One of the most in demand job markets in the world right now, computer programming skills are quickly becoming must-haves for the up and coming generation of college students. Because of this, there is a burgeoning area of study abroad that offers computer science and programming majors the opportunity to hone their technical skills on an international scale. So ask yourself, why not spend a couple months abroad, gain a new perspective on coding from an overseas view, network for potential future job op’s, and continue your higher education? We can’t see any reason why you shouldn’t study computer programming abroad!
Why Study Abroad
One of the biggest reasons STEM students don’t study abroad is because there is a false myth that they won’t be able to find programs that their home university will accredit. However, with more than 300,000 students studying outside the U.S. per year, more and more STEM subjects are becoming accredited abroad, one of the most prominent among them being computer programming. The only thing holding you back from studying computer programming abroad is deciding what country interests you; but, since it’s such an in-demand field, there are an incredible amount of places to choose from.
Keep in mind that some of the world’s greatest demand for computer programmers might not be your home country! Take China, for instance; with a population of one billion and increasing numbers of smartphone users daily, it’s not a bad idea to learn software development, operating systems, program testing, debugging, and customization for the Chinese market.
While there are many locations around the globe to study computer programming abroad, the most important thing to keep in mind is whether or not you’re comfortable working and studying in a foreign language. If learning Python and Java in a second language doesn’t bother you, then the world is at your fingertips. Thankfully, if you want to study computer programming abroad in a place that speaks English, there are no shortage of options for you.
Among the most prominent places to study computer programming abroad is Western Europe. This region is great for those who are looking to have the amenities of home while still gaining an international perspective on coding. There are a plethora of universities in England and Scotland that not only offer courses in math, computer science, and technology, but have accompanying internships that you can add to your resumé. With Western Europe being among the most rapidly growing regions in the field of computer programming, you can hardly go wrong studying abroad there!
Other popular regions to study computer programming abroad include Central and South America. With a growing number of expanding economies, companies all over Latin America are looking for programmers, providing a good amount of internship opportunities on top of classes worth taking. Some computer programming courses in Latin America may be in Spanish, and you’ll have to be sure to get them recognized by your home university, but it’s still hard to go wrong studying abroad in Latin America.
Computer Programming Study Abroad
As with most study abroad programs, there are computer programming study abroad programs available for the summer term as well as for a full semester. The deciding factor between these is whether or not you need to spend the majority of your time at your home campus or if you can find a long-term program and get it recognized back at home. Also, if you’re looking to do an internship while abroad, you’ll most likely want to look at summer options, as this is when most of combined internship and study programs are available.
Computer programming majors commonly choose to take electives while studying abroad over major-specific courses. This is because classes required for computer programming degrees, such as computer software, mathematics, software engineering, and statistics can be so customized for your specific program. Overall, it is better for computer programming majors to take elective classes while abroad. But, studying abroad does offer the prospect of taking elective courses that are not included in the traditional computer programming spectrum of courses back at your home university.
For most students that decide to study computer programming abroad, housing is provided in independent apartments or with local host families, depending on the program and the preference of the student. Most study abroad program include up to 15 credits per semester as well as optional excursions.
Benefits & Challenges
Besides being able to get classes counted toward your major back home, studying computer programming abroad will set you worlds apart from your peers when applying for jobs in the future. What does the average programmer resumé look like? Probably an internship in your home country paired with either a bootcamp or a degree in the field, but not much else. By studying computer programming abroad, you will be taking a step that most of your peers are too scared or worried to take. How many applicants to jobs at Microsoft or Facebook can say that they’ve developed communication skills along with an international mindset by studying abroad? Not many.
Some of the challenges you may face while (or before and after) studying abroad include getting courses at non-traditional universities accredited back home as well as learning a second language. But, these challenges are more than worth it when you weigh them against the experience of living overseas and having a once in a lifetime opportunity to hone your coding skills abroad.
One of the biggest questions that computer programming graduates are going to ask themselves upon finishing college is how to set themselves apart from everyone else when applying for that dream job. Prop yourself up in one of the fastest growing fields in the world and gain international experience that you’ll never regret by studying computer programming abroad!