Studying abroad: The benefits of an international exchange during your studies

Faculty of Engineering
Undergraduate studies
Graduate studies
Student life
People reading a book in front of the Big Ben
Going on an international exchange during your studies can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your academic journey. From personal to professional growth, an exchange will help you expand your knowledge and skills, by exposing you to new people, cultures, and challenges.

Networking and career opportunities

While on exchange, you will meet a variety of new people. From professors to other students and professionals, you will have the opportunity to get to know more about your field of interest while also building your network in the international market. Siwei Gu, a student who went to spend a term abroad at the Arizona State University, says that “the vibrant academic community at ASU offered ample networking opportunities. These interactions enriched my understanding of diverse perspectives in environmental biotechnology and opened doors to potential collaborations and future job opportunities in this field. The connections I made during my stay will undoubtedly be valuable assets in my professional journey”.

Having an international aspect on your resume can also be very beneficial to you once you graduate, as it differentiates you from other applicants. Student Vincent Côté-Larouche says that, “With the IES program, I had the opportunity to study at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. There, I was able to work on a research project involving the excavation of regolith on the moon. This experience kick-started my career as it allowed me to intern at industry-leading companies back in Canada. I followed what I loved doing, and chose a university that offered it”.

Learn or improve your skills in another language

While on exchange, you may choose to go to a country where you speak or understand little to none of the local language. This, more than being an obstacle, is an opportunity for you to enhance your communication skills by navigating life abroad immersing yourself in the culture and learning how to communicate effectively with others.

Personal and professional growth

For some, going on an international exchange will be the first time leaving your home country or city. Living on your own in a new country can come with its set of difficulties, but it will not be impossible. This experience will help you grow in your own independence and help you gain valuable skills for the future. You will also discover new cultures and expand your knowledge of different ways of life. Scarlett Kelly, a student who went to Nancy, France to do research, says that “this research experience had a long-term impact in my thinking process – it made me a more holistic interdisciplinary researcher, who is able to find links amongst the past, the present, and the future across various fields”.

For most students who went abroad during their studies, the global perspective that they gained was the most valuable part of their experience and the one that will have the biggest impact on their careers.

Once in a lifetime experience

Traveling abroad during your studies is an amazing opportunity to grow, learn and to gain unique experience you will keep for life.

Are you interested in going abroad for a term? Learn more about the different international mobility and exchanges opportunities that are offered to Faculty of Engineering students here!