Engineering today is a global profession. Study abroad allows engineering students to discover the field through the perspective of engineers working in a different language and culture, enabling them to learn the relationship of culture to science and develop the range of transferable skills that employers are seeking today. Study abroad will help students develop intellectually, emotionally, culturally, and socially.
Columbia Engineering undergraduate students can study abroad for either a semester (fall, spring, or summer) or, exceptionally, for a full academic year. Students from every engineering major have studied abroad, and most do so in the spring semester of their sophomore year or in their junior year. Although not a requirement, students are encouraged to have some foreign language skills in order to enhance their cultural competency and their overall study abroad experience.
The Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement will help students identify the appropriate choice for their country of interest and their major. Undergraduate Student Affairs advisers and departmental advisers will help students with their course equivalencies for approved programs so they can graduate on time. Students can take nontechnical electives overseas, or with departmental permission, they may choose technical electives or courses in their major.
It is essential that students begin planning as early as possible. Students are encouraged to meet with advisers in the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement to review possible global opportunities. Students must obtain approval from their departmental advisers to ensure that their work abroad meets the requirements of their majors, as well as clearance from their Advising Dean in the James H. and Christine Turk Berick Center for Student Advising.