If you're a STEM or computer science major, you may think that studying abroad isn't an option for you. Think again!

Fortunately, there's a number of computer science study abroad programs in countries around the world. From study abroad staples like Germany and the UK, to emerging destinations like Singapore and Hong Kong, computer science majors are absolutely able to spend a summer, semester, or year studying computer science abroad.

Additionally, there are programs specifically designed for non-CS majors to get hands-on experience in this increasingly popular field as well.

You have quite a few diverse locations if you’re searching to study abroad in one of the world’s best computer science universities. University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University College London, and University of Edinburgh, all in the UK, are high up there on the U.S. News’ rankings. Joining them on the list are Switzerland’s ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) and National University of Singapore.

If Asia is the “Apple” of your eye, the following universities are also top-notch: University of Tokyo and Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan and China’s Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, University of Hong Kong, Peking University, and Tsinghua University, as well as Seoul National University in South Korea.

Location is a pretty important factor in deciding where you want to study abroad. More westernized and less exotic places are probably a better bet for you if you want to get course credit. Put it this way: if you’re likely to encounter real life pythons in a place, you’re less likely to encounter the Python coding language…

When you go is also important. You might choose to go earlier (think Sophomore year or beginning of Junior year) so that you can take the upper division, more difficult courses at home.

Remember, you don’t necessarily have to get major credit while abroad! If you plan enough in advance, you can do most of your CS requirements and home and use time abroad to fulfill more general education requirements. Another potential idea is to utilize all of those online CS course offerings, too, which you might like to take on the side while you are abroad. A summer session is also a great option if you want to get abroad without worrying about your requirements.

But keep in mind your other interests as well-- study abroad is the perfect time to investigate your non-tech interests. If you have a passion for art, Roman history or just Chinese food, study abroad is a great opportunity to do something a little different. When choosing your study abroad destination, listen to your heart, not just your course catalogue! This is your chance to take chance and see where the adventure leads you! Even for computer science majors, the best lessons come from outside the classroom.

Study abroad doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, or even just your pinky toe! There are tons of funding opportunities to help you get abroad. Your home institution might offer major-specific scholarships as well, so be sure to check with the CS or IT department at your school!

Contributed by Emma Cramer

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