The Cooper Union

















Study Abroad

Why Study Abroad? | Identifying Objectives | Cooper's Program | Study Abroad Links | Language | Funding

Why Study Abroad?
Spending time abroad opens a window to a world of new experiences. Students who incorporate overseas study into their academic programs deepen their knowledge and understanding of global, political, economic, and social issues.

Study abroad promotes academic enrichment and personal growth. It also enhances your employment prospects. Employers are increasingly looking for graduates who have studied abroad. Students who have returned from a successful study experience abroad possess skills that are valued in today's competitive workplace: international knowledge and second language skills, flexibility, resilience, and the ability to adapt to new circumstances and deal constructively with differences. Study abroad returnees have demonstrated that they can thrive in new and often challenging environments.

Identifying Objectives
Why do you want to study abroad? You may have some very specific reasons: to improve language skills, for example, or to prepare for graduate school. Other reasons may be more general or abstract but are just as valid: to learn about another culture, to enhance your education, to meet new people, to travel. Your self-assessment and candid responses to the following questions can guide you to the kind of program best suited to meet your academic and personal goals.

Questions to Consider
  • Do you want to study intensively in your major field, or are language and cultural studies more important?
  • How will study abroad fit into your academic program?
  • Will the courses you take fulfill major requirements or count as electives?
  • Will going abroad alter your graduation plans?
  • If you are interested in going abroad primarily to study a language, are you proficient enough in a foreign language to enroll directly in a foreign university?
  • Would you like to continue instruction in a foreign language while taking some of your course work in English?
  • Are you a beginner seeking a program that combines elementary language instruction with additional course work in English?
  • How deeply do you want to be immersed in the culture?
  • Do you want to attend classes with students from the host country, or mainly with other Americans?
  • Do you want classes to be on the American model, or another model which may involve much more independent work?
  • Do you want to live with a family, with students from the host country, with other foreigners in the host country, or with fellow American students?
  • Do you want to spend most of your time in one location or travel to several places? Do you prefer cities or small towns?
  • Think about your learning style. Do you find that independent study liberates you to pursue a subject in depth, or are you more comfortable in structured courses?
  • Would studying in a foreign country change your answer to this question?
  • Where do you want to go? Why?
  • How much time do you want to spend abroad?
  • How much money can you afford to spend?
  • Once you have given some thought to these questions and identified your objectives, your next step is to become familiar with the various opportunities open to you.

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Study Abroad Program, Albert Nerken School of Engineering
The Dean of Engineering initiated the Study Abroad Program in 1989. Engineering is now a global force in nature and this is one of the main reasons for this program. Any type of international study/travel abroad can impart a new attitude towards life, field of study and career.

In the past, the Engineering School has sent students to London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Hamburg-Germany, Osaka-Japan, Ghana, Spain, France, Italy, & Greece.

To apply, a student must submit an application form as well as other background information. Applications are reviewed here and forwarded to the universities who seek out openings for students who qualify.

This eight-week research program is open to a limited number of students, in good academic standing, who have completed their second or third year. A student can earn six credits of independent study (EID 300) by participating in a project under the supervision of faculty at one of these universities.

Students are responsible for their travel, food, and accommodations.

Upon return to Cooper, each student must submit to the Dean, a formal report of his/her activities. This report is in two parts—the first covers project-research activities and the second cultural experiences.

Participants are encouraged to sightsee and take part in the cultural life of the host city. Students who want to travel an extended period (a week, etc.) should do so after their required 8 week research project is over. Weekend trips are fine during that time, as long as it does not interfere with one's study. At the end of the assignment, many have traveled the European, Australian, and Asian continents. All students return full of enthusiasm for this program.

Applications are due in early December. Interested students may contact the Office of the Dean, Albert Nerken School of Engineering for more information.

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Study Abroad Links
Students who are planning to study abroad are encouraged to learn about foreign language study options via their School's Academic Adviser or the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences' Academic Adviser.


Many funding resources are available to students interested in study abroad. A few examples are the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, DAAD and Freeman-ASIA. Please consult the Cooper Union Grants, Fellowships and Scholarships Bulletin.

Fulbright Fellowship

The Fulbright Program offers a wide variety of programs that are appropriate for students, faculty and staff. To learn more about them, please refer to The Cooper Union Fulbright Web page.