groups of students posing together in front of a beautiful landscape

Why Study Abroad?

We aspire to be world-class engineers equipped to change the world!

The world is globalizing at a dizzying rate and global competence is an educational and professional imperative.

That’s why engineering students who study abroad are among the most marketable to employers. Study abroad offers an outstanding return on your investment. In fact, study abroad alumni find jobs more quickly and earn thousands more in starting salaries. Bottom line: Study abroad sets you apart.

The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) has gathered some statistics on the benefits of international education1:

  • $7,000: Amount more IES Abroad alumni earn in starting salaries, on average, compared to recent U.S. college graduates from the general population.
  • 97%: Percentage of alumni who secured a job within one year after graduation, compared to only 49% of respondents in the general college graduate population.
  • 90%: Percentage of alumni who got into their 1st or 2nd choice graduate or professional school.

Consider this:

  • Enhance problem-solving capabilities and creativity. The Harvard Business Review reported, “People who have international experience or identify with more than one nationality are better problem solvers and display more creativity, our research suggests. What’s more, we found that people with this international experience are more likely to create new businesses and products and to be promoted.”2
  • Studies show that learning a foreign language makes you smarter and improves your proficiency in your mother tongue.3
  • Studies have also shown that students who study abroad have higher retention rates and graduate in a more timely manner.4


  1. “College Grads Who Study with IES Abroad Get Jobs Sooner & With Higher Salaries." IES Abroad News. n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2016.
  2. Maddux, William W., Adam D. Galinsky, and Carmit T. Tadmor. “Be a Better Manager: Live Abroad.” Harvard Business Review, 01 Sept. 2010. Web. 02 Mar. 2016.
  3. Berdan, Goodman, Taylor. A Student Guide to Study Abroad, 2013.
  4. Redden, Elizabeth. “New Studies Link Study Abroad to On-Time Graduation.” Inside Higher Ed, 10 July 2012. Web. 02 Mar. 2016.


The mission of Global Engineering Engagement is to create an environment that embraces the values of international education, where access to global exposure and opportunities to develop cross-cultural competence is pervasive. We believe that it is within our reach to ensure that all engineering students can become internationally engaged.

Global Engineering Engagement

College of Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University

208 Hammond Building

University Park, PA 16802