Undergrads Study Abroad in Italy, Germany, Australia

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Mechanical Engineering undergrad Andy Eisold near the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

"The entire experience was amazing. There needs to be a stronger push for engineering students to go abroad."

- Andy Eisold

Mechanical Engineering undergrads Alba Serrano and Andy Eisold participated in Maryland's Study Abroad Program this spring and summer, complimenting their core coursework with experience and study overseas.

Alba Serrano, a senior mechanical engineering undergrad from Bethesda, Maryland, took engineering courses in advanced technical design and automobile engines at the University of Genova, Italy in early 2007.

"Both of the courses were taught entirely in Italian, which was very interesting at first seeing that I had only taken 2 semesters of Italian language prior to studying abroad. The entire grade for both of my engineering classes was based on an oral exam, where the professor could ask you anything covered during the semester and to elaborate upon it. It was strange to have my entire grade be based on an oral, and not have to turn in any assignments or projects. Overall I really enjoyed studying engineering while in Italy, it gave me an outlook into how engineering is taught in Europe, and how that differs from our style of teaching. Taking these engineering classes in Italian also really helped me improve my Italian," says Serrano, who is also pursuing a minor in International Engineering. Serrano is complimenting her automobile engines course with the ENME 489V - Vehicle Dynamics course taught by Dr. Greg Schultz.

Andy Eisold of Mt. Airy, Maryland, is also a mechanical engineering senior undergrad pursuing the same minor, who traveled to Wollongong, New South Wales Australia this summer. There he completed four classes which counted towards his degree and core requirements: Sustainable Transport Technologies; Engineering Materials, Business Innovation, Technology, and Policy; and HIST124: The Cold War and After.

Eisold has a personal interest in renewable energy, and particularly enjoyed his Sustainable Transport Technologies class. "We covered a lot of material including human powered vehicles, internal combustion engines, alternative fuels, Stirling engines, electric vehicles, fuel cells, and hybrid vehicles. I learned an incredible amount in the class concerning today's transportation and what is in store for tomorrow. In fact, I would like to see more renewable energy related courses offered through the A. James Clark School of Engineering," says Eisold. He adds, "The entire experience was amazing. There needs to be a stronger push for engineering students to go abroad."

Before traveling Down Under, Andy studied renewable energy in a three-week winter term in Kassel, Germany. There he enrolled in a renewable energy course and a supplementary German language course. The renewable energy class was unlike American courses as the lectures were delivered in different locations by different professionals in each field. As part of these course-related travels Andy was able to experience on-site tours of wind farms, photovoltaic plants, and biofueled power plants.

Related Links:

Engineering International Programs

University of Maryland Study Abroad Program

Published October 24, 2007