Learning Abroad for Computer Science Majors

The Computer Science department encourages all majors to consider study abroad for a semester during the junior year. Planning for a semester abroad should begin with discussions with the student’s faculty advisor in the sophomore year. Some students combine a Fall or Spring semester with a summer study program, internship, or research project to extend their experience abroad. Majors who plan to pursue a Senior Thesis in Computer Science should plan to be on campus in the spring semester of the junior year.

Study Abroad

Where to Study

The Computer Science Department encourages students to think broadly about their goals for study abroad in choosing a destination. Many Computer Science majors will need to take at least one computer science course while they are abroad to fulfill major requirements. While many Computer Science majors study abroad in the English-speaking world (e.g., the United Kingdom and New Zealand), many participate in English-language programs in non-English speaking countries.

For a list of where past and present majors have studied and a summary of the courses that they took abroad, check this searchable database. Note that this is not a definitive list of what is possible and should serve only as a useful guide and planning resource. The McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives Study Abroad website is also an excellent resource for programs, application procedures, deadlines, financial aid, and more.  Laurel Fellowships (need-based financial aid) are readily available to qualified students.

When to Study

Most Computer Majors study abroad during their junior year. Computer Science majors who plan to do a Senior Thesis are encouraged to study abroad during the fall semester of the junior year. We encourage you to meet with your advisor to map out courses you will need both on campus and during your time abroad to ensure that you meet requirements for the major.

Credit Transfer

Students who want to apply credits earned from courses taken while studying abroad to satisfy a requirement (major, minor, language, or distribution) should contact the chair of the department before applying for the program. In some cases, the chair may require additional information, including a syllabus, before providing written approval for a course.

Summer Internships and Research Abroad

A Computer Science majors are encouraged to explore summer opportunities abroad.  A number of funded summer research opportunities are available. The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, funded by the National Science Foundation, offers programs for undergraduate research both abroad and in the U.S. The DAAD RISE program also offers funded summer research opportunities in Germany for students in the sciences.

Support for unpaid opportunities is available through the Universal Application Form (UAF), which offers students access to funding from a variety of College fellowship sources to cover travel and living expenses for the duration of the project.  Students with a family contribution of less than $5000 may also receive a $500 grant to apply towards their summer earnings contribution. 

Next Steps

Students interested in exploring possibilities for learning abroad are encouraged to contact the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives. April Stroud is the primary advisor for study abroad, and Kirk Lange can offer guidance on internships or research abroad. Students should also consult with their advisor about how they can best connect and integrate learning abroad with their work in the major.