Engineers spend the summer gaining a global perspective through study abroad

August 15, 2023

Crossing the Elbe River into the historic city center of Dresden, Germany
Crossing the Elbe River into the historic city center of Dresden, Germany, courtesy of Jordyn Lodes

Studying abroad is a great way for students to engage in their education outside the classroom. At Mizzou, one in five undergraduates study abroad, going beyond The Columns to gain a global perspective.

Most engineers who study abroad capitalize on opportunities to travel during the summer to continue learning after the spring semester ends. This year, students journeyed to countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Costa Rica and Iceland.

One group of students, led by Gillian Maurer, associate professional practice professor of engineering and information technology, ventured to Ireland to study “Global Engineering Leadership Frameworks and Ethics.” From Dublin to Galway, they studied ethical decision making and how to apply leadership and equity in learning environments and with emerging technologies.

And engineers didn’t just learn about engineering this summer—many students used study abroad as an opportunity to explore their passions outside of the College.

Jordyn Lodes during study abroad
Jordyn Lodes took over the Mizzou Engineering Instagram to showcase a day from her study abroad experience.

Jordyn Lodes, a junior mechanical engineering student, travelled to Germany for six weeks to participate in the program, “World History on the German Stage.” Lodes, who is pursuing a minor in German, wanted to see the places she’d been learning about in class and improve her language skills.

“The first two weeks of the program focused mostly on culture and history,” she said. “My group visited important sites in both Berlin and Leipzig such as the Berlin Wall Memorial, the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, the Baumwollspinnerei, the Bundestag, and more. For the last four weeks of the program, my group participated in the interDaF language program through the University of Leipzig.”

In addition to continuing her studies, Lodes learned about how to be a global citizen.

“Culture shock is a real thing and it is important to be positive and adaptable when going abroad,” she said. “Life truly was different in Germany, and I had to adapt. For example, I had to adjust to a lack of air conditioning, public transportation and a greener way of life. I really enjoyed experiencing another country and culture.”

The application process for study abroad is straightforward. Once a student chooses a program, they can fill out an application through the MyStudyAbroad website. Lodes’ application included an essay about why she wanted to study abroad, a couple of documents and a few other organizational questions. Within a few weeks, she was accepted to the program.

“I would advise other students considering Study Abroad to just go for it if it is at all possible for them,” Lodes said. “My Study Abroad experience was the highlight of my summer and will probably be the highlight of my entire college experience. The friends you make, the things you learn and the cultural experiences are just invaluable.”

The time to prepare for study abroad next summer starts now. Learn more about specific programs or talk with a study abroad advisor to find the opportunity that fits your interests. Then, apply for programs and scholarships to cover or offset the price of your chosen program through the Mizzou Abroad office. Students can also attend the Mizzou Abroad Fair from 11-3 p.m. on September 6 at Stotler Lounge, Memorial Union.

Expand your horizons and study engineering abroad to unlock new perspectives. Start your journey today.

Want to earn an engineering degree at a university with opportunities to study abroad? Choose Mizzou Engineering!