Feature Stories 2024: Engineers Abroad: College of Engineering students explore Australia, Ireland, and Greece

Student Aidan Root scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef while studying in Australia
Feature Stories 2024: Engineers Abroad: College of Engineering students explore Australia, Ireland, and Greece
Engineers Abroad: College of Engineering students explore Australia, Ireland, and Greece

Three engineering students share their experiences studying abroad

Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, exploring ancient ruins in Greece, kayaking through Irish canals; these aren't experiences found on your typical engineering syllabus. But for UMass Dartmouth students studying abroad, the academic semester is anything but typical. Students at UMass Dartmouth can take advantage of study abroad programs to broaden their worldview, learn from different people and cultures, and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime adventure while earning college credits.

Aidan Root interacting with Australian wildlife on his study abroad trip

Aidan Root '25, Computer Science 

Aidan Root, a computer science major from Mattapoisett, MA, spent the fall 2023 semester in Sydney, Australia.  

"I always wanted to study abroad. It's a big world, and I think it's good to get outside our bubble.  When I was looking at colleges, one reason I wanted to come to UMassD is  because studying abroad is an option, and the affordability of the tuition made it possible for me to spend money on travel." 

What was the best part of your travel experience? 

"So many things: I got to see Australian wildlife like koalas, kangaroos, wombats, and crocodiles. I really enjoyed the food in Sydney.  

"Australians seem to complain less, in my experience. The people I met seemed to have a very positive and upbeat attitude most of the time.  To help me meet people, I joined lots of clubs at my host university, including the Chess Club, Esports Club, Board Games Club, Anime Club, and a volleyball league. 

"I got to take some very interesting classes, including quantum physics, and the ethics of data and AI. I also took a class on Aboriginal Sydney and learned about the history of their native people. This was knowledge I never would have been exposed to if I hadn't left home. "  

How did you find out about this opportunity? 

"All it took was scheduling one meeting at the International Programs office during my freshman year, and that set everything in motion. If you're interested in studying abroad, no matter your major, the International Programs office offers walk-in appointments and they're very helpful. They'll tell you what options are available and help you figure out the process." 

Travel tip: "Don't be scared and don't wait.  If you're even a little interested, it's never too early to take the first step and find out what your options are."   

Joshua Cameron standing in front of cliffs in Ireland

Joshua Cameron '26, Mechanical Engineering  

Joshua Cameron, a United States Marine Corps veteran and Attleboro, MA, native spent the fall 2023 semester in Maynooth, Ireland.  

With a background working on helicopters and wind turbines, Cameron came to UMassD to study mechanical engineering. He always wanted to visit Ireland and says Gina Reis helped him find a study abroad program that fit with his studies.  

What was your favorite thing about Ireland? 

"I loved the landscape and the architecture. Their history is so well-preserved, and it's visible everywhere. I also joined a kayak and canoe club, and we would meet up for trips down the nearby canals.  

Outside of his classes, Cameron explored nearby Galway and the Aran Islands. "I would recommend it, " he says of the study abroad experience.  "It's important to learn about different ways of life and ways of learning. Studying abroad teaches you to adapt to new situations and expands your options and opportunities."  

Travel tip: "Do a little research before you go. Find out about transportation, and make sure you'll have international service through your phone plan. Little things like that will make the experience easier once you get there."

Unique Linnell standing in front of ancient ruins in Athens, Greece

Unique Linnell '26, Computer Science 

The Ashford, MA, resident is spending her spring 2024 semester in Athens, Greece. 

What have you gained from your study abroad experience so far? 

"Coming here from home all alone had made me very nervous, but after getting here and meeting some people, I am glad I made this choice.  Even making a mistake on the train and going the wrong way has taught me to just laugh in the moment and to slow down. 

How are you spending your time abroad? 

"In addition to computer science, biology, and math classes, I'm also taking a class on modern Greek! Outside of class, I spend time exploring my neighborhood and seeing the major sites in Athens. I've made such good friends at UMassD, hardly a day goes by where I don't keep in touch with them, even with a 7-hour time difference!" 

Travel tip: "Classes in another country are different, and that's good because it gives you an experience and perspective that you might not have expected to get." 

To learn more about study abroad options or to schedule an appointment, visit the International Programs Office located in LARTS 016. 

And, see more study abroad events and updates by following UMassD Study Abroad on Instagram! 

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