Studied in Dublin, Ireland
University College Dublin (Arcadia)
I have always wanted to study abroad. Sometimes it can be seem difficult for STEM majors because there are certain classes that you must take at a certain time, but I wasn't going to let that stop me.
While I was abroad, I took four math classes: Linear Algebra, Probability and Statistics II, Differential Equations, and Real Analysis. I took these courses because they were pre-requisites for later classes. I also took two elective courses, one about Vikings in Ireland, and one about Irish (the language) to count towards my required electives. It was really interesting to learn about the history of Ireland in my Viking class and I loved learning the Irish language, even if it is difficult to learn.
In my Probability and Statistics course, we had an additional lab class every other week. In the lab portion, we used RStudio, which I had never used before. It was a great opportunity to learn RStudio and I'm glad that I did. A lot of companies use RStudio, so having that experience and being able to put it on my resume is very helpful.
For math majors it can be difficult to find upper level math classes, so my advice is to plan early. I started planning my study abroad experience in my freshman year, and was able to go abroad my sophomore year and take lower-level math classes that counted towards my degree at RIT. Work with your academic advisor to figure out which classes you should try to take abroad. If you have a hard time finding math classes, then plan to take your Gen Ed, immersion, or elective classes while you’re abroad.
Studied in Weihai, China
RIT - China
I chose to study abroad because I had never been outside of the east coast before, let alone the continental U.S., and wanted to learn about people and perspectives that I wouldn't have the chance to experience otherwise. I also love history and ancient cultures, so I really wanted to go to someplace with a really deep history.
I think my study abroad experience helped me immensely in my academics. I was able to gain a new perspective on group work, on college life, and just life in general while living in a different culture. This helped me grow as a person and how to manage my time working towards specific goals.
I was able to grow a alot as an independent person and better manage my time and my expectations of myself. Truthfully, as excited as I was to study abroad, I was also terrified. It was a huge leap for me, but I am so glad I did it. Now that I put myself into that uncomfortable position once, it has been much easier trying and doing new things in the present.
When I studied abroad I was able to go to Beijing for a week with my friend and her family. Staying with them I was more immersed in Chinese culture and touring the city with them was a truly magical experience. But my absolute favorite part of studying in China was going to the Great Wall. This had been something I had dreamed about since I was a child. When we made it up on top of the wall, the sky was slightly smoggy, but the visibility was high enough to see the wall stretch for miles before disappearing into the fog. It was a truly wonderful experience that I was deeply thankful I was able to do.
Studied in Osnabruck, Germany
University of Osnabruck (SUNY Oswego)
I wanted to study abroad not only for the adventure, but I was interested in how other cultures taught computer science and what they emphasized compared to the U.S. I was especially curious about this given Germany’s very formulaic approach to education.
I took an introductory Artificial Intelligence, Intro to Computational Linguistics, Nature Inspired Algorithms, and Scientific Programming in Python. This gave me 15 computer science credits and 3 free elective credits. I especially enjoyed the algorithms class - it was a fun application of different algorithms I hadn’t seen before. And the artificial intelligence class gave a good perspective into how Germans approached artificial intelligence compared to the U.S.
My advice for computing majors is you just need to find a program that fits into your plan of study. It’s can sometimes be tricky, but with an established program like the Osnabruck program, it can go smoothly. I found that the classes allowed me enough freedom to have time to explore the country, while also being rigorous enough to learn new skills.
Studied in Tokyo, Japan (The Deaf Community in Japan Faculty-Led Program)
Studied in Paris, France (Deaf Studies & Transatlantic Roots in France Faculty-Led Program)
Growing up, my mom instilled in me an unshakable passion for travel. We traveled all over the midwest and east coast, visiting historical places and national parks. To this day, we celebrate each other's birthdays by traveling rather than exchanging gifts. I knew that going to college would afford me extraordinary travel opportunities that I would likely never have again in the future, so I have taken advantage of it as much as possible.
I’m a double major - one of them being ASL-English Interpretation - and both of my study abroad programs (to Japan and France) were Deaf-centered. Prior to traveling to Japan, my classmates and I spent the spring semester meeting virtually with students at the University of Tsukuba learning Japanese Sign Language. On my program to France, we got to experience Paris with a Deaf tour guide, and many of the museums we visited had staff who were Deaf docents. The World Federation of the Deaf and Clin d'Oeil (a Deaf art festival) happened to be in France right after my study abroad program ended, so I took that opportunity to extend my stay and enjoy those experiences as well.
I have a deep interest in international work, especially International Sign. Unfortunately, there is not much available in terms of education here in the U.S. for International Sign, but both of these study abroad opportunities helped me to learn to navigate cross-cultural and cross-linguistic boundaries and I also made professional connections and relationships that will last for a lifetime.
Studied in Dublin, Ireland
Going Green: Exploring Innovations in Engineering with a Global Perspective
RIT Faculty-Led Program
I choose to study abroad because it was my first opportunity to visit another continent, and was looking to go with people around my age. I had always wanted to study abroad, but wasn’t sure if I was able to due to the lab requirements for my major, so when I had the chance to I ran with it!
My study abroad program helped me find what field I want to go into after college. Visiting renewable energy plants in Ireland opened my eyes to different sustainability options within the tech industry. It gave me a new passion that led me to change my immersion, and made me to feel like I made the right choice with my major.
One of the most impactful experiences I had when studying abroad was visiting Howth, Ireland, a small peninsula outside of Dublin. Hiking around the area was undeniably one of the most beautiful places I had been to, and is somewhere I could stay forever - I hope I can visit it again someday.
Virtual Intercultural Experience (Sweden)
Global Health Systems Analysis and Innovation
I thought that a virtual intercultural experience would broaden my cultural competencies and allow me to have a more global understanding of the overall healthcare environment and competitive marketplace. The fact that the course was initially supposed to be an “in-person” experience is what made the class appealing to me in the first place. Being in healthcare, study abroad was not something that I ever thought of doing. When the course switched to being virtual, it far surpassed my expectations. Being pregnant and in the time of a pandemic, a virtual program allowed me to experience another culture from the comfort of home – reaping the majority of the benefits, minus the sightseeing and experiencing food.
I did a comparative paper on Sweden in one of my other classes and appreciated how the country can provide a healthcare system that the people trust and use appropriately. It is just such a breath of fresh air! I am used to learning about how flawed the U.S. healthcare system is so being able to see another country that can do what so many have said is not possible is inspirational. As someone who is going to school to help further advance my leadership skills and be a more effective leader, this experience was nothing short of incredible. Sweden is successful in part due to its culture of accepting new ideas and identifying new ways to do old processes. If anything, this course showed me how important this skill is in leadership.
Studied in London, England & Paris France
RIT Affiliate Program (CIEE)
I’ve always been drawn to travel and learning about other countries. One memory that sticks out for me was when I was about 12. I went to an overnight camp that had an exchange with a school from Spain, so there were some Spanish kids at the camp which was exciting for me. I had never met anyone from Spain before, so it felt like a window into a world I hadn’t thought about before. One of the camp counselors told me about study abroad, and it’s been on my mind ever since.
Studying abroad has greatly helped with my confidence. I went to both London and Paris for my program. Going to two different foreign countries and living in two major cities while navigating by myself without getting lost made me feel like anything was possible. It may sound cheesy or cliché, but I was able to exercise my independence in a way that I hadn’t before in the U.S.
There were so many impactful moments from my time abroad. I lived the dream by going to London and Paris. These were places that I had only seen on TV or read about in books, but I actually went and lived there! It still blows my mind to think about it. In Paris, I stayed with a French host and I practiced French with her and we talked about life in America versus France. In both London and Paris, I made some amazing friends that I’ll have for a lifetime.
Studied in Dubai, UAE
As a STEM major, I chose to study abroad because I wanted to experience a different culture. As an electrical engineering major, I could potentially work in a field where I'll be creating tech that may impact the world. Because of that, I think it's important to understand more about the world before figuring out how to help make it a better place.
While in Dubai, I took three core engineering classes and an ethical perspective because I was trying to follow my curriculum plan. My Digital Systems class had an end of semester project, my team decided to create a Tic-Tac-Toe game in Verilog and implement it in FPGA. It was really cool that we were able to create something like that from start to finish. It just makes you think about how engineering is literally everywhere and there are so many things to do in this field.
Studied in Pristina, Kosovo
RIT Kosovo Peace & Conflict Summer Program
The Kosovo Peace and Conflict summer program was such an incredible study abroad experience for me! During my participation in this program, I gained a unique perspective on the history of the Balkans. One of the greatest contributors to my learning was the week-long cultural excursion where we got to tour the different regions that make up the Balkans. Being able to visit historical cities and landmarks that we were learning about in our courses really instilled in me a deeper understanding and sense of connection with the topics being taught. On the topic of teaching, this program hosts teachers that actually had hands on experience in the topics and events being taught. Learning from individuals who lived and participated in the content they were teaching us allowed me to gain a greater appreciation for their work and sacrifices. Last but not least, my experience would not have been the same without the wonderful locals of Kosovo (this includes the amazing staff and students at RIT Kosovo). The genuine hospitality that I received from the RIT Kosovo staff, students and local people throughout the city of Pristina made feel welcome and part of an extended family. I look forward to visiting Pristina, Kosovo again hopefully in the near future!
As a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) awardee, Sarah will be studying Chinese language at National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan in summer 2021.
With a major in Applied Chinese Language and Culture and double minors in International Business and Digital Marketing, Sarah is interested in the explosive growth of the Asian business market and the need to develop an accurate understanding of the business environment. “As a future citizen diplomat of the United States, I want my contribution to be as meaningful as possible, which will require an in-depth understanding of the local language and culture to ensure that the messages being transmitted and received are accurately understood,” says Sarah. Studying abroad in the local language will provide her the opportunity to bring back skills and experiences that she can apply directly to her degree program at RIT. “I plan to seek an internship in a Chinese-speaking country before graduating from RIT to understand further how global businesses operate in East Asia and Pacific regions,” she says.
The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically increase the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. RIT students interested in applying for the Critical Language Scholarship should contact Jenny Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org), Director of Education Abroad & International Fellowships.