Why STEM Majors Should Study Abroad

March 21, 2017

If you’re a science, technology, engineering or math major, you might not have placed as much of a focus on international education as your arts and humanities peers have. Naturally, you have a heavy course load and might be hesitant to delay graduation, but studying abroad can work with any schedule. Check out these reasons to see how you could benefit from studying abroad.

1. You will strengthen your global perspective

“I had a two-week break around Christmas and New Years. You couldn’t imagine the sights in the Sahara desert. I will never forget the experience.”
“I had a two-week break around Christmas and New Years. You couldn’t imagine the sights in the Sahara desert. I will never forget the experience.”

Most organizations have to have a solid understanding of diverse international markets in order to thrive in a fiercely competitive economy. While engineers and scientists often work for interests with strong ties to various global markets, they are among the least likely to have studied abroad. If you have insight into different cultures and a strong command of another language, you will be a highly attractive candidate.

2. You will enhance your cross-communication skills

Carroll College engineering students build a canoe.
Carroll College engineering students build a canoe.

Being multilingual is one of the greatest career advantages you can have. Moreover, there is strong evidence to suggest that people who are fluent in more than one language are less likely to suffer cognitive decline in later years.

3. You can hone your pitch

Even if you decide to study abroad in an English-speaking country or if you decide not to make foreign language immersion a priority, you can still reap numerous benefits. One of the biggest challenges for people in STEM fields is explaining their motives, innovations and methodologies to people with no direct knowledge of their disciplines. You will eventually have to discuss your research with heads of marketing or finance departments, and it is critical that you are able to do so efficiently. Unfortunately, many people in STEM fields lack the ability to effectively communicate with people who have no STEM background. Studying abroad forces you to become an effective communicator since you’ll have to regularly interact with people from other cultures, who might not speak a language you fully understand.

4. You will become a more dynamic problem-solver

Studying abroad can take your critical thinking skills to the next level. Not only does living in a different culture help you become more adaptable to different surroundings and circumstances, taking courses in an unfamiliar academic environment can introduce you to concepts and strategies you might not otherwise have been able to access.

Employees who are able to adapt to shifting priorities are considered a valuable asset – above and beyond their skills and experience. Being able to adjust to shifts in organizational dynamics is necessary today.”

5. You will develop complimentary interests

Studying abroad is one of the best ways to introduce yourself to different ideas and concepts. Having knowledge of, and an interest in, different fields can help you discover new ways of approaching familiar ideas, and can also help you carve out a dynamic and fulfilling career.

6. You can take your general education courses while studying abroad

From a practical perspective, studying abroad has numerous advantages. Studying abroad can give you the opportunity to enjoy a different culture while tackling your academic credits. Even if your degree is in mechanical engineering, having studied French literature in France is extremely impressive to most employers! Also, by studying abroad with ISEP, you are enrolled at another institution and can often find STEM courses within their schedule.

7. Traveling will be more difficult post-graduation

Jobs in STEM fields are highly competitive and demanding. Once you’ve gotten your degree and have found a job, you likely won’t have another opportunity to travel for quite a while. Start your international education journey now, while your schedule is still flexible.

So why do a STEM program with ISEP?

For nearly four decades, we have given STEM students from all socio-economic backgrounds access to exceptional international educational resources. Our member network of more than 300 institutions consists of some of the most highly respected universities in the world. From the application process to attending your host university, our team of advisors are here to offer you comprehensive support, so that you have all of the resources you need to make your study abroad experience rich and fulfilling.

To learn more about the study abroad programs we offer, please visit our program search page and enter in your field of study.

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