A semester, quarter or year abroad can open a world of opportunity for STEM majors: You can collaborate with internationally-renowned professors and scientists, discover remote creatures and habitats, see architectural marvels that challenge the laws of physics, meet talented new friends and build a killer résumé before graduation. Why not experience all of that while earning credit in your major?
If you’re studying science, technology engineering or math, the possibilities don’t stop there.
The University of California offers 90 programs in 34 countries just for STEM majors
STEM-Focused Internships and Research
Do a high-quality internship with an NGO or private company, conduct academic research with some of the world’s top experts or present independent findings and maybe even get published!
Graduate on Time
With so many STEM-focused programs available, you can graduate on schedule with valuable study abroad experience behind you. All courses automatically award UC credit and grades. To ensure those credits count for your major, meet with your academic advisor early in the planning process. You can also get an idea of some of the courses STEM students previously took abroad in this Course Catalog.
TIP: Studying abroad for a year means you can take one or more science course sequences. This makes getting credit in your major easier!
In 2015, some 1,160 University of California STEM majors studied abroad
Access Extra Scholarships
These study abroad scholarships give special consideration to STEM majors:
- UCEAP Undergraduate Research Awards – up to $1,000 each for research abroad
- UCEAP Promise Awards – up to $2,000 each
- Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships – up to $8,000 each
- Boren Scholarships – up to $8,000 each for summer abroad
Combine your financial sources and you can cover most if not all of your study abroad expenses!
Summer Abroad Boosts Credits
Whether you want to knock out some pre-major or GE requirements, engage in meaningful research or explore a new language, a summer abroad is a great way to earn a ton of unit credit in a short period of time. Choose from over 40 programs in 25 countries ranging from 4–9 weeks.
Fun Places to Study in English
Most people think that in order to study in English abroad they are limited to Australia, New Zealand and the UK. These are great places for sure, but you can take courses in English just about anywhere in the world—and that includes places where you can meet STEM degree requirements.
UCEAP offers 289 programs taught in English, literally everywhere.
Explore Side Interests
There’s more to you than your major. And this is your time to explore everything you are passionate about! Examples:
- Visit Buddhist monasteries and elephant sanctuaries in Thailand
- Observe human rights and social movements in Buenos Aires
- Contribute to sustainable development and work with communities in Ghana
- Go backpacking in New Zealand or shark cage diving in South Africa
- Volunteer with relief organizations in rural parts of India
- Eat gelato and pizza in Rome or baguettes and cheese in France
- The list goes on with any topic, activity, culture or place that interests you
Build Superb Social Skills
Professionals often look to hire individuals that not only perform top of their class, but also handle social situations with charisma and tact in a variety of cultural settings.
This is where study abroad can help. Your international network and social skills will explode as you travel with peers from across California, interact with faculty and researchers in small class settings or during research, meet fellow science students from top-tier universities around the world and form lifelong friendships.
8% more STEM majors go abroad now compared to ten years ago
Get Valuable Career Experience
Whether you are seeking a future in research, a position in the private sector or graduate school, study abroad experience will serve you well.Beyond being fun, future employers will love the perspective and variety of experiences you’ll gain from study abroad. You will be a pro at adapting to new environments, imagining multiple solutions to a single problem, and challenging all that is ordinary.
Did you get credit for your major on study abroad? Tell us about it in the comments.