STEM fields are the academic and professional disciplines that fall under the umbrella areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Currently, American campuses and graduate departments rely heavily on international students to do research and provide teaching assistance in the STEM fields. However, while these international students benefit greatly from their time in the United States, research shows that US STEM students are typically less likely to take advantage of valuable study abroad experiences.
As a STEM student, it can be a challenge to study abroad because of the highly specialized and specific courses your major requires. Fortunately, the ISEP Network gives you easy access to these courses, allowing you to meet the requirements of your major while also having the experience of a lifetime!
Read through the material below to learn more about the opportunities ISEP offers for STEM students. Take courses in your field, immerse yourself in a new culture, and gain the cross-cultural skills needed to succeed in an increasingly global society.
"I know we all want the United States to continue to be the world's center for innovation. But our position as the global leader in innovation is at risk.… If we don't reverse these trends, our competitive advantage will continue to erode. Our ability to create new high-paying jobs will suffer."
-- Bill Gates, March 2008, at the 50th Anniversary of the House Committee on Science and Technology
Why Choose an ISEP Program?
ISEP programs prepare STEM students to be not only technically and professionally proficient but also globally and culturally competent. When you take advantage of ISEP’s wide variety of study abroad and internship programs, you can:
- Gain access to major, minor, and elective courses to apply toward your degree
- Improve your communication skills or study a new language
- Broaden your horizons and build your résumé with a global experience
- Cultivate independent thinking, problem-solving skills, and cross-cultural competencies
- Have the experience of a lifetime abroad while laying the groundwork for your future career
- Graduate from your home university on time.
Enhance Your Studies:
ISEP offers many fantastic options for STEM students to study abroad. Countries such as Germany, for example, are well known for the quality of their universities and their technical expertise and opportunities. Through ISEP, students can take advantage of the Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) program, which gives engineering, biology, chemistry, and earth sciences students the opportunity to work with German doctoral students during the summer to collaborate on serious research projects. Of course, this is just one example of some of the unique opportunities that are available to engineering students interested in studying abroad.
Learn Another Language and Experience Another Culture:
Because of the increasing global nature of STEM fields, an international experience can prove to be invaluable to your future career. However, studying abroad also allows you to grow and develop on a personal level. Immersing yourself in a new culture means exploring unique places, tasting local cuisines, and interacting with new people in a different environment. It can also mean learning a new language.
Many ISEP programs offer basic language courses as part of your study abroad program, even if all your engineering coursework is in English. Other ISEP programs also offer intensive language programs, which are particularly helpful when conducting research or participating in projects with other students at your host university. Ultimately, wherever you decide to live and study abroad, ISEP offers the opportunity to maximize both your academic and personal growth.
Improve Your Career Prospects:
If you're going to develop a new mathematical method to cost-effectively stabilize buildings against earthquakes, you may need to collaborate with engineers in Tel-Aviv. If you're going to develop a sophisticated food-delivery system to fight AIDS, you might need to travel to Kenya to study how the population distributes food. If you're going to improve the pharmaceuticals industry, you may need to work with chemical engineers in India. More and more, cross-cultural communication skills are critical in the job market. By offering a range of STEM programs in countries throughout the world, ISEP provides you with the opportunity to expand your horizons, hone your academic skills, and build your résumé.
Where to Start?
- Review the materials in our "STEM Advising Toolkit" and look at our Featured Programs.
- Decide where you might like to study abroad and talk to your home ISEP Coordinator about your options.
- Visit the ISEP Facebook page and chat with ISEP alumni who have studied abroad on the programs you are interested in.
- Talk to faculty, students, friends, and family about your options.