Studying Abroad: Reasons and Feasibility

Have you considered studying abroad? Did you decide it wasn’t feasible or affordable? In most cases it is feasible with some planning. And, studying abroad costs less than you may think!

Benefits of Studying Abroad

  • Language. Even more important than practicing a foreign language, students who study abroad become experts at speaking in English with people who speak English as a second language, a valuable skill in the global field of engineering.
  • Challenges. Studying abroad presents a variety of challenges—challenges unlike the ones you’ll find on the Illinois campus. New challenges exercise creativity and hone problem solving skills, which are central to engineering
  • Culture. The appreciation students gain for foreign cultures while studying abroad enables them to work better in teams of engineers from all over the world. Learning to adjust to new cultures also prepares students for international travel throughout their careers.

Correcting Common Misconceptions

  • Cost. It costs far less to study abroad for a semester than to study on campus for a semester. Considering tuition, fess, transportation, food, and housing, students save thousands of dollars per semester.
  • Transfer Credit. The ECE Department values international experience. To encourage students to study abroad, the ECE Advising Office consistently approves transfer credit for technical courses before your program begins. While it is best to take core ECE classes on campus, it is easy to take technical electives, math courses, and general education courses abroad. You can graduate in eight semesters.

Plan Ahead

  • Make an eight semester plan that allows you to take core requirements on campus without getting behind. See the example below.
  • Visit the International Programs in Engineering (IPENG) website.
  • Go to the IPENG office in 210 Engineering Hall and ask for some information about opportunities in countries that interest you. There are programs for an academic year, a semester, summer, and winter break.

Examples of an Eight Semester Plan Designed Around Studying Abroad

There are many ways to arrange classes. Below is an example with no AP credit. If you have AP credit, you can easily study abroad your fourth semester.

Electrical Engineering

Semester Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4 Class 5 Class 6
1st CHEM 102 CHEM 103 MATH 221 ECE 110 ENG 100 General Education
2nd PHYS 211 ECE 120 MATH 231 RHET 105 General Education
3rd   PHYS 212 ECE 220 MATH 241 Technical Elective General Education  
4th PHYS 213 PHYS 214 MATH 286 ECE 210 Technical Elective General Education
5th ECE 329 ECE 340 ECE LAB Tech Elective General Education General Education
Abroad ECE 313 Technical Elective Technical Elective General Education General Education  Travel on Weekends
7th ECE 385 ECE LAB Technical Elective Technical Elective General Education General Education
8th ECE 445 Technical Elective Technical Elective Technical Elective    

Computer Engineering

Semester Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4 Class 5 Class 6
1st CHEM 102 CHEM 103 MATH 221 ECE 120 ENG 100 General Education
2nd PHYS 211 ECE 110 MATH 231 ECE 220 RHET 105 General Education
3rd   PHYS 212 ECE 385 MATH 241 CS 173 General Education  
4th ECE 385 CS 225 MATH 286 ECE 210 Technical Elective General Education
5th ECE 391 PHYS 213 PHYS 214 CS 225 General Education
Abroad ECE 313 Technical Elective Technical Elective General Education General Education  Travel on Weekends
7th CS Algorithms Technical Elective Technical Elective Technical Elective General Education
8th ECE 411or 445 Technical Elective Technical Elective Technical Elective