Electrical and Computer Engineering, Class of 2020
“Being abroad has made me a more appreciative person. It has taught me to value learning, exploration, people, and relationships.”
Where did you go? What program did you do?
I went to Madrid, Spain, for the Spring 2019 term through the IES Abroad Program. I took courses at Universidad Carlos III.
Why did you want to go abroad?
I love to travel and to explore the many places and experiences in different parts of the world. I also like learning about new cultures, meeting people from different backgrounds, and making lifelong friends. Study abroad provided me the opportunity to do all of these without having to sacrifice my educational goals.
Did you work with anyone to help arrange your abroad experience?
Since I am an Electrical and Computer Engineering major, I first met my major advisor, Prof. Roman Sobolewski, and my undergraduate coordinator, Ms. Barbara Dick, to discuss my plans. At the study abroad office, I worked with advisors who work closely with engineering students, notably Mr. Rohan Palma and Mr. Ted Pagano. Generally, even if you don’t know who to reach out to, the study abroad office and your undergraduate coordinator will guide you to the advisor/resources best suitable for your needs.
How would you rate the relative ease/difficulty of arranging study abroad?
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate the difficulty as 4 or 5. For my case, the arrangement was pretty smooth because of a trusted and established program between IES and U of R for ECE students (and engineering students in general). To be honest, I expected the process to be more complicated, but I was surprised at how simple it was.
Were you able to take classes to satisfy degree requirements here, and if so which classes did you take?
I took 2 courses to fulfill my major requirement, I took the UR equivalent of ECE 200: Computer Organization, and ECE 222: Integrated Circuits at Carlos. I had planned on taking a third course as well—ECE 242: CommunicationSystems, but there was a clash of schedules, so I didn’t take it.
If you received a scholarship or any additional funding to study abroad, what did you receive? How important was this in enabling you to study abroad?
Receiving a scholarship was a very important factor because it allowed me to pay for expenses such as travel costs and save up funds to spend on experiences/travel while I was abroad. I received two scholarships: the Hajim International Experience Scholarship from the Hajim School of Engineering at U of R and the IES Abroad Scholarship.
What did you gain from this experience?
I enjoyed being immersed in the Spanish culture and loved traveling to many places in Spain and Europe. I also learned be more independent and self-aware. Being abroad has made me a more appreciative person. It has taught me to value learning, exploration, people, and relationships.
Any particularly memorable experiences?
I lived with a host family and I have grown very close to them, so being able to connect and live with a family in a foreign country is one of my favorite experiences. Additionally, as a lifelong soccer fan, it really was a dream come true when I watched the El Clàsico, which is probably the greatest match to watch if you like soccer.
Any advice for students thinking about studying abroad?
It is an experience of a lifetime and it has never been easier to study abroad. If you don’t plan on doing it or think that you can’t do it because of finances or degree requirements, you would be surprised to see the resources and options available at U of R to help make it possible. It is worth the effort, so I would recommend starting as early as now to best plan out your path.
Questions? Ask Rahul!