When it comes to studying abroad, a few majors tend to lead the pack; language, literature, architecture and the arts to name a few. Historically, not many engineering students study abroad, this is for a variety of reasons, such as being told study abroad doesn’t fit into their course schedule to graduate on time. We’re beginning to see this trend change and more opportunities emerging for engineering students through semester and short-term study abroad programs. Europe in particular offers many advantages for engineering students who would like to experience studying abroad.
This opportunity offers students the chance to broaden their horizons and be exposed to more culture. Why shouldn’t an engineering student be given the same chance? While studying abroad, students will be faced with certain challenges, where they will be able to use their logistical studies and apply them to real life. Once they are placed into challenging, real world environments, students begin to understand themselves better and form more of their identity.
Travel and exposure to different cultures plays a large part in forming a person’s identity and developing their unique personality, which is why it is important for all majors to be given the opportunity to study abroad. That is why we have compiled our list of the top five reasons that engineering students should pursue study abroad opportunities
1. Career Boost for after Graduation
Today, almost every field is increasingly becoming international in our globalized economy, no matter how big or small the company might be. The sight of seeing a study abroad experience on a resume peaks the interest of future employers and allows students to stand out amongst other applicants.
Additionally, travel gives the student an opportunity to understand different cultures and markets, which leads to having a more open way of thinking. Students can also leverage their international connections that were made in their time spent abroad. These connections will likely help them when seeking employment after graduation
2. International Life in the Future
During a student’s time spent abroad they will be introduced to a diverse group of people, allowing them to have a chance for international networking. The diverse people they will encounter provide a platform to form connections and to enter the international engineering community, whether it is to start working internationally or deciding to expand a respective future project overseas. Studying abroad also opens doors to understanding and exploring theories and techniques which the student’s home country hasn’t not even explored yet.
3. Develop Problem Solving Skills
As stated before, studying abroad allows students to apply their logistical thinking into the real world when they are faced with a problem abroad. It’s very common that when traveling in a foreign country, students will be forced to confront a problem which allows them to expand their way of thinking and the method they use to tackle obstacles. These problem solving skills picked up during the students time spent abroad would also contribute to the way they think critically and develop their future innovations.
4. Gain A New Way of Thinking
As mentioned, not only will students develop problem solving skills, but also the experience provides students the opportunity to view the world and people from different perspectives. Having hands-on experience with people of different backgrounds and cultures provides new context for students and opens their eyes to a variety of different ways of thinking.
Studying abroad allows a student to develop this new way of thinking because according to educations.com article “Why Study Engineering Abroad?” –
“Thinking about your own life and culture in new ways is the first step to thinking about everything else you encounter differently.”
5. Open Communication
Due to technological advances, the way we communicate culture and traditions are changing, but studying abroad allows students to work on their communication skills. In any field, working with others is required in some way or another and it is a learned skill how to communicate effectively with a variety of people. After studying abroad, a student’s exposure to and communication with people from all over the world helps them to develop these interpersonal skills. This will undoubtedly help them in finding a job down the road as employers are looking for future engineers who work well with the team and are also able to communicate well with clients and partners
Studying abroad is a great opportunity for all majors, in all fields of study. Students should not miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity and jump at the chance to explore the world through their studies.