



Fri May 31: Fly to Beijing in morning

    • Afternoon orientation and sightseeing in Beijing
    • Acrobatic Show
    • Beijing Duck dinner

Sat June 1: Sightseeing in Beijing

    • Tour to Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, including lunch
    • Afternoon shopping
    • Students free for afternoon and dinner

Sun June 2: Travel to Chengde

    • Morning visit to Temple of Heaven, lunch included
    • Travel to Chengde

Mon June 3: Tour of Chengde (overnight at Jinshaling)

    • Lunch included in day long tour
    • Tour of Monasteries around Chengde and summer palace, includes Putuo Zongcheng Temple, Puning Temple, and Mountain Retreat
    • Evening travel to Jinshaling, (Great Wall)

Tues June 4:  Great Wall, return to Beijing (overnight in Beijing)

    • Morning visit to Great Wall
    • Afternoon return to Beijing
    • Evening optional Chinese Acrobat show
    • Group farewell dinner

Wed June 5:  Return to U.S.

study abroad 1

Past Participant Testimonials (from our previous trips to Peru and China):

"Unforgettable and enlightening. It really gave me a better perspective towards life and what I should be thankful for."

"My favorite part of the trip would be visiting the schools.  I think that going as an education major it really showed me the differences between our school systems.  I also really liked trying the different foods and just being immersed in the different culture."

" It was an awesome experience to go in front of a class of students that don't speak your language. That was the first of many times in my life where I will have a student that doesn't speak English and I will have to learn to communicate and teach the student."

"I would absolutely recommend this trip. You can travel, get a new perspective on the world, and make new friends all at once. The Math Ed. trip is a unique opportunity to learn about math while in another culture. You also get to sightsee amazing places."

"I would most definitely recommend this trip to future math educators. Not only do you get the study abroad experience, but you get to see mathematics education from a different perspective and broaden your own horizon for teaching in the future. You also have an experience of a lifetime, touring and exploring another country mostly unlike our own and meet some amazing and incredible people, that may become lifelong friends"

"Today, cultures are becoming more intertwined and this fact impacts the classroom. As a result, I think it is important for teachers to realize what type of impact culture plays on the classroom. Although people can get this understanding from reading, I think seeing it first hand plays more of an impact".

“I learned more than I thought I would. Not only just about math in the classrooms, but I learned about the people there and the culture. I’ve known all along that I wanted to be a teacher, but really this experience opened up my eyes the greater things I can do in a classroom … how much of an impact I can have on these kids.”

"It is hard to pick my favorite parts of the trip because I had so much fun."

"I couldn't have asked for a better trip. Don't just consider going, make sure to go! This is an experience of a lifetime."


Target Student Groups:

  • Mathematics Minors for Elementary and Middle School Programs
  • Mathematics Majors or Minors with a Secondary Education Emphasis
  • Mathematics Education graduate students and current teachers looking for new experiences or continuing credits
  • Global Educator Certificate Program students
  • The program will be offered every other year (2013, 2015, etc.) though the location may change for future trips.


Related Links About Our Trip:

Recruitment Powerpoint

Beyond Classroom Walls Report on our 2011 trip to China

COLS Special Report on our Previous Math Ed Study Abroad to Peru

Stuff To Know Before You Go


Helpful Links at the Office of International Education

Study Abroad general information

The OIE's webpage for our Program

Study Abroad Finanial Aid Information

Study Abroad Application




Visit the Office of International Education office in Dempsey 146 for questions about Studying Abroad through UW Oshkosh.

Questions or Comments?  Email Eric Kuennen contact the Office of International Education directly.

by Clark, Leslie A. last modified Mar 08, 2013 02:03 PM


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