Why do we value an international experience for our engineering students?
- Engineering is increasingly a global profession. Organizations and companies that hire engineers increasingly have customers, suppliers, parts of their operation, or partners abroad.
- Engineering graduates who understand and interact well with other cultures will be sought after by global companies and those companies developing global ties.
- Engineers who have a global perspective are generally better able to provide leadership in the organizations they serve.
- Engineers proficient in two or more languages can operate much more effectively in the international arena than those knowing only English.
Terms abroad offer students the opportunity to spend a full term studying at a foreign institution. This gives students the freedom to fully explore a foreign culture and travel in a new land over a three month period. Students enroll in courses in the host institution and can transfer credits to Union College which can be used towards graduation. The term abroad experience satisfies the two-course Linguistic and Cultural Competency general education requirements.
Students in any of the engineering programs can go on a Term Abroad. Normally, students go during fall term of their junior year because of the structure of the curricula, but it can be done in other terms, too, with some planning. Engineering students can go on any of the terms abroad offered in a given year. A number of the programs have engineering departments so students can earn engineering credit on these programs. The programs change from year to year, and the latest information can be obtained at the International Programs Office.
Mini-terms are short, intense immersions in another culture accompanied by further study at Union. Mini-terms normally have a series of seminars that are held the term before the foreign travel. These encompass cultural expectations, technical and social issues associated with the theme of the mini-term and pre-travel logistics. The time spent abroad is typically three weeks, and it occurs during summer or intersession to avoid conflicts with regular classes. Mini-terms involve extensive touring around the host country to complement the theme.
Mini-terms carry one course credit, and can be used towards fulfilling a Linguistic and Cultural Competency credit in the General Education Requirements. Engineers can go on any mini-term abroad and the offerings change annually. Interdisciplinary mini-terms that combine engineering and the liberal arts have been conducted in Australia, Brazil, Scotland, France, Spain, Uruguay and are a very popular option for engineering students. Details of all mini-terms can be obtained through the International Programs Office.