Mechanical engineering major Brennan Dwyer '18 knew he wanted to study abroad but wasn't sure that was possible given the sequential courses required for engineering students to graduate in four years. Recognizing that education abroad is challenging for some majors, the International Programs Office (IPO) found new partners to give engineering majors opportunities for international experiences.
IPO works with an ever-growing number of international university partners offering engineering courses, including (but certainly not limited to): Heriot Watt University in Scotland, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Swansea University and University College London in the United Kingdom, the University of Cape Town in South Africa, University College Dublin and University College Cork in Ireland, Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand and Queensland University in Australia. As a result, in Spring 2018, 47 Engineering students took two or more engineering courses abroad, compared with seven in 2014-15.
Dwyer took three engineering courses at the University College Dublin, an existing partner, in the 2016 spring semester that matched the courses he would have enrolled in at UMass Amherst. "I really wanted to make this work;' he says, "When else in your life are you going to be able to change countries and schools?" He says he was exposed to a different style of teaching and learning and enjoyed living in Ireland and learning more in -depth its history and culture. "It forced me to be a bit more outgoing and independent;' Dwyer says.