Technology: it's always evolving, so shouldn’t you? Studying technology abroad gives students a unique opportunity to be on the forefront of modern design and innovation as it relates to the technological world we live in. In fact, technology has better odds of seeping into new cultures and assimilating smoothly than you or me. By studying technology abroad, you can learn advanced skills while completing degree requirements and observing how technology affects other global cultures, for better or worse.
Why Study Technology Abroad
For once in her life (at least from our perspective), Beyonce is wrong. Girls don’t run the world, technology does. It is a crucial part of almost everything we do, from education to medicine, and beyond. In such an important and ever-changing field, study abroad programs are an excellent opportunity for students to play a dynamic part in changing the world around them. If you are at all serious about a career in technology, studying technology abroad is a crucial step to increase your scope and personal experience.
Many countries have already hopped on the international technology bandwagon. Technology is evolving at such a fast rate that you may already be behind, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch up. Get into the 21st century game of technology by joining the packs with passports in tow!
In a field that’s expanding faster than you can say Jack Dorsey, choosing the right location to study technology abroad is key. Not only should you be thinking about a location where there are good schools and a city that’s thriving in the tech boom, but you should also look farther down the line, at the potential for internships in technology, or even a full on career. Smaller (and sometimes even larger) tech companies love hiring from within, so any impression made at an early stage will have its benefits. When it comes to academic institutions, tech schools are particularly prevalent across Asia and Europe. However, don’t limit your search to those to regions alone; here are a few of the top places to study technology abroad:
Israel. Affectionately referred to as the “start-up capital” of the world, Israel (specifically Tel Aviv) is an absolute technology powerhouse. Home to companies like Waze, Zuta, and Kaltura, Israel is the place to be in the tech industry. Only the U.S. and China have more companies listed on the NASDAQ than Israel’s 90, which are worth around 40 billion dollars. Oh, and your cell phone? You can thank the Israelis for that as well. Choose from any of Israel’s elite universities to study technology abroad at and you’ll enjoy all the perks of this bustling nation.
The United States. With its reputation preceding it, San Francisco is the mecca of all things tech. Similarly to Tel Aviv, in Israel, San Francisco is the place for American tech and startup companies. Studying technology abroad at one of the several universities in San Francisco will allow you to continue to refine your academic skills, while placing you right in the heart of tech central. Only an hour drive to Silicon Valley, this is an attractive option for upperclassmen looking to dive right into the workforce too. Connections made while studying technology in the U.S. could potentially take you very far; never underestimate a good networking opportunity, especially in San Francisco.
England. Silicon Valley isn’t the only place for tech startups to launch and thrive. As the hub of all things UK, London has incredible access to affluent consumers and venture capitalists. Companies are flocking to the UK just to launch from foggy London town; with more and more companies relying on technology, tech jobs in England are abundant and the scene is an excellent backdrop for students. Just don’t forget to network for a post-studies full-time job while you’re there!
Technology Study Abroad Programs
The field of technology is not as black and white as many people think; there are several areas of focus within the umbrella of technology. Before you study technology abroad, it is crucial to highlight what specialties interest you most, so you can plan your best course of action (literally, you’ll need to choose your courses).
Regarding coursework, depending on when in your academic career you decide to study technology abroad, your prerequisites and mandatory courses might shift, so it is also important to weigh those options to decide when might be the best time for you to go. Most importantly, remember that every student is different. Just because your friend studied abroad his junior year doesn’t mean it is the best option for you.
With regards to technology study abroad programs, most prerequisites will be the same across the board. Although, students are encouraged to have most of their general major courses out of the way before studying abroad, in order to open up the most doors possible. Doing so will also allow students to take some upper division courses in more regional specific areas, such as Chinese coding techniques or British design strategies.
Benefits & Challenges
Studying technology abroad has its ups and downs. For example, while you might initially be excited that your work binges late into the night means easier communication with family in other time zones, their availability may eventually turn into a distraction (or dare we say, nuisance!). Despite the setbacks, there is much to be gained by taking your technology studies abroad.
Global Perspective. While there are certain standards in technology and computer science, there are distinct regional practices and techniques that make studying technology abroad advantageous. Any skill set that you can add to your arsenal that might set you apart from other candidates is one you should take advantage of. The great news is: studying technology abroad will do just that!
Connections. Sure, it’s trite and overused, especially in the world of technology, but a connection goes a long, long way. Many future employers will, of course, evaluate your skills, but almost more importantly, if an employer has worked with you before or knows they can trust your work, you are much more likely to land the job.
Language Barrier. Studying technology abroad can be difficult without prior foreign language experience if you decide to study in a non-English speaking nation, and this issue is only increased in the world of computers. Language skills might not be required to study technology abroad, and coding may be your lingua franca, but it is important to brush up on a few key words and phrases before you arrive.
Computer codes are one of the few languages that truly span international borders. Broaden your mind and technological skills sets by taking your technological studies abroad.