The most successful engineering graduates will possess the skills to thrive in the emerging global environment. The engineer of the future must contribute to productive collaborations among diverse colleagues from around the world. A global experience as an undergraduate will provide invaluable exposure to different cultures and new ways of thinking, and will set you on the path to success.
--Dr. Alec Scranton, Dean of the College of Engineering
Why study abroad?
Increasingly, engineering graduates will be expected to have some level of global competence, as “the engineers who will be the leaders of the future will often manage and direct global engineering activities.” Some of the most valuable characteristics of global competence among engineering graduates include:
- Can appreciate other cultures.
- Are proficient working in or directing a team of ethnic and cultural diversity.
- Are able to communicate across cultures.
- Have had a chance to practice engineering in a global context, whether through an international internship, a service-learning opportunity, a virtual global engineering project or some other form of experience.
- Can effectively deal with ethical issues arising from cultural or national differences.
Learning abroad experiences can help engineering students develop some or all of these characteristics of global competence. In fact, global opportunities for students is becoming increasingly important, as it is very likely that, regardless of discipline, engineering graduates will interact with customers and colleagues across the globe. Because engineering graduates are very likely to work on international teams performing research and development, design, manufacturing, etc., they need exposure to other cultures and languages during their undergraduate career to help them better understand cultural differences.