Think you can't study abroad as a STEM student? Think again! Ethan Smith's Semester Abroad in Cairo, Egypt - Center for Global Engagement

Think you can’t study abroad as a STEM student? Think again! Ethan Smith’s Semester Abroad in Cairo, Egypt

Spending a semester in Cairo, Egypt was all and much more than I ever could have asked for or expected from a study abroad experience. As a mechanical engineering major, I faced the common misconception that STEM students cannot study abroad and stay on track with graduation, but I found this to be false. In addition to taking the same engineering coursework I would have taken at TU, I worked as an undergraduate research assistant and participated in extracurricular activities while abroad. The many hours I spent applying to study abroad, searching for the right location and investigating class options were paid back a hundred-fold with the phenomenal four months I spent in Cairo. Money is oftentimes a daunting factor students worry about when considering study abroad, as it was for me. But by working with the University of Tulsa CGE office, all of the travel, accommodation and food costs summed less than had I stayed at TU. It is easy for me to say this was and most likely will be the most fruitful and rewarding semester of my academic career. Studying abroad can appear daunting, but I can assure anyone that you will reap many rewards personally and academically through this experience. I did not know anyone going into the Egypt program, but I left Egypt with a surplus of amazing friends and peers I met through my studies. I found that being an international STEM student allows you to immerse yourself even more into the culture and study abroad experience, as in my case, none of my peers had ever met an international engineering student at AUC. You are then compelled to make friends as lab and study partners, and you learn much more in this fashion. If you are even slightly interested in exploring another culture and to see the world, I 100% recommend you take that leap of faith and study abroad. You will have no regrets.