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					 Imagine surfing the famous
 Gold     Coast      of Australia,
 watching the snow fall from
 a ferry in the Norwegian Fjords,
 bargaining at the street markets in
 Bangkok, or gazing into a famous
 Monet painting at the National Gallery
 in London. Ahhh, wouldn’t it be nice?
 Experiencing these things is a lot
 easier than you think! A University of
 Minnesota student can do any of the
 above, while getting an education, at
 an affordable price. Sound too good
 to be true? You’re about to hear from
 a handful of students who have done
 it. And you can too.

 But aren’t these opportunities only
 for satisfying language requirements
 or liberal arts credits? How does this
 apply to an Institute of Technology
 student? Students in the College of
 Liberal Arts aren’t the only ones able
 to study abroad within their major—
 technical students can do it too.

 Most IT students don’t realize that
                                              studying abroad. Susan Kubitschek          Many parents of IT students have
 they can take courses that apply
                                              in the IT Office of Student Affairs         a unique perspective of studying
 to their majors while living and
                                              ensures students, “We will find you         abroad when looking back on their
 traveling in other countries and, at
                                              an affordable and academically             opportunities.According to Kubitschek,
 the same time, transform their global
                                              compatible program.” There is a great      “they either say, ‘I studied abroad and
 perspectives and make connections
                                              deal of financial support for IT students   had an incredible experience’ or ‘I
 all over the world. Not to mention
                                              who study at another institution. Not      wish I would have studied abroad,
 the possibilities of learning a new
                                              only are the students eligible for the     but I’ll make sure that my kids will.’”
 language! Most programs don’t
                                              many University-wide scholarships          This enthusiasm for international
 require any previous experience with
                                              (over $200,000 was given away              experience is widespread.
 a language, as courses are taught in
                                              last year alone), but IT gives away
 English. Therefore, there’s no need
                                              an additional $12,000 a year for its       The University of Minnesota offers
 to be intimidated if another language
                                              students only. “IT has an extremely        literally hundreds of study abroad
 is spoken in the country you are
                                              supportive      Dean,”       Kubitschek    programs around the world. Here we
 studying in. However, the opportunity
                                              remarks. In addition, studying abroad      focus on just three of the programs
 for cultural immersion gives anyone an
                                              in certain programs “keeps you on          through the experiences, studies, and
 incredible chance to learn and perfect
                                              track academically. There are a            travels of four students.
 another language—an incredibly
                                              number of prerequisites that will meld
 impressive skill to have!
                                              into your academic career.” There are      Hong Kong
                                              a number of approved IT programs to        The Hong Kong University of Science
 Facts and Figures                            choose from.                               and Technology (HKUST) is set on a
 It seems that the most discouraging
                                                                                         beautiful peninsula overlooking the
 assumptions made by students about           The number of IT students studying         South China Sea. The setting is a
 studying abroad are that it is too           abroad has grown immensely over            blend of modern and traditional—a
 expensive and that it will set them          the past few years. Since 1997, the        highly developed campus near an old
 behind academically and extend               numbers have grown by more than            fishing village. Upon returning from a
 their time in college. Fortunately,          eight times over! Kubitschek hopes         recent visit to the campus, Kubitschek
 both of these assumptions are                to see about 200 IT students studying      exclaimed, “Visiting Hong Kong was
 false. The Institute of Technology           abroad each year. “Given our current       an unbelievable experience! It was
 Student Affairs office is confident that       resources, it’s a manageable goal.”        a real contrast between new and old
 students can find both an affordable
                                                                                         traditions.”
 and a program-compatible option for


10        Minnesota Technolog | Winter 2005
                                                                                                                            Approved Science and Engineering Programs
                                                                                                                              • Hong Kong University of Science
                                                                                                                                  and Technology (China)
                                                                                                                              • Norwegian University of Science
                                                                                                                                  and Technology (Norway)
                                                                                                                              • University of Oslo (Norway)
                                                                                                                              • Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden)
                                                                                                                              • Pohang University of Science
                                                                                                                                  and Technology (Korea)
                                                                                                                              • University of Melbourne (Australia)
                                                                                                                              • University of Sydney (Australia)
                                                                                                                              • Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
PHOTO TAKEN BY CHRIS TESSUM




                                                                                                                              • Cambridge University (England)
                                                                                                                              • University of Leeds (England)
                                                                                                                              • University College London (England)
                                                                                                                              • Oxford University (England)
                                                                                                                              • University of Strathclyde (Scotland)

                                                                                                                            IT Students Studying Abroad
                                                                                                                            140

                                                                                                                            120

                                                                                                                            100
                              hang-gliding in australia                                                                      80

                                                                                                                             60
                               Adam Lindberg, a senior in Civil            disciplines, but no matter which                  40
                               Engineering at the University of            program a student chooses, they will              20

                               Minnesota, chose to study abroad last       have the opportunity to expand their              0

                               year at HKUST “to get a perspective         views.                                             1997    1998   1999   2000   2001   2002   2003   2004


                               that was completely different from the
                               US.” He definitely got what he was           To list a few additional advantages                    To anyone considering the program
                               looking for.                                of      Lindberg’s     semester,     he                in Hong Kong, Lindberg leaves
                                                                           gained      international   friendships                you with a few final reflections of
                               Lindberg recalls walking down the           and heightened his international                       his experience: “It was the most
                               streets of Hong Kong during the             perspectives. “I have friends now                      interesting experience of my life.
                               Chueng Yeung festival with other            from Iceland to Indonesia in nearly                    There were so many benefits and so
                               international students, eating octopus      30 countries around the world.”                        few problems. Anyone could study
                               on a stick—not something that most          Another advantage of the program in                    abroad and everyone should study
                               people have had the opportunity to          Hong Kong is the low cost. All things                  abroad! I can’t think of any reason not
                               experience. Lindberg says, “Living          considered, it costs less for a student                to.”
                               in Hong Kong alone is an adventure.         to study abroad in Hong Kong for a
                               The transportation system, schooling        semester than it would for them to                     Sweden
                               system, every-day foods, and even           study at the University of Minnesota.                  Chalmers University of Technology
                               simple things like water faucets and        “My rent was only about $500 for the                   is a beautiful campus located in
                               light switches are new.” The exchange       entire semester, and due to the low                    the heart of Gothenburg, Sweden’s
                               program in Hong Kong is definitely           cost of food and travel within the city,               second largest city. Gothenburg is a
                               one of the more unique opportunities.       living is extremely cheap.” This gave                  seaport on the western coast of the
                                                                           him the opportunity to spend more                      country, three hours by car or bus
                               One of the differences Lindberg             money on travel: he visited Beijing,                   from Oslo, Norway and Copenhagen,
                               discovered between our educational          Shanghai, Bangkok, and many other                      Denmark. If you want to live in a
                               system and Hong Kong’s was that             cities.                                                progressive European country with
                               theirs was far less competitive.                                                                   endless opportunities for travel and
                               “Students would help each other—no          Lindberg had no problems receiving                     adventure, this is the place to be.
                               one wanted to be better or worse            credit for his work in Hong Kong. “All
                               off than anyone.” Another benefit            of my classes transferred perfectly.                   Bjorn Wickman is a visiting student
                               Hong Kong offered was a different           Everything was fulfilled, and I will still              at the University of Minnesota from
                               perspective of metropolitan anatomy.        graduate in 4 years.” While there, he                                            encourages
                                                                                                                                  Chalmers University. He Read on
                               “I enjoyed going to Hong Kong               took three civil engineering courses                   anyone to study in Sweden.
                               because the infrastructure in the city      and one liberal education course,                      “Gothenburg is one of the nicest cities
                               is very well-developed. As a civil          fulfilling both types of requirements                   in Europe. It has a unique history,
                               engineer, you look for things like that.”   for graduation.                                        many beautiful places, and friendly
                               Different programs are appealing                                                                   people.” Gothenburg is an inviting
                               to students of different engineering


                                                                                                                       Minnesota Technolog | Winter 2005                        11
 city that is rich in the arts and full of     Melbourne. Harris worked to find a
 charm.                                        balance between school and travel.
                                               “I made a point of doing everything
 Swedish universities get a substantial        I possibly could while I was there...
 amount of funding           from the          there’s definitely something to be
 government, making the tuition free for       said about learning outside of the
 everyone. That’s right—free. This is not      classroom.” This is obvious in his
 to say that the programs at Chalmers          extensive traveling and adventures.
 are anything but first rate. Wickman
 says, “Chalmers has a high-standard           When studying abroad, there is a great
 institution with excellent professors         deal more to be gained than just an
 at the top of their field. The quality         education. International experience
 of education is very good. Chalmers           can benefit you in many ways. “As far
 is at the cutting-edge of technology.”        as people skills, I feel like it helped
 Chalmers has an excellent reputation          immensely” Tessum agrees.
 for its challenging and prestigious
 educational programs.                         Looking back on his experience,
                                               Harris has no regrets. “It was all in all
 Anyone who studies at Chalmers                an outstanding experience. I would
 is likely to have an outstanding              recommend it to anyone. Studying
 experience. There’s an incredible             abroad gives you time to get away from      while being able to soak up the culture
 social atmosphere, and a great                everything and experience something         of another country.
 collaborative working environment             entirely different, to throw yourself out
 for students around the world. For            there and see the world.” No matter         There are four opportunities this
 students looking to be independent            where you study, you’re going to have       year for IT global seminars. Tour
 and meet other students from all over         an amazing experience.                      Scandinavia and learn about power
 Europe and Asia, Chalmers is an                                                           generation methods in EE 3940.
 excellent option.                                                                         Discover fundamental origins and
                                               Shorter Alternatives                        properties of the world in the Physics
                                               Still unsure? If a semester seems a bit     4993 “Mysteries of the Universe”
 Melbourne                                     too long, there are a handful of other      seminar in Italy and Switzerland.
 One of the most popular options for           options you can explore for shorter-        Learn about Swiss product design
 studying abroad is at the University of       term international experience.              and development in the Mechatronics
 Melbourne in Australia. Chris Tessum                                                      course in Switzerland. Or if you prefer
 and Brandon Harris are two IT students        IT provides a number of global              the UK, study the “Ascent of British
 who took this opportunity last year. It       seminars,     which     are    typically    Technology” in Bath, England in ME
 definitely wasn’t a decision that either       three-week sessions conducted by            3080.
 of them regret. Tessum feels without          University of Minnesota professors on
 hesitation that “it’s the best choice I’ve    exciting topics in different countries      Another possibility for experience
 made as far as my education goes.”            for U of M credit. On these trips, you      abroad is through international
                                               will have the comforts of traveling and     internships. These can be for a
 The University is located less than           studying with other U of M students,        few months over the summer and
 a mile from Melbourne’s city center.
 The school prides itself in its teaching,
 research, and service, as well as its
 high numbers of international students.
 Students can choose from a variety of
 different courses in different areas.
 This is IT’s most popular exchange
 program. It’s a great opportunity for
                                                                                                                                         PHOTOS TAKEN BY BRITTANY PETERSON




 the more adventurous IT student. You
 can travel to the Great Barrier Reef,
 run around with kangaroos in the
 outback, and more.

 There are also hundreds of
 opportunities    for    adventurous
 students who wish to travel through
 Australia while they’re studying at
                                                                                                         chalmers university in sweden
12         Minnesota Technolog | Winter 2005
                               won’t interfere with your planned                           a country is like, not like the true          projects, and how to be an effective
                               IT coursework. There’s even an IT                           experience of living there.”                  member of international and virtual
                               organization that is committed to                                                                         teams. As a result, we are looking
                               helping you find opportunities. The                          Not     only    does     enlightenment        for people who have the technical
                               International Association for the                           happen internally, but global and             expertise, business skills and cultural
                               Exchange of Students for Technical                          cultural perspectives are absolutely          awareness to operate and grow our
                               Experience (IAESTE) works to get                            enhanced. International perspectives          global organization.”
                               international technical internships in                      are invaluable. Brandon Harris agrees,
                               over 80 countries for their members,                        “It changed my perspective. It gave           While studying abroad in your major will
                               and in turn, find local internships for                      me the opportunity to look at the US          keep you on track academically, there
                               international students who want to                          from another country’s perspective, in        are hundreds of options for rewarding
                               live in the US. It’s a great way to get                     terms of government, law, education,          studies in every area of academia.
                               global work experience, as well as be                       policy, and more. It’s interesting to         Aaron Lloyd, a Physics student,
                               an American host to students from                           see how another country operates              studied international development
                               other countries. It’s a very rewarding                      and compare it to the US. You are             in Kenya. “I studied abroad last year
                               organization to become a part of.                           also able to see and understand what          in a non-IT field and I would strongly
                                                                                           the rest of the world thinks of us.”          encourage others not to be afraid to
                               Benefits of                                                                                                step away from their major for a truly
                                                                                           In addition, nearly every business            broadening experience.”
                               Studying Abroad                                             and company you speak to will be
                               There are so many opportunities                             immensely impressed by your studies           The bottom line here is: If you have the
                               for studying abroad. International                          in another country. Jeff Lange, the           opportunity to extend your horizons,
                               experience can provide you with much                        National Secretary of IAESTE echoes           increase your experience, identify with
                               more than you’d expect. The personal                        these sentiments. In today’s world of         a new culture, meet people all over
                               growth that goes on inside of students                      international business, “you need to          the world, strengthen your resume,
                               is invaluable. An incredible amount of                      be prepared to work across borders.           and see amazing new places by
                               maturity and independence comes out                         International experience used to be           studying abroad, take it! Kubitschek
                               of the challenge of living in another                       encouraged. Now it is a necessity.            is sure that you won’t regret it. “Of all
                               country. Kubitschek comments, “The                          Globalization is here to stay.”               of the students we advise, I’ve never
                               most notable change is the level of                         Need more proof? Ever thought about           had a student come back early. I’ve
                               confidence that they carry with them                         international experience helping you          never had a student regret their time
                               when they come back.” If you speak                          get a job? Sara Vandeventer, the              away. Most students that go abroad
                               with a student who has returned from                        Human Resources Manager of the                want to go again!”
                               studying abroad, you’re likely to hear                      Commercial Aviation Products division
                               the term ‘life-altering experience.’                        of Honeywell says, “Our company              More Information:
                                                                                                                                        Susan Kubitschek
                                                                                           operates in nearly 100 countries             106 Lind Hall
                               Lindberg sums up his positive                               and, therefore, our employees must           kubit001@umn.edu
                               impressions of studying abroad: “If                         work effectively across borders.
                               you ask me if I would ever do this                          They need to fully understand the            Learning Abroad Center, 230 Heller Hall
                               trip again, I’d say definitely. No book                                                                   www.umabroad.umn.edu
                                                                                           interconnectedness of our activities,        www.it.umn.edu/students/learning_abroad.html
                               or class can ever teach you what                            how to successfully deploy global
PHOTOS TAKEN BY CHRIS TESSUM




                               four students abroad in melbourne (left), surfing off the gold coast of australia (right)
                                                                                                                                    Minnesota Technolog | Winter 2005              13

				
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