Studying abroad.

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  • Thread starter Cynix
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  • #1
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Greetings, PF. As this is my first post, I'll quickly introduce myself.
My name is Jordan, and I'm a second year undergrad, studying to obtain a BEng in EE (And also, BComm, which I'm quickly losing interest in). At the moment, I am hoping that my application to transfer into BEng/BSc with majors in EE and Physics will be accepted.

At the moment, I am studying in Australia. There is plenty of opportunity for engineers to work, in most disciplines. Having an interest in Physics, I decided I would like to take it as a second major. I've been pondering some of the possible directions having this extra degree would allow me to take. I'm becoming increasingly interested in the areas of nuclear and fusion energy.

To my knowledge, Australia is not currently undertaking or funding much research into fusion powered energy, and none of our power comes from nuclear sources.

Being young and human, travelling has always interested me. Europe, in particular, strikes me as a prime destination. Given this lust for travel, and areas which are somewhat out of reach in Australia, it seemed like a wonderful idea, when I saw a flyer exclaiming 'Student exchange: Study abroad!'

Currently my plan is to study abroad with a partner university in Germany for either 6 months or a year, and assess whether I'd like to continue my studies there.

My question to you, PF (finally), is whether this will all prove beneficial? I have begun learning their language using the Rosetta Stone program, and have some German friends who I can converse with, so I am not worried about the language barriers I may face.

Obviously being able to speak multiple languages could prove useful if I do eventually end up working in or with a foreign company. Will this be a likely scenario? If so, would it prove better than others? Am I likely to gain much by living and studying overseas?

Another possibility I have considered has been to learn an Asian language, however the partner universities seem somewhat more limited in this field, and studying over there may prove difficult.

Should I continue with my current plan? Should I perhaps study an Asian language instead? Even both? Or perhaps this is all completely pointless?

I am looking to hear from those who have experience with both local and foreign companies, or are currently in the same position as I am, and what your plans are.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I studied abroad for a semester and it was one of the better decisions I've ever made. I'm in the U.S. and I studied in New Zealand. So yes, I think it is beneficial on a couple levels. Naturally, you'll enjoy yourself and grow a bit, see the world, meet lots of new people. Professionally, studying abroad can help give you a leg up. It proves that you're adaptive and open to new situations and experiences. Although this wouldn't be a primary credential, it could provide an intangible to set you apart from the field.

As far as languages go, if you don't end up working in another country, you probably won't find much use for your skills directly. But at the same time, it certainly can't hurt. Being fluent in another language can prove to be a useful skill at the most unexpected times.

I can't say how likely it is that you would get a job in another country. Australia is part of the commonwealth if I remember right. It would probably be easier to get a job in the UK because of that.

Of all the people I know who have studied abroad, no one has ever told me they regretted it. So my advice is to go for it. You'll have an experience of a lifetime and it certainly won't hurt your professional options.
 
  • #3
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Thanks, it's nice when people support my point of view, lol.
 

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