Engineers of the 21st century must be able to keep up with technology and the evolving global marketplace. This involves not only technical proficiency but knowledge of international business as well.
Northeastern offers several ways that students can broaden their cultural horizons so that students can:
- Explore new cultures and places
- Gain new perspectives
- Learn about international issues important to the engineering field
- Gain global work experience
- Fulfill academic requirements
The following are options available to NU engineering students who wish to become more globally involved:
- Study Abroad
- Coop Abroad
- Dialogue of Civilizations
- Student Organizations
- Chemical Engineering Exchange Program
Students can choose to study abroad at a number of different universities throughout the world through the NU-sponsored study abroad program. This experience can be for either a semester or could even be a short-term, faculty-led program. Informational programs are offered to all NU students in the Study Abroad Office in 401 Richards Hall weekly. Past students have studied engineering at such schools as Queens University of Belfast, Ireland and Swinburne University in Melbourne Australia where we have developed a specific curriculum plan for Engineering students
NU students can pursue a six-month Global co-op in over a dozen countries. New industry and research opportunities for engineering students have been added in such countries as Russia, Brazil, Australia, Scotland, and China. Please discuss Global co-op with your engineering co-op coordinator as you formulate your comprehensive co-op program.
Global Co-op Coordinator
The Dialogue of Civilizations Program is a series of “global student exchanges” between students at Northeastern University and students around the world. Each Dialogue of Civilizations program has its own eligibility requirements. Please refer to the specific program's page for details. Below are some of the ones scheduled for Summer 2018:
- Brazil: Climate Change Science and Policy (Summer 1 2018) - Faculty Leader: Auroop Ganguly - CLOSED
- Brazil: Sustainable Energy in 21st Century Brazil (Summer 1 2018) - Faculty Leader: Courtney Pfluger - CLOSED
- Canada/Alaska: Outdoor Experience and Product Design in British Columbia and Alaska (Summer 2 2018) - Faculty Leader: Mark Sivak - CLOSED
- Chile: How Medical Imagers Work (Summer 1 2018) - Faculty Leader: Chuck DiMarzio - CLOSED
- Italy: Sustainable Waste Management: European Practices for Resource Recovery and Environmental Protection (Summer 1 2018) - Faculty Leader: Annalisa Onnis-Hayden - CLOSED
- Netherlands: Sustainable Urban Transportation (Summer 2 2018) - Faculty Leader: Peter Furth - CLOSED
- San Jose: Technical Innovation and Product Prototyping (Summer 1 2018) - Faculty Leader: Bala Maheswaran - CLOSED
- Vietnam: Exploring Engineering, History and Culture in Vietnam (Summer 2 2018) - Faculty Leader: Mohammad Taslim - CLOSED
Engineering Without Borders recently designed and constructed a village-wide water distribution system in Los Planes, Honduras.
Student Success Stories
Entreprenship Co-op Leads to Fulltime Start UpNader Yacaman JuhaBS, Industrial Engineering 2018
When Nader Yacaman Juha was growing up in Honduras, he spent a lot of time walking around a hospital with his grandfather, who was a doctor there.
Ariel Bloch (Bioengineering), University College Dublin
To describe my experience here at UCD in a few words could not do justice to the one of a kind place Ireland is. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that studying in Dublin would leave me at such a loss for words. Despite being a 3rd year bioengineering student back at Northeastern University, at UCD I was placed in 1st and 2nd year modules, thereby allowing me to get more of a taste of what studying engineering at UCD is like for students here for their full degree. While the professors were all friendly and engaging, and the material challenging, the biggest contributor to my spectacular time in Ireland, has, without a doubt, been the people. I was fortunate enough to join the Ultimate Frisbee team at UCD, and now spend all my time with them. It is with these (mostly) Irish natives that I have learned what Ireland is like through their eyes, and have been lucky enough to experience Ireland like a true Irish college student.
The college experience is about so much more than learning and preparing yourself for your future career - it is also about finding yourself and living your youth to its fullest. I've had the pleasure of traveling to Limerick, Belfast, and Belgium with these individuals, and by doing so I have been able to speak the lingo, taste the native Irish dishes, and share my own traditions. As many have said before, coming to study abroad at UCD has been the best experience of my time in college thus far. The knowledge, friendships, and memories I leave this country with are that which will last a lifetime. I am forever grateful for this experience and can only hope future students at UCD find themselves in a similar light.
Caleb Darkes-Burkey (Mechanical Engineering), University College Dublin
Study Abroad in Dublin, Ireland… wow! I still remember applying and now more than 3 months in, the feelings are still surreal. Whether it’s meeting amazing people, seeing picturesque countryside, or trying delicious food, it seems like every day I experience something new. UCD is an exceptional institution offering excellent academics along with exceptional athletic programs. As an engineer who also appreciates an interdisciplinary approach to learning, having the ability to take multiple modules outside of the engineering building was superb. However, classes shouldn’t be your only focus while abroad. As part of your accommodations, we live in apartment style dorms with five other students. I got extremely fortunate to have an amazingly friendly and supportive group of roommates who are always down for having a good time. UCD also has a plethora of clubs and societies you can join which will help to fill any free-time that you might have. I joined two club sports (Ultimate Frisbee and Tennis) and a handful of societies my first week here, which was definitely the best decision I made… second to buying a bike. The UCD campus is beautiful with modern academic buildings, a four-story library, many sports fields, and even two lakes.
Dublin is also perfectly located right along the coast, and only a hop, skip and a jump across the pond puts you right in the UK. This makes travelling extremely affordable and accessible. I was able to check off many of the cities I had on my bucket list in only a semester. And if you aren’t as keen into travelling around Europe or just want to stay in the country, Ireland is just as beautiful as all the pictures make it appear. Trips to Howth, Giant’s Causeway, Cliffs of Moher, Wicklow, etc. are all must see destinations while you are here. Many engineers get deprived of the opportunity to experience living abroad for a semester, so if you have the chance, definitely make it happen. Ireland and UCD are some of the best places for abroad students and I am positive that if you come, you will not be disappointed; in fact you will have the semester of a lifetime!
Ellen Kaplan (Mechanical Engineering), University College Dublin
Studying abroad at UCD has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Ireland is a unique country in both culture and geography, and I loved every bit of it. The opportunities provided to me as a study abroad student here have been endless, and the experiences have been unforgettable. I had the opportunity to see so much of this beautiful country, including places such as Wicklow, Glendalough, Galway, the Cliffs of Moher, Cork, Blarney, Belfast, and much more. There is an abundance to do and see in Ireland, but the most striking part of my four-month stay was the friendly and welcoming culture of the people that live here. Not only was the culture wonderful, but I also appreciated the diversity on the UCD campus. With thousands of students, and a strong exchange student program, it was not long until I began meeting people from all over the world. Travelling and experiencing new cultures this past semester has been something that I will always remember, and it has inspired me to continue my love of travel. I cannot wait to come back to Ireland in the future, and hopefully it happens sooner rather than later!"
Joe Pang (Industrial Engineering), - Yonsei University, South Korea
My semester abroad at Yonsei University was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget! While I was abroad I was able to stay on track with my degree by taking engineering classes (in English). From this experience I have made numerous life-long friends and have been able to re-experience the “college” life abroad as an exchange student. As I reflect on my time abroad, I can only think of positive thoughts and experiences that have helped me to become a more rounded and experienced individual. I truly believe that studying abroad adds more to your college career than just earning a degree at a single university, as my communication, leadership and organizational skills have all improved by this experience. By immersing yourself in a different culture you are constantly learning and adapting and becoming an individual who will not only conform to your surroundings, but stand out with the experiences earned through studying abroad.
Bryce Wilson (Industrial Engineering), University of Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain
When studying abroad in the Basque Country I wanted to achieve integration into the local culture and complete immersion in another society. To do this, I tried to minimize the US-based influences in my life. I only read European news and I really tried to only speak and think in Spanish (and Basque), while only breaking into English to keep in contact with my friends back home. The student residence I lived in had no one who spoke English natively which gave me a better experience compared to my friends who lived with other American students while studying abroad. I forged some authentic friendships with Basque students which gave me insight into how they studied, partied, relaxed, and viewed the rest of the world.
Spencer Heyl (Mechanical Engineering), Swinburne University, Melbourne Australia
First of all, studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made. The experiences, and the people with whom I shared those experiences, are memories I will never forget. There is so much to do and see in Australia. It is an amazing country filled with amazing places. The school experience is a bit different from Northeastern. The overall attitude is more relaxed and much less competitive. Classes are still challenging but all the professors are very approachable and easy to talk to. Swinburne provides a ton of trips and activities for international students. I was able to go surfing, wakeboarding, hiking, wine tasting, and even took a trip to a wildlife sanctuary! If you give yourself time to travel and have a bit of money saved up, it's not too difficult to travel Australia with friends. I went to Uluru, Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania, and even New Zealand with only a few weeks of spare time. The best part for me was the amount of international students I met. There were students from Sweden, Mexico, Germany, Canada, Italy, Greece, China, and Japan all living in the same building. I had such an amazing experience at Swinburne. If anyone is unsure if they want to travel to Australia, don't be. Just go. I didn't meet a single student who didn't think the country was absolutely amazing. You need to have some sense of adventure and the willingness to meet new people and try new things. The best advice I got was to say "yes" to everything, and it really worked out. Two months later and I'm still missing Australia, and I know someday I will be back.
Justin White, (Computer Engineering), UPC Barcelona, Spain
I spent the spring of 2011 studying in Barcelona, Spain. Despite the distractions of being one of Europe’s prime tourist destinations, I managed to not only to enjoy the Catalan and Spanish cultures, but also to get some work done. I performed an independent research project under the tutelage of my professor at Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, where I also took classes in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Architecture, and an intensive Spanish language class. When not in class, I spent my time traveling to visit fellow NU students in different parts of Europe and sharing time with others in search of good food and good folk. The most fruitful trips? Those to Mallorca, Lisbon, and Rome.
I think everyone has a different experience traveling abroad, and I’m so grateful that mine worked out as beautifully as it did. I think that everyone should have a chance to travel to another country for a period of time, because I believe that the only way to understand another culture is to live in it. We can’t hope to truly connect with people of other cultures if we can’t put ourselves in their shoes, but if we can get a glimpse of their world first-hand, we can at least imagine.