Student and Alumni Stories

Abbey Hunt, Industrial Engineering

Program:  London Winter Session
Benefits of learning abroad:  "I got to learn more about myself and my interests, as well as about London's rich history. This experience taught me more than I could have imagined."
Learning moment:  "This experience will help me look at the problems I will face as an engineer with a much more broad and global aspect."
Advice:  "I would encourage each and every student to take the time during their college years to study abroad."

Allison Kindig, Industrial Engineering

Programs:  India Winterim; Stanley Grant recipient for independent research in Cameroon; London Winter Session
Benefits of learning abroad:  "I've had several interview for potential jobs, and employers are always fascinated with my study abroad experiences."
Learning moment:  "I really became fascinated with solving engineering problems from the women's perspective. After being in India for a week, I came up with a list of questions that I wanted to ask women. Their responses were so exciting to hear and their perspectives were fascinating."

Alexander Jessen, Biomedical Engineering

Program:  Iowa Regents Semester in Wales at Swansea University
Classes:  Thermodynamics and General Education courses
Learning moment:  "During my studies I've learned about how Americans and American culture are viewed through the British perspective."
Advice:  "If you're thinking about studying abroad, do it. It helps find things out in yourself that otherwise you wouldn't have been able to."

Ben Baron, Biomedical Engineering

Program:  CIEE Summer Senegalese Studies in Dakar, Senegal
Classes:  Courses to count towards French Minor
Learning moment:  "I gained the confidence to get around new places and to explore the beauty of a new culture. I feel empowered by my time. Going to Senegal taught me how to engage with a very different society."
Advice:  "Don't get discouraged about the apparent cost of it. Studying abroad can be very affordable if you put in the time to research scholarships and other funding and take advantage of all that is offered."

Ella Wassweiler, Electrical Engineering

Program:  Iowa Regents Service Learning Program in Peru
Learning moment:  "Spending a summer in Peru not only taught me how engineering can be applied there, but also how to relate to a different culture and analyze their use of technology. I got a close view of technology in a third-world country."
Advice:  "Start planning early. When you start early it is easier to incorporate time to study abroad with classes you need to take. Also don't be afraid to take a summer off to go abroad and explore someplace new."

Eric Pahl, Biomedical Engineering

Program:  India Winterim
Class:  Rehabilitation Medicine in India:  A Systematic Classification of Medical Impairments
Learning moment:  "Engineers regardless of discipline must hold social and sustainable aspects paramount. We must be more future sighted and plan for over population."
Benefits of learning abroad:  "The words, photos, and videos cannot begin to capture the immersion experienced in India, it needs to be touched, smelled, heard, seen, and tasted."

Flora Duff, Civil Engineering

Programs:  UI Engineers for a Sustainable World (Ghana) and University of Edinburgh (Scotland)
Making the world a better place:  Flora traveled with other volunteers to Ghana to install a solar-powered water pump and to test drinking water.
Advice:  "If you are thinking at all about a global experience--go!!! My experiences in Scotland and Ghana have made me confident that I can tackle any challenge. These trips have really opened both my eyes and doors to dozens of career paths."

Kaitlyn Roth, Biomedical Engineering

Programs:  Dortmund University Exchange (Germany) and Summer Institute Program through Engineering World Health (Nicaragua)
Benefits of learning abroad:  "This experience helped me in many ways by pushing me out of my comfort zone. I took away much more independence, adaptability, as well as new perspective."
Learning moment:  "To any student who is interested in studying abroad, do it! The industry is global now, so having exposure to different cultures can definitely help during interviews with setting yourself apart."

Kaylee Snyder, Industrial Engineering

Program:  Victoria University (New Zealand) through the Education Abroad Network
Classes:  Information Systems Design, General Education courses
Benefits of learning abroad:  "My study abroad experience really opened up my eyes to things going on in the world. I gained a new perspective."
Advice:  "Plan ahead! As engineers, we may have to put a little more effort into finding the right classes and laying out our schedules, but it is beyond worth it."

Kylie Hershberger, Biomedical Engineering

Program:  CIMBA (Italy)
Classes:  Statics and a General Education course
Experiences:  "I saw the Eiffel Tower, walked through the Vatican, and stood in the footsteps of the gladiators at the Colosseum in Rome."
Advice:  "If you're interested in studying abroad, DO IT. Not only will my study abroad experience help to make me a more marketable employee with international experience, it will also be the greatest decision I ever made for myself."

Logan Weyandt, Civil Engineering

Program:  University of Strathclyde (Scotland)
Classes:  Differential Equations and General Education courses
Experiences:  Traveled over winter break to Switzerland, England, and Italy. During weekends, traveled around Scotland, exploring the island, caves, mountains, and Highlands.
Advice:  "EVERYONE can find a country or culture that fascinates them. Don't be afraid to step outside the box. You can't get these opportunities back."

Max Sim, Electrical Engineering

Program:  Iowa Regents Semester in Wales at Swansea University
Classes:  Thermodynamics, Signals/Systems, Differential Equations, Principles of Instrumentation and Control
Benefits of learning abroad:  "When you go abroad, you are immersed in something you are uncomfortable with, completely outside of your comfort zone. By the time you have to come back, you are crying because you don't want to leave. I've only ever heard people say that studying abroad was the best experience of your life."

Theresa Benskin, Biomedical Engineering

Program:  Charles University (Czech Republic)
Benefits of learning abroad:  "The opportunity to experience different culture, make new friends, and meet a wide variety of people from all over the world. By the end of the semester, I had visited over 15 countries, backpacked the Swiss Alps, and toured some of the world's oldest ruins."
Advice:  "Take the initiative to visit the Study Abroad office and find a program that is best for you. It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

Wanqi Wang, Industrial Engineering

Program:  University of Newcastle (Australia)
Courses:  Material Science, Engineering Economy, Probability & Statistics
Motivation:  "I wanted to visit Australia because I was considering it for graduate school. I also wanted to learn the customs and culture of Australia."
Experiences:  "I traveled to all majors cities in Australia. I also went to Fiji, a small island near the Australian coast. It is a very beautiful country and has the most beautiful beach in the world."

Zac Rasmussen, Biomedical Engineering

Program:  DAAD-RISE Professional Internship; worked in the Nanoparticle Process Technique Lab at the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany)
Motivation:  Zac originally wanted to study abroad, but then learned about DAAD-RISE, a funded internship opportunity that gave him the opportunity to further his research and gain a new perspective.
Learning moment:  "I learned that no matter the situation, you can work to communicate with people. Also, it's always important to have an open mind."