The saying goes that “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and as a future civil engineer, you can appreciate that it was a lot more challenging to build Rome centuries ago! The world is full of miraculous stories of historic engineering feats, from the Egyptian Pyramids to the English Chunnel to the Panama Canal. Earning a civil engineering degree abroad is an amazing opportunity to learn from these achievements and diversify your approach to constructing longer bridges, designing better transportation systems, and building taller skyscrapers. Sharpen your tools and get ready to make history as you learn from the rich traditions of civil engineering around the world!
Why Earn a Degree Abroad
Although it might not sound like it, international education and a civil engineering degree actually go together like a fastener and a beam. Beyond the historical and global context you’ll gain for your studies, you’ll also have a first-hand look at the modern techniques and technologies that are evolving in civil engineering each day out of necessity. How did Brazil pull off the Olympics with a flawed water system and infrastructure failures that threatened to cripple the games? How do cities in India support the massive population that is competing for space and survival? How are residents of Indonesian islands fighting back against erosion and rising sea levels?
Because civil engineering is such a global field, there are not only great options for studying overseas, but there are also jobs in this field in almost every country. Getting your credentials from top civil engineering schools in the world is a great first step to gaining the international perspective that will make you more attractive to both large companies who work in various countries and small local firms located abroad. If a future overseas is the fulcrum to the lever that is your life, earning a civil engineering degree abroad is a great way to start surveying the landscape of opportunities for your career!
Your decision about where to focus the research for your civil engineering degree should be determined by the specialization that captivates you. The priorities of your degree abroad destination should align with your own. For example, if you’re a future coastal engineer who dreams of fortifying communities from hurricanes and tsunamis, you won’t learn as much in landlocked Europe as you might in Southeast Asia or Australia.
For almost any specialty, China’s rich history, diverse geography, immense population size, and rising higher education sector make it a strong option for your civil engineering degree. The Great Wall in itself is an amazing feat of engineering, and it's not like they call it one of the wonders of the world for nothing! However, society and civil engineering have come a long way since 221 B.C. Lay the foundation for your career in China with an up-close look at new technology, fast-growing urban development, and progressive courses in sustainable construction.
Are your civil engineering interests inspired by how to survive in harsh climates or create structures that will endure the tests of time? If so, then study in Israel with programs that will test your sense of innovation within the context of some of humanity’s most ancient public works projects. Whether building new systems of irrigation for agriculture in the Negev Desert or preventing the rapid erosion of the Dead Sea, civil engineering programs in Israel provide a wealth of hands on experience that will enrich your education and deepen your career.
With Europe’s dynamic civilizations and many contributions to scientific and engineering history, travel to the origin of the word “renaissance” itself, France. Maybe you’ve already marveled at Gustave Eiffel’s Eiffel Tower, the tallest structure in the world for 41 years, but did you know that it was the center of outspoken protest and many believed it was not even feasible? Along with your peers, you’ll be sure to break some ground whether innovating in cosmopolitan Paris or mountainous Grenoble.
Wherever you choose to attend top civil engineering schools in the world, get ready to cement your status among the great engineers of history!
Civil Engineering Degrees
There are several factors to consider when selecting an international civil engineering degree, and this is only further complicated when pursuing that degree abroad. To start, you’ll need to consider the difference between a bachelor’s or master’s degree in science and in engineering.
A BSc and BEng can be the same length, approximately three to five years depending on the program; however, the BSc tends to be more theoretical and research focused while a BEng degree will be more practical. MSc and MEng degrees can be distinguished in the same way and usually last two years. Overall, BEng and MEng are most popular in the United Kingdom and former colonies, the United States, China, and Germany, and they are more focused on preparing future hands-on engineers rather than civil engineering-focused scientists, researchers, or consultants.
Civil engineering degrees and careers can be highly specialized in one of the sub-fields of architectural, hydraulic, materials science, transportation, environmental, structural, or geotechnical engineering, among others. Depending on where you want to take your civil engineering skills, investigate the type of licensure required to work in different countries, and ensure that your program offers the prerequisites and resources to put you on the right path. Regardless of where you land, the Institution of Civil Engineers is a professional organization that spans the globe and can provide you with support and community as you develop your skills.
Benefits & Challenges
Versatility. Just like the numerous directions a highway can break off into, a civil engineering degree abroad will provide you with roads to follow to numerous destinations. Whether that means being just as fluent in the metric system as you are in miles and tons or having a portfolio that includes designs beyond the banal, your degree will provide you with the tools to adapt to any career opportunity and will make you standout from your competitors in a job interview in any country.
Degree equivalency. Because civil engineering is such a technical field, the courses you will take in math, science, and engineering are crucial to your qualifications and title as an engineer. However, any gaps or cracks can be avoided with a little research on the basic courses that will be required for any future study or license you plan to seek upon graduation. In addition, determine whether the course and its length will be recognized when you return to your home country or when applying your engineering degree for future pursuits overseas.
As the first round of modern infrastructure begins to require some TLC, there are plenty of civil engineering needs around the globe, and a lot that can be learned from successes and failures at home. Ultimately, it is the innovation that can be inspired by a civil engineering degree abroad that will make your home country’s transportation systems, cities, and environment strong for the 21st century and beyond. Start thinking outside the box by researching civil engineering degrees on GoAbroad!