School of Engineering and Applied Sciences or SEAS of Columbia University has recently felt the need to combat the general perception that has penetrated into the mindsets of a large number of engineering students, which is that they cannot study abroad! This perception has been brewing among students for quite some time and has led to several engineering students take the highway. Most students quickly reach the conclusion that they will not be able to graduate. as well as, study abroad at the same time. The Columbia Daily Spectator gave a report on this issue on the 1st of October, 2015. The link to the official page can be found below: SEAS Combats Perception That Engineering Students Can’t Study Abroad.
SEAS Combats Perception for Engineering Students in Abroad:-
Leora Brovman, the associate dean for undergraduate students affairs at SEAS, told the Spectator that she is of the opinion that “with the right kind of planning… and the right kind of advising, it is absolutely possible for engineering students to study abroad.”
There are a few challenges that come in the way of making this perception popular on campus. Firstly, to choose engineering as a career option, one must be prepared from the very first year. It is not advisable for students to just bounce of courses before they realize they want to pursue engineering. Secondly, studying engineering abroad is accompanied with heavy course loads and rigid major requirements. This makes the students apprehensive of the load they would have to deal with. Thirdly, most students feel challenged because there are not many study abroad opportunities that are focused on engineering, which makes the whole prospect quite competitive. Also, there is a lack of engineering-specific programs due to which some students do not even get the opportunity to consider the options of study abroad programs offered by the university.
However, despite all these issues, the authorities at SEAS feel that study abroad is possible for engineering students. The major challenge is to show this to them. For this purpose, the SEAS administrators organize engineering-specific study abroad advising sessions, events like overSEAS, study abroad information sessions etc. The overSEAS workshop is a very useful initiative taken by SEAS. The workshop covers a wide of topics, all designed to address the concerns of engineering students for study abroad programs. The discussions held at the workshop try to provide answers for questions like – eligibility to study abroad, where they could go, what course they could pursue, who they could talk to for advice on-campus.
With all these efforts, the number of engineering students to study abroad has risen in the last year. SEAS administration is doing all that is possible for them, academically as well as via counselling, and positive publicity through social media and other platforms, to create more and more opportunities for these students. The SEAS efforts have paid off in combating this unfortunate perception, and have started to yield results. Although there is still a long way to go before this perception can be completed turned over, the beginning of the combat is very motivating!