Spending a semester abroad will not only enrich your undergraduate experience, but will also help prepare you to practice engineering across national boundaries after you graduate.
Approximately 10-15% of engineering students participate in a study abroad program. During the past few years students have studied in Australia, Chile, Denmark, England, Ireland, France, Hungary, Italy, Scotland, Spain, Japan, South Africa, and New Zealand, among many other countries. Many students also arrange to spend part or all of a summer abroad.
The Office of International Programs lists a large number of pre-approved study abroad programs. You can choose from programs organized by Brown, or organized by a partner University. Nearly every institution on the list offers engineering, and the program at Cantabria (Spain) has been organized specifically for engineering students. If the country you wish to visit is not listed, you can also petition to organize your own program.
If you would like to study abroad, you should:
- Select one of Brown's pre-approved programs, or prepare a petition to organize your own study abroad program (consult the OIP website)
- Decide which semester you will study abroad. Engineering students often find that their third, fourth or fifth semester work best.
- Submit an application (or petition) through the OIP website. Application are usually due 8-9 months prior to the semester taken abroad, so you will need to start planning your program at least a year in advance.
- Plan your academic program. If you are an Sc.B. engineering concentrator, it is helpful to be able to transfer credit from abroad for at least two of your concentration requirements. Your concentration advisor (or freshman or sophomore advisor), can help you to select the best courses and to include them in your program.
- File, or update, your concentration declaration form (available through the ASK system) to include courses transferred from your study abroad and obtain your concentration advisors approval for the program. You should file a form even if you are a sophomore.
- If you find you need to change your course plan during your study abroad, let your concentration advisor know, and if possible update your concentration declaration.
- After you have returned from your study-abroad program, you will need to file the Engineering Transfer Credit Approval Request Form to request that the courses you completed abroad be considered for concentration credit to meet your concentration requirements. For any transfer credit to appear on a Brown transcript, you are required to file a petition through the ASK system. There are two approaches to doing so, depending on the type of credit you are seeking:
1. If you are seeking University credit for a course with an Engineering number, you must first receive
approval through the Engineering Transfer Credit Approval Request Form. Once approved, you must then apply for University credit through ASK.
2. If you are seeking University credit for a course that does not have an Engineering number (even if it is required for your Engineering concentration), then you should file an application directly in ASK, which will route your request to the relevant department to determine the equivalent Brown course. Note that in some cases, there may not be a Brown equivalent for a course taken elsewhere. The University may then offer unassigned credit in a certain department. If you wish to have such an unassigned course count for Engineering concentration credit, then that requires a petition prepared in consultation with your concentration advisor.
In some cases, your advisor may ask you to prepare a petition to the Concentration Committee. Your
petition should explain the reason for the substitution and, for degrees accredited by the Engineering
Accreditation Commission of ABET http://www.abet.org, show that your revised program is consistent
with the educational objectives, outcomes, and credit hour requirements for your concentration. Your
concentration advisor will submit the petition on your behalf. Approval is contingent on the majority vote
of the committee.
Courses that are officially approved by the University for transfer credit will appear on the student's transcript and count toward the 30 courses required for graduation (and, of course, toward concentration requirements).
For additional questions, please feel free to contact the School of Engineering’s study abroad advisor, Professor Kurt Pennell.