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. Most do so in the spring semester of their sophomore year or in their junior year.
The Office of Global Programs will help students identify the appropriate choice for their country of interest and their major. The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Student Affairs 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—ideally this would be during their first year. Students are encouraged to meet with the Office of Global Programs to review possible overseas destinations and to decide on an appropriate abroad experience. 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.