Skip to content
Click here for print version

Mechanical Engineering Education Abroad Guide


Student by Mountain Lake; New Zealand

Education Abroad Quick Facts

CU Boulder Education Abroad offers over 400 programs in over 70 countries! You can go abroad for a semester, year or summer (the latter ranges from 2-12 weeks). In addition to taking classes abroad, you can choose an internship or volunteer program (or combine classes with internship or volunteer options)! Please visit the following web pages for more information and to get started.


Planning and When to Go

First-year

  • Start researching education abroad programs and talking with your academic advisor.
  • If you are planning to go abroad for a full semester and would still like to graduate in four years, you will need to make sure that you’re staying on track with all of your core coursework and that you have a good understanding of the department’s prerequisite structure. That becomes less important if you are on a five year plan or would like to go abroad over the summer, although it is still helpful to understand how participating in education abroad will impact your course selections.
  • If possible, save some Technical Electives or Humanities/Social Sciences courses to take when you go abroad.

Sophomore

  • Consider going abroad during the spring semester of your sophomore year, or during the summer between sophomore and junior year.
  • Students planning to go abroad during the spring semester of their sophomore year should either enroll in MCEN2023 prior to studying abroad, or identify a program that offers an approved substitute.
  • It may also be helpful to complete either APPM2350 or APPM2360 during the summer before your sophomore year, if your education abroad program does not have a math sequence that is equivalent to CU’s.

Junior

  • Fall semester of junior year is the best time for ME majors to go abroad, although the academic calendar used in some European countries can make it challenging to identify a program that ends before CU’s spring semester begins.
  • If you go abroad during the fall semester of your junior year, you will need to make sure that you have the necessary prerequisites to be able to complete MCEN3022, MCEN3025, MCEN3032, and MCEN3037 during the spring semester.
  • If it is only possibly for you to go abroad during the spring semester of your junior year, you will need to make sure that you have completed equivalents to all four of those courses prior to beginning your senior year.
  • The summer between junior and senior year is also a great time to participate in a faculty-led global seminar, other summer education abroad program, research program offered through education abroad, or an international internship.

Senior

  • Students majoring in Mechanical Engineering are not able to go abroad during their senior year, due to the requirements associated with our full-year senior design project. That said, seniors are still eligible to participate in summer programs during the summer after they complete Senior Design.

General Advice for Mechanical Engineering Students Going Abroad

  • Engineering courses offered through select education abroad programs have been pre-approved to substitute for core courses in the ME curriculum. Please keep in mind that all of the approved courses for a specific program may not be offered during the semester when you are studying abroad.
  • Upper division courses in a technical field (math, science, engineering, etc.) may be approved for credit as General Technical Electives. Your academic advisor can assist you in identifying classes that would be eligible for that designation.
  • Courses focused on culture, literature, historical context, etc. are eligible for approval as Humanities & Social Science Electives. To request pre-approval for a specific course, please email a copy of the syllabus to your academic advisor. You can also consult the list of pre-approved Arts & Science Core/Gen Ed classes that correspond to Engineering Humanities & Social Science requirements. Visit the pre-approvals list and select “Engineering — Humanities & SS” from the drop down menu.
  • Credit towards the ME degree may be granted for participation in an unpaid research program at an international university, provided the research is supervised by a faculty member. Credit towards the ME degree is NOT granted for participation in a paid research program or for internships in industry.
  • Remember to first check the pre-approvals list with over 10,000 courses for various degree requirements. 

Getting Courses Approved


Recommended Programs

(see specific course approvals on pre-approvals list)

University of New South Wales — Australia

  • Program is located on UNSW’s main campus in Kensington, which is a suburb of Sydney.
  • Extensive options for both General Technical Electives and H&SS Electives. Course descriptions should be reviewed by your academic advisor prior to departure for review/approval

University of Wollongong — Australia

  • Located in Australia’s seventh largest city, with easy access to nearby beaches and the Mt Keira Natural Reserve.
  • Extensive options for both General Technical Electives and H&SS Electives. Course descriptions should be reviewed by your academic advisor prior to departure for review/approval

University of Sussex — United Kingdom

  • Located on the edge of the South Downs, in the hillside between Brighton and Lewes. The campus is less than an hour from London and only a ferry ride from France, while also enjoying easy access to nearby beaches and historic sites.
  • Extensive options for both General Technical Electives and H&SS Electives. Course descriptions should be reviewed by your academic advisor prior to departure for review/approval.

Technische Universitat Darmstadt — Germany

  • Located about 30 miles south of Frankfurt, with easy access to the region’s many cultural, historical, and artistic landmarks.
  • The International Research Experience Program (IREP) allows students to work intensively on a project related to their field of study in English. Projects are supervised by faculty, with an emphasis on integrating undergraduate students into existing research teams. Students earn six credits through their participation, with all six credits pre-approved to transfer to CU as General Technical Electives towards the ME degree.
  • Recommend for either the summer after sophomore year or the summer after junior year. Also available during the academic year, although it would be difficult to complete a full semester program and still graduate on a 4 year plan.

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid — Spain

  • Located on the Iberian Penninsula, Madrid is both a major financial/political center and the home of some of the world’s most famous artistic landmarks. Examples include the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Teatro Real, and the Prado Museum.
  • Options for both Spanish and English language tracks. Recommend English language track for technical coursework. Spanish is a great option for H&SS Electives.
  • Extensive options for both General Technical Electives and H&SS Electives. Course descriptions should be reviewed by your academic advisor prior to departure for review/approval.

Faculty-Led Global Seminars and other summer programs

  • Great opportunity to earn credit towards your H&SS or Technical Electives, without getting off track for your core requirements.
  • Programs offered all over the world, with an updated list available on the education abroad website.

Internships

Although the Department of Mechanical Engineering does not allow credit from internships to count towards your degree requirements, international internships are still a great way to build your engineering skill set and your resume. To search for internships, use the Advanced Search page on the Education Abroad website and select internships from the 'special opportunities' section. Currently, full-time summer internships are available in various locations, for most career fields.


Photo by Adrian Holweger