Study abroad was something I never thought I could actually attain- it was something I felt I would always say “seems amazing” but was something I could never actually do. But after spending a summer working in a large research lab, I noticed how international working in engineering truly is. I met people involved in research projects coming from every corner of the world- including Egypt, Sweden, Argentina, India, China- to name a few. After hearing from one of my bioengineering professors advocate for not only the immense benefits to studying abroad, but also how engineering majors actually can study abroad, I decided to take the first step to finding out how I could make study abroad an actuality.
I chose to study in Spain for many reasons and found so many other, unexpected things I loved about the country too! I departed hoping to spend time improving and immersing myself completely in my Spanish, study in a country that has made huge footprints in bioengineering research, and live in a large melting pot of people from all over the world- given its location in Europe as well as popularity as a study abroad location for international students globally. But I came back to the US with so much more, having loved the complete independence I had, the ability to explore so many new cultures and places in Spain as well as in trips I would take to neighboring countries, and having learned also the importance of pursuing experiences that interest me even if they seem like large leaps out of my comfort zone.
I strongly recommend study abroad and want to emphasize that it definitely is possible! Some advice I would offer is that although it seems to take a lot courage to uproot from the life you have built in Houston to throw yourself into a new, unfamiliar country- that the experience is absolutely worth it. You end up learning so much about yourself, meeting the best people, and having the most incredible and unexpected experiences. I’d be happy to talk to you about making your study abroad a reality, and help you towards one of the most amazing semesters.