Sending Engineering Students Abroad

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is initiating a program to allow engineering students to study abroad for a semester to get the sort of cultural benefits usually reserved for liberal arts students. I find this rather amusing since, increasingly, engineering students come from overseas to begin with.

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. yetanotherjohn says:

    Maybe its part of a home study program.

  2. James, my oldest daughter is enrolling in Purdue in the fall to study Aerospace Engineering, so, for a change, perhaps I can offer some informed commentary. Illinois and Purdue, as well as several other schools she considered, are pushing foreign study for engineering very strongly, and underwriting much of the cost to make it happen, effectively waiving tuition and providing a stipend. This is no mean benefit for those of us paying out-of-state tuition.

    A surprising number of the engineering undergrads we spoke to had either just finished or planned to go abroad for a semester or a full year of study. I believe the primary rationale is the realization that globalization applies to engineering as well. I had substantial engineering assignments in Europe and Asia in my prior job, so personally, I see this as a good thing. I believe it is a laudable goal for the universities to encourage students – especially engineering students – to see the world and get some expereinces beyond the cloistered environment they normally spend the next four (or five or six) years.

    I also welcome all the foreign students who want to come to America and learn. This too, in my humble opinion, is a good thing. But that’s a topic for another thread…

  3. James Joyner says:

    I also welcome all the foreign students who want to come to America and learn. This too, in my humble opinion, is a good thing.

    Agreed — it’s just that a sizable percentage of engineering students are already from Asia and especially the Indian subcontinent. But it makes sense to offer this option.