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Study Abroad For Computer Science Majors?

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the meet-interesting-people-but-don't-kill-them dept.

Earth 386

sbilstein writes "I'm currently a sophomore studying computer science with a penchant for international travel. While I do realize that the internet precludes the need for us geeks to travel farther than our desks, I'd still like to take a few courses taught in English or Spanish (the two languages I'm fluent in) somewhere outside of the country. The trouble is I can't go to just any school, because like any other engineering degree, I have to take technical courses every semester. So I need a school with a something at least similar to a computer science program in the states. Has anybody here from the US studied abroad while doing computer science? Was it worthwhile? Or anyone from outside the United States recommend a university program?"

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India (2, Interesting)

habys (322638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245271)

I wonder if it would be economically feasible to study in india.

Re:India (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245301)

Americans, I have answer to your question!

Bangalore College offers the(Indian equivalent of a) B.S. or M.S. in computer science. In this rigorous curriculum you will learn how to program with the best industry-standard framework: Java. Our students toil endlessly over such taxing problems as "What do interfaces actually do?" (answer: jack shit).

Our Master of Science candidates must write a stored procedure(Yo dawg, I heard you like to transact while you transact so I put a procedure inside your procedure) for their M.S. degree.

We also offer job placement services - "Jimmy the understandable guy" will put a marble under his tongue and pretend to be you over a telephone interview with any American or European hiring manager looking to save a few bucks of their own...but unlike you, Jimmy the understandable guy actually knows what he's doing!

Apply today, admission slots are limited and VERY competitive!

Re:India (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245341)


Re:India (3, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245429)

India was my first thought also. Not only is turnabout fair play, but you're going to need the culture exposure and contacts if you hope to get a job in computer science.

Re:India (3, Informative)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245649)

Pragmatically, India might not be the best place to study because of how many people there already speak English. That's not to say learning one of India's languages won't be useful, or that the cultural aspects aren't worth learning (personally, when I get up to the main campus of my university, I have every intention of taking the Hindi course), but if you're doing it for your career, unless you're really into India (or you're just a language freak like me), you'd probably be better off learning something else.

Re:India (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245509)

I think you misunderstood the question: The poor guy wants to study a broad! Not a country! Luckily there are about 500 million broads in India, many who would even devirginify a computer geek.

Re:India (4, Informative)

rite_m (787216) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245721)

Just to add, the famed IITs (Indian Institute of Technologies) do have exchange programs. But the living conditions in most IITs will not suit (you might call them appalling by US college standards) most americans. So choose the institute properly (IIT delhi, e.g., might be a better choice than IIT Kharagpur). But, yes, India will be a good economical choice. And almost all institutes in India have english as their medium of teaching, so language won't be a problem at all.

PS: I am from IIT Kharagpur.

Spanish and English (4, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245297)

Come on? Isn't is obvious? Go for a semester in Spain. In Europe we do have real computer science courses. Northern America doesn't have a monopoly on that (And never had, if you think that you need to learn a bit history). Remember, Dijkstra was Dutch, Linus was Finnish and Alan Turing was British.

Was?! (5, Funny)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245353)

Linus was Finnish

Was? Did I miss the obituary?

Re:Was?! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245377)

Spot on! That's the point to focus on in the comment!

Re:Was?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245421)

Not that Linus.

Re:Was?! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245463)

Linus was Finnish

Was? Did I miss the obituary?

He got better.

Re:Was?! (1)

10Neon (932006) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245751)

Replying to undo moderation. What a fool as I to moderate so poorly, what a fool!

It was TRAGIC!!! (5, Funny)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245513)

Yes, I was there. (no, not there, but over there!)

Linus and RMS got into a fight, and RMS pulled out his katana....*shudder* ...and well, now Linus is sleeping with the penguins.

RMS was last seen rounding up the HURD to assault Antarctica to exterminate those pesky, compromising, commie penguins.

Wait! What?!?
Wow, those are some good med's the doctor gave me, nevermind!

Re:Spanish and English (2, Interesting)

x-caiver (458687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245407)

You seem to be jumping to conclusions - or perhaps that was a really weak anti-America troll? Hard to tell on the internet...

I'm going to give sbilstein the benefit of the doubt and assume that he isn't asking 'Are there any schools outside of the US that aren't incompetent', but rather asking the more important question 'There are many universities outside of the US, does anyone have any experience with one that participates in 'study-abroad' programs and has some sort of technical course available?'.

The majority of study-abroad programs that were available when I was still in college were focused on history/language/art. Those were the things that made more sense to study of course - go to France to learn about French history, go to Spain to learn about Spanish art, etc. The only science courses I remember seeing were for biology in Australia. Now this was a decade ago, when most of our information was through pamphlets and presentations on campus so maybe there were some places that did 'technical' stuff but without a huge internet presence it was hard to find.

Re:Spanish and English (5, Interesting)

nordah (1365739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245413)

I second the Spain recommendation. I studied at Universitat PolitÃcnica de Catalunya ( in 05 and had an amazing time. Barcelona has much to offer in terms of history, architecture, and culture. It took a week or so to get over the then current fashion trend--mullets on women--but hey, different user interface, same great kernel.

Re:Spanish and English (4, Funny)

mustafap (452510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245541)

>mullets on women

On their armpits, unfortunately.

Re:Spanish and English (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245669)

hey, les dones de catalunya son bastant boniques!

Re:Spanish and English (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245687)

>mullets on women

On their armpits, unfortunately.

Well, he did say he wanted to study a broad ;-)

Re:Spanish and English (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245605)

If you choose UPC (were I've studied), I would to choose the FIB ( I would post the direct link to the english version, but today the admins have defaced the web as a yearly running joke). Also I suggest you to skip software engineering grammars, and recommend some computer architecture and algorithmic grammars, as I think are the more polished ones here.

Re:Spanish and English (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245661)

Well, forgot to say one inconvenience, in that particular part of Spain we talk Spanish and Catalan, which is also latin based, easy to catch if you know spanish, but I would recommend to make sure that you try to stick to the grammars that are given in english. The other ones maybe given in spanish or catalan depending on the teacher, or the direction that the wind blows that particular hour of the day :).

Re:Spanish and English (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245431)

...and Kristen Nygaard (inventor of object oriented programming; cf. Simula) was Norwegian, Anders Hejlsberg (designer of Delphi and C#) and Bjarne Stoustrup (designer of C++) were Danish, and, more obscurely, Carl Adam Petri (inventor of the concept of concurrency and Petri nets) is German and Robin Milner (designer of ML, CCS, and the pi-calculus) is English.

Re:Spanish and English (1)

Krilomir (29904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245469)

Let me just add Peter Naur to that list since I'm Danish myself :)

Re:Spanish and English (1)

perlhacker14 (1056902) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245553)

He could always go to Mexico if he really wants Spanish...

Re:Spanish and English (2, Informative)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245607)

Come on? Isn't is obvious? Go for a semester anywhere.

Fixed it for you. Communication is important, and being able to speak to others without a translator in their language will probably give you major brownie points if you ever have to work with someone from another country. Even if you never have to do international work, it's still cool to know. Every language has something worth reading or watching or listening to or even posting on (don't forget that English is not the only language on the net).

Re:Spanish and English (4, Informative)

zuzulo (136299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245671)

I must admit, some of the best international academic research side computer scientists I have found to be European. Especially Italy, Spain, and France if i had to pick three off the top of my head. They also tend to have lots of summer exchange programs if you are into research. That, and somehow the environment is actually better at stimulating real innovation than it is here in the states. At least in the past 8-10 years or so in North America most of the serious cutting edge stuff is done in the corporate world, whereas in Europe the academic guys are doing cutting edge stuff.

Strange how these things change. As always, this is just my own personal opinion ...

Re:Spanish and English (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245701)

From the wikipedia re Alan Turing:

Homosexuality was illegal in the United Kingdom[3] and regarded as a mental illness and subject to criminal sanctions....Turing was unrepentant and was convicted of the same crime Oscar Wilde had been convicted of more than fifty years before.

Turing was given a choice between imprisonment and probation, conditional on his undergoing hormonal treatment designed to reduce libido. He accepted the estrogen hormone injections, which lasted for a year, to avoid jail. His conviction led to a removal of his security clearance and prevented him from continuing consultancy for GCHQ on cryptographic matters. At the time, there was acute public anxiety about spies and homosexual entrapment by Soviet agents, possibly due to the recent exposure of the Cambridge Five as KGB double agents. (Turing was never accused of espionage.) On 8 June 1954, his cleaner found him dead.... Most believe that his death was intentional, and the death was ruled a suicide.Because Turing's homosexuality would have been perceived as a security risk, the possibility of assassination has also been suggested. His remains were cremated at Woking crematorium on 12 June 1954.

Which just goes to show, if you know too much then an excuse to put you under will be found. So move to anywhere except Britain and the US.

Re:Spanish and English (2, Informative)

kramerd (1227006) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245785)

I have to agree.

At Georgia Tech I completed a study abroad in Barcelona (combination CS and architecture). Of my courses, only 1 was entirely in spanish (which happened to be spanish, which was very helpful in the immersion process).

The thing to remember is that a study abroad isnt about the classes you take, but rather about learning the culture and getting a new perspective on how the world works.

Not to mention that if you manage to learn something tangible from the experience, its a great conversation starter in your interviews later. Suddenly, you are the guy who went to Spain, not the guy who spent the summer playing WOW.

Studying Abroad, or studying Computer Science? (1)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245299)

I think it's an important question.

I'm (hopefully) going to be in a similar situation as you in a year. I'm planning on choosing where I want to go based upon culture and what experience would be best for me, in terms of what cultures it would be most enlightening/helpful to be at least somewhat immersed in. For me, that's what a study abroad program should be about. Once that's done -- especially in the Spanish/English speaking world (minus colonies,) is shouldn't be hard to find a university with some sort of technical course.

So I guess what I'm saying is, what's the point in studying abroad if your primary concern is the quality of your coursework? Nothing in the english/spanish world has the same opportunities in CS as the US, with few exceptions.

Re:Studying Abroad, or studying Computer Science? (4, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245415)

Nothing in the english/spanish world has the same opportunities in CS as the US, with few exceptions.

Which leads into my question: where is he currently studying? If the answer is MIT then your exceptions, the big names in Europe, - Oxbridge; Imperial College, London; Complutense de Madrid - are options. If it's somewhere no-one outside his state has heard of, the suitable suggestions are considerably different.

Re:Studying Abroad, or studying Computer Science? (-1, Troll)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245433)

Nothing in the english/spanish world has the same opportunities in CS as the US, with few exceptions.

Cambridge university isn't in Massachusetts, fatty.

Re:Studying Abroad, or studying Computer Science? (2, Informative)

olafva (188481) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245467)

My nephew studied at a top notch "foreign" University, McGill [] in Momtreal. McGill ranks right up there with Harvard & MIT according to the The Gourman Report [] . You may find the Gourman Report useful in selecting a university with rated computer science curricula.

However, in the long, run two things you may consider:
1. CS alone may be "not enough" for good jobs now or in the future. Consider a strong related minor or additional major (say science, business, etc. ) to boost you marketable skills. CS, like Math is a required skill for the vast majority of the best future jobs, Don't think what's past is prologue for the future.
2. The best philosophy is probably to study hard now (get 2 majors in the U.S,) and leave travel to later or summers. When you look for a job, I doubt that studying in a foreign country is likely to add much, if any. It may even raise questions as to your diligence and motivation toward your career rather than fun.

Re:Studying Abroad, or studying Computer Science? (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245527)

> It may even raise questions as to your diligence and motivation toward your career rather than fun.

Who cares? Honestly, would you want to work for a company that wouldn't hire you because you took half a year to come in contact with a whole different culture and grow as a person? Let them know you work to live and not the other way round.

Re:Studying Abroad, or studying Computer Science? (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245585)

Or maybe computer engineering with it? I figure then you'd have the "I understand" (CS) and the "I know how to do it" (CE) degrees.

Or you could go business, but business is for for gifted genetically-engineered monkeys whose brains don't work at maximum capacity. Of course, it pays the bills, and hey he still makes more than Fry.

Re:Studying Abroad, or studying Computer Science? (2, Interesting)

upuv (1201447) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245587)

I'll let you in on a secret. If your plan on getting a degree and going straight into work, you don't really have to concern your self to much with the quality of the course work.

As with in a year or two of starting employment you either have it or you don't. The people with the natural skill always bubble to the top no matter where they are from.

Also on initial employment during the interview phase foreign workers are typically automatically given a leg up on the locals. In most countries employers have figured out the foreign workers work harder.

Oh and the comment about the US having the best CS education. Stop reading American ratings. It's simply not true. The quality of the end result graduate is what matters. I have employed people from many many countries. There is very little that differentiates the quality of the candidate. The biggest issues with foreign workers are 1. English language skills, and the most annoying 2. Culturally indoctrinated fear of failure. ( Fear of failure results in employees lying about skills, completion times, and work completeness. Drives me nuts. If you can't do it SAY SO! we will work around it. )

Re:Studying Abroad, or studying Computer Science? (1)

upuv (1201447) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245645)

Oh I'll add. That most new employment for new graduates these days is through an contract organization. Thus the end customer rarely actually sees your resume/CV.

The customer could care less what school you came from. They only care that the contract organization delivers on the contract. The contractor in typical fashion only wants to make sure they have a man/woman in the chair for billable hours.

So you use these contract organizations to help you create a network of contacts in the customer base. Then when you have matured as worker you can move to direct employment easier.

I've poached many a good employee out of the contractor pool.

Re:Studying Abroad, or studying Computer Science? (1)

scheme (19778) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245665)

So I guess what I'm saying is, what's the point in studying abroad if your primary concern is the quality of your coursework? Nothing in the english/spanish world has the same opportunities in CS as the US, with few exceptions.

I think studying in a foreign is something that you really should do. That way you'll realize that yes, the rest of the world has good educational opportunities and institutions. Unless you're attending someplace like MIT or Stanford, quite a few foreign universities match or beat anything you're attending. Between places like Oxford, Cambridge, Max Planck Institute, Ãcoles Normales Supérieures, undergrads can certainly find places that'll teach them cs.

Study Abroad Program (1)

madhurms (736552) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245307)

You should talk with your study abroad program counselor. They will have a list of all international universities they do an exchange program with. If you go through them, you wont even have to pay for either tutions or lodging (staying). They can even provide you with list of students who went to other countries and you can talk to them for more details (culture, studies, etc).

Take Electives Overseas (1)

phat_goat (836325) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245315)

While i'm certain that you can find overseas CS courses, i haven't come across any so I cant give any advice in that area, although i was contemplating the same question last year, I go to the University of Washington and wanted to travel and study abroad, so I took a communications course overseas(Studying tourism :) Hopefully you still have to fill elective requirements for your school(I saved all of mine so that i could take easy courses with the famously difficult ones), if you do, find something fun and take that, I went to Switzerland and made several industry contacts(Parallels Virtualization).

Abroad? (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245319)

Where, exactly? If you expect classes in English, then you betta' stay/study in the USA.

Learn Chinese...that will go a long ways towards improving your net worth in the mean time.

Re:Abroad? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245349)

Where, exactly? If you expect classes in English, then you betta' stay/study in the USA.

Or, you know, someplace like England where English originated. Unless y'all totally insist on learning in American, like you know?

Re:Abroad? (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245373)

Yeah, since British English is the primary language of programmers, engineers and technical writers worldwide - that and British CS schools rule!

Re:Abroad? (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245471)

Yeah, since British English is the primary language of programmers

Odd thing is, we can understand perfectly when you lot use word like pants and vests and pavements wrongly, whereas you lot get hopelessly confused when you hear the slightest pronunciation difference.

Re:Abroad? (1)

ralphdaugherty (225648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245803)

...whereas you lot get hopelessly confused...

      unless you say y'all I'll be hopelessly confused. :)

      actually was stationed in England for over two years in Air Force and never did figure out all the lingo you guys use. But enjoyed my stay there immensely. Great people.


Re:Abroad? (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245521)

Personally, I've never understood the appeal of studying somewhere that speaks your native language. I suppose it would be much easier, but you won't walk away fluent in another language to write down on your CV.

Re:Abroad? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245367)

Not quite. In my university (Uppsala, Sweden) for example, most higher level courses are taught in English, the teachers and students are fluent in English, and there is a vibrant international community. The computer science program here is not bad, but I'd say it really doesn't matter... going abroad for a term or two will give you friends and contacts for life, invaluable experience and a much, much more attractive CV. So, just go for it!

(Shameless plug: studying at swedish universities is totally free, except for a nominal 40$ students union fee =)

Re:Abroad? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245539)

I saw a news story recently about a guy who went from the US to Finland to study - they said it was free - similar to what you just mentioned.

I'm curious about how this works, what kind of restrictions exist, etc. For example - could a 40 year old American who already has a degree go to Sweden and get this same deal? What kind of visa is required and does it allow students to work?

It just seems that if it as simple as has been described that a lot more people would be doing it.


Re:Abroad? (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245627)

(Shameless plug: studying at swedish universities is totally free, except for a nominal 40$ students union fee =)

I thought that was only if you were a swedish citizen?

Last time I was in Sweden (this summer actually) I was told by one of my uncles that you'd have to pay your tuition like in a north american school unless you were a citizen, and citizenship takes 5 years and student years don't count.

I wouldn't mind Sweden though if it weren't for the welfare state politics... Then again, a student should be happy in a world of government assistance. I thought about the Royal Institute of Technology (somebody told me it was also called "Cote Haute"?...) but not knowing Swedish, and being a "francophile" isn't very helpful in Sweden. I was able to understand almost all the Swedish I read (not so much heard, just lightly) but not able to reply back, so unless it's as English as you say it wouldn't be very enjoyable.

An option is an option though. It's not like I'm too decided on Canadian universities either.

Re:Abroad? (2, Informative)

Krilomir (29904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245451)

Where, exactly? If you expect classes in English, then you betta' stay/study in the USA.

I'm from Denmark, and I graduated in computer science a few months ago from the University of Aarhus. All courses after the first year are required to be thought in English. Heck, we use American textbooks in most of our second and third year courses. But hey, if you ever come to Denmark, then don't spend all your time studying. That's not what going abroad for 6-12 months is all about. Make some new friends, go drinking and partying, pass your courses of courses, and come home with something cool to put on your CV :)

Re:Abroad? (2, Informative)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245473)

You really can't learn Chinese (written) in just a year or two.

Unless you're really a genius.

It's my first language, and I remember vividly the horrors of spending primary school cramping the characters into my memory. Worse, there are still plenty of characters that I can't reliably recall how to write (reading is much easier).

I've heard that spoken Chinese is much easier to learn for foreigners since there's few grammatical constructs.

Europe is dying; Go to Asia/Mis-East (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245663)

Well, Europe is dying.
Just a simple demographic fact. They (and Canada and the Blue States) chose not to have enough children to replace the portion of the population who is dying. Instead what they chose to do was import youth from the middle-east. And how are those people assimilating? What assimilation is racist and not something done in our multi-cultural world? Silly me.
You'll notice when riots erupt in Europe (Greece aside) the news refers to the rioters as "youths", not Muslims, not immigrants, even though those terms would be more correct (although many are Europe born, now) because that might lead to "racist" conclusions. But the term "youths" is more revealing. Those rioters are the future of Europe. They are the future owners of Europe talking load and clear about how things are going to change once they take over. Like house buyers talking about remodeling the kitchen. How do you think those "youths" are going to treat the welfare state created by the ageing atheist population of Europe?
The future of Europe is a brown hand pulling a white life support plug out of the wall.

Instead, you have Asia and the middle East. Many engineers I work with are Iranian. Granted the elder ones left when the Shah was deposed (and will talk to you for an hour at the mere mention of current (not I avoided the term "modern") Iran.
The Middle East has the money and the excess population to export it and build the empire they have long dreamed of.
In the late-21st century the Middle East will be a super-power or at least the equivalent of early 20th century Europe (collectively a super-power, but individually split into rival states).
And, if the EU becomes a power, it will only be because the Middle East demographically conquered it.

Asia likewise has the money and population.
Although, I would avoid Japan. They also have decided to not reproduce. The future belongs to those who show-up and like native Europeans, the Japanese have decided it isn't worth having their children show-up.
China has a demographic problem (too many men) that will likely solve itself in an unpleasant way (too many men needing to prove themselves to a much smaller number, and therefore more selective group, of women, historically has resulted in wars). But there are too many of them to go away. And, they have the benefit of a mature fascist government (it hasn't been Communist in a long time), that does some very long term strategic planning. They have done an excellent job of buying the oil routes that Japan went to war over in the 1940s.
India also has a massive population. Labour is cheap. They mostly speak English. Their government is far more chaotic than China's but I am sure they will do well enough.

So, You may look to study in India. English. Comp Sci. Optimistic economic future.
Or you can hitch your wagon to a dying culture, Europe. It would be easier. But far less rewarding. ... And who knows, if you're young enough you may get to riot.

Re:Europe is dying; Go to Asia/Mis-East (2, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245827)

Well, Europe is dying.

I need proof of this from a reliable source; has Netcraft confirmed it?

Ask your counselor, not slashdot (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245325)

Note that if you are looking to earn a degree, the courses that you take must be accredited by the institution that you want a degree from. Your major counselor should be able to tell you if there are foreign universities that they will accept CS credits from, and if so those are the only choices you really have. Otherwise be aware that simply going abroad to study does not mean that it will count towards your graduation at home.

Study Abroad FTW (2, Insightful)

Khakionion (544166) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245333)

I went to Australia and Japan for grad school, can't recommend it highly enough. Not only was my program great, but the international experience is invaluable. You owe it to yourself to spend at least a year studying abroad, whether it adds to your technical degree or not.

Re:Study Abroad FTW (1)

phlyingpenguin (466669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245629)

Did you do that through a school in your home country (I assume US?) or just applying to schools in AUS/JPN? Also, how was the Japanese school set up? I've seen a few "english language" grad degrees floating around private universities there, but haven't been too sure about how all of that worked. I always figure that whatever school I go to in the states will have some kind of options to send me away, but it seems like just applying to a foreign school would be better. Thoughts?

Ask your school... (3, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245335)

Have you asked your school? Most schools have a study abroad office dedicated directly to this [] . Some schools even have a program setup specifically for certain majors [] paired up with other universities.

You could also look at a Maymester or Summer program. It would let you travel while not having to take a semester off from school.

because like any other engineering degree, I have to take technical courses every semester

I was unaware of this 'requirement' at my school. As long as I got X classes done by graduation they didn't care when I took it.

I don't ever remember this in my

Re:Ask your school... (1)

x-caiver (458687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245503)

Yea, my school (UF) didn't have a 'you must take an engineering course every semester' requirement, but some classes did have pre-requisite courses so if you missed a semester you could get yourself in to a crunch at the end.

Most people would do their study-abroad as a summer program, take care of some random electives (language and history requirements were the favorites) and then not have 'lost' any time in their yearly progression.

Newcastle, UK (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245339)

I went abroad for a semester to Newcastle University [] in the UK. I placed out of my first year in CS, so that made it much easier for me, though I couldn't afford to do the whole year. I took core classes (I go to a liberal arts school) and had an absolute blast.

Newcastle is a science school. In fact, one of my friends over there is a CS major. The European CS curricula are far more formal than what we have here in the states, however. They're really teaching Computer Science, while my program is really more Software Engineering. If that's the case for you as well, don't even think about trying to take CS classes in Europe.

Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245347)

Australian Universities engage in both study abroad and exchange programs. The former being you pay tuition direct to the university in Australia, the later being you pay tuition at your home university and exchange places with an Australian student.

  Its a safe bet that every university in .au offers engineering/Comp Sci degrees. But you would be better advised to stick to the larger institutions as they have a wider range of courses. The group of eight ( are our eight best institutions. Lastly, and, most important of all be sure to brush up on techniques to bypass madatory internet filters.

Yeah, England. (2, Informative)

dave_d (22165) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245359)

Uhh, it's been 12 years or so, but I studied abroad in Lancaster University in England. They had computer science courses - they're taught in English, and were interesting and had a bit of variety from what I had in the states. I'm sure there's lots of colleges/universities abroad that have c.s courses, but Lancaster had a study abroad relationship with my college so, heh, it was good. Was it worthwhile? Well, yeah, the experience was invaluable, but not so much for the c.s courses, though they were good, but for the experience living abroad in a different culture.

Re:Yeah, England. (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245569)

>but I studied abroad in Lancaster University in England. They had computer science courses - they're taught in English

What other language would they have been taught in?

Spain (2, Informative)

togashi06 (1013825) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245383)

If you speak Spanish, why not Spain? Our "Ingenieria Informatica" is pretty much the same as your CS, I think. And we have lots of pretty girls ;)

Re:Spain (3, Informative)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245545)

And yet, he'd have a million problems getting the Spanish credits accepted back in the US. Not to mention all the fun of big classes, teachers that don't care, tests designed to make people fail, and an outdated curriculum.

I actually moved to the US after seeing the awful world of Spanish state universities. Some foreigners enjoy themselves in classes designed mostly for them, but for core courses? It always ends up being a mistake.

He could try SLU's Madrid Campus, an American university in Spain, but I don't think they offer enough CS classes to make it worthwhile, unless he's already expecting to 'waste' a semester.

Go for it, I did it (2, Interesting)

mikej_bsu (1439977) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245403)

I was a computer science major and studied overseas twice. One term in London and another term in Vienna. I wasn't able to take classes related to my major, but it was a great opportunity to knock out those dreaded general study courses you have to take. The general study courses seemed to be easier overseas because they try to focus you on maximizing your cultural experiences and travels, and less emphasis on the courses. Even if it makes you take some summer courses to make up for it, it is worth it. You won't get the opportunity to enjoy the world at a young age as well as the significant discounts being a student abroad.

Helsinki University of Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245417)

AFAIK, studying in the Finnish universities is open to anybody anywhere in the world and it's virtually free of charge. Only you have to pass the entrance exam like every other applicant and you have to prove you can support yourself without working.

Teaching is world-class and you can finish the curriculum in English (or any other language approved by the professor; exams have been taken in Farsi, for example). Virtually all study material is in English for Finnish-speakers as well.

Internship abroad maybe? (1)

thereofone (1287878) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245425)

You would get more free time to take in your surroundings, applied experience and a different class of references, at the very least. You would also have the benefit of a shorter duration if it ended up being not your bag.

In the UK, try Cambridge, York, Warwick... (5, Informative)

salimma (115327) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245437)

... Edinburgh, Imperial College, or perhaps Manchester (they have one of the earliest electronic computer, still in working order). There's also Canada -- Waterloo has a renowned engineering program.

Not sure if Cambridge does exchange programs, but if you're abroad for a year instead of a semester, their Part II CS tripos is quite gruelling; it's basically a complete undergrad education done in one year, usually taken by people who already have a degree in related fields (e.g. math or physics).

In the UK, my rule of thumb is: if they teach a functional language then they are decent. Edinburgh is where Standard ML was written (and Phil Wadler is in the faculty) -- oh, and is really good for Artificial Intelligence research too, so naturally, they're quite heavily into Prolog too. Cambridge also uses ML; York uses Scheme and Haskell. Warwick -- ML, I guess.

There's also the location to consider. Imperial is in London -- good place to be, but accomodation might be tough. Edinburgh is in, well, Edinburgh -- lovely place, a bit cold in winter, but not as bad as the northern parts of the US. York is on the east coast line, so it's less than three hours from either London or Edinburgh by fast train. Warwick, despite the name, is not in the quaint mediaeval town of Warwick, but in nearby Coventry (they obviously thought naming it the University of Coventry would not be good for business). Not far from London and Birmingham, though.

Re:In the UK, try Cambridge, York, Warwick... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245733)

University of Hertfordshire CS department is one of the largest and oldest in the UK and does LISP, Schema and Haskell and is very close to, but outside of London (20 mins on train to get to central London, but a lot, lot cheaper)

Someone at your school can help you (2, Interesting)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245441)

This question is more appropriate for someone at your school. Do you have a Study Abroad Office or something similar? They could help you out. Or ask your academic advisor (please tell me it's not just small schools like mine that have them)--he or she would be able to figure out if something could work for you.

I'm assuming you're going to a big university or technical school. I am a computer science major at a small liberal arts college in the midwest, and at my school studying abroad is really no big deal no matter what your major. I, in fact, am leaving for a Spanish-language immersion trip to Mexico in about a week. I won't be doing any computer science, but, as others have said, there's no that reason you (like I will be doing) couldn't do some of your gen ed requirements while you're away. Again, your school or your advisor would be able to figure out what would work for you.

Additionally, you could look into a summer program, such as ones offered by ISA (or other organizations whose names I have forgotten...), or perhaps a January program if your school has a long enough winter break (no such luck here, as we have January term). Good luck!

Sweden (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245445)

Chalmers in GÃteborg Sweden - most cs classes are offered in English as there is a large populous of non-swedes in the graduate programs.

What about Valparaiso, Chile? (2, Interesting)

nbarriga (877070) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245449)

Informatics Engineering programs in Chile are similar to CS + SE in the US. Check [] for one of the best engineering universities in Chile, and the best for CS. Also Valparaiso/Vin~a del Mar are great places to live.

A few suggestions (1)

yumscience (1439987) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245457)

Your study abroad office probably has lists of schools your university is affiliated with. While this is not a fully limiting factor, these programs often make credit transfer easiest. Try looking for International Development programs in science / engineering as well - your school might offer programs in English in various locations, even if you don't have language familiarity. I think my university has programs in Japan, China, India, Egypt, among others. A few programs that might work for you: Spain: Barcelona has various programs Chile: Pontificia Universidad CatÃlica de Chile - very highly ranked in South America England: Various options: Queen Mary, Oxford, Cambridge perhaps Scotland: Edinburgh is a great school and the city itself is really nice as well Australia: Melbourne, Sydney, many others with solid programs Hong Kong: A friend is studying there at the U. of Science and Technology and really enjoys it Good luck!

Speaking from experience (3, Informative)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245461)

I'm in a similar position to you, actually. For me, I realized that by working hard I could pretty much finish my degree requirements by the end of my third year of school (which I will do). So, that left me with two "open" semesters in my Senior year that I'm going to use to finish up general college requirements, take more advanced CS classes. While it seems like it's impossible to finish all of those requirements, it's actually not that difficult I think. The reason that this is important is that you probably shouldn't expect to get credit to transfer back for technical courses you do abroad and instead use it as an opportunity to fulfill those liberal arts requirements if you have any.

The next bit of advice I have is to talk with your professors in your department and ask for their recommendations. At my school, the director of undergraduate curricula is the one that was most helpful to me, so maybe you could try to talk to an equivalent at your school. He or she will not only be familiar with the undergraduate requirements for CS, they'll probably also be the one who will be able to approve or reject credit you receive abroad as it applies to filling your major requirements. Additionally, they will probably know about other students from your school who have studied abroad before.

Ok, to answer your question about actual programs abroad, here are some places. To be fair, in the end I decided (for the time being anyway) not to study abroad for personal reasons. Anyway, my school (UNC-Chapel Hill) has a study abroad program particularly for CS majors between us and UCL (University College of London). Oftentimes even if a study abroad program is not offered at your university, you can arrange to do a program through another university, so if you're interested in this particular one let me know and I can get you more information. Additionally, I was considering and know friends who have gone to National University of Singapore, which also has a strong CS college.

My bigger point is this: don't expect too much out of study abroad from an academic point of view. There's just so much complication between different teaching systems, credit transfers, and potentially different languages that you're better off approaching it as an opportunity to learn things completely different than your normal semester's fare in the CS dept. Good luck!

study abroad office (1)

hibernia (35746) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245485)

Regardless of what is said here (pros/cons of going), talk to your school's study abroad office before applying for a program (your school's or another's).

Some schools have a number of hoops that need to be jumped through, financial aid status, etc.

At the least, they can walk you through the process of getting course equivalents set up, before going, so when you transfer the credit in you have things signed by faculty in your school saying the courses will count to your degree.

Europe: Sweden (1)

perlhacker14 (1056902) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245489)

My cousin spent some time in Sweden, I don't remember where, but he said the program was very good, and perhaps better than the American University he attended (not Ivy league, but fairly close). It did cost him some money, but was ultimately worth it for him.
For those of you who bring up India, I have a colleague who came from there; unless you get into the IIT's (Ind Inst of Tech), don't bother.
Personally, unless you find a program of similar or better quality and name, I cannot see why you would want to go. That said, Sweden is a good idea from what I have heard.

Quebec (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245491)

If you're not intimidated by learning ANOTHER language you could take a course at McGill or Laval, where you can take courses in alternating English and French or just French. French isn't that much different than Spanish on a grammatical level and is similar to English on a vocabulary level.

On the plus, Quebec as a province has a very strong engineering program. You can also readily recieve English assistance.

Simply ask your student course director. (1)

upuv (1201447) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245493)

This is fairly straight forward.

Simply go to the school you are currently at and ask. The question is. Which schools abroad do you accept course credit from? Then from that short list make your choice.

Took me all of 1 day to figure out where I was going to go when I did it. It costs a fortune to study abroad but it well worth it.

Study in Ireland (2, Informative)

pmagrath (980461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245511)

One option is to study in Ireland. Trinity College Dublin ( is one of the top 50 universities in the world (see,_Dublin [] ) and has a Computer Science ( faculty which is recognised by Microsoft, Google and Intel as the best on the island as well as one of the foremost in English speaking Europe. I'm in my final year of the Computer Science course and can testify that the course is very good. Also, the large number of foreign students, both American and European, who visit for semesters all seem to leave happy.

Some similar things.... (1)

Anthony Rosequist (1110043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245525)

It is hard for Computer Science majors to find traditional semester-long study abroad opportunities. However, there are plenty of opportunities for slightly different things that let you be overseas AND learn more about CompSci.

This last summer, I participated in the International Summer School on Grid Computing (link to the '08 site [] ). They do it in a different place every summer ('07 was Sweden, '08 was Hungary, I think '09 is France). It's short (2 weeks long), but it was still a great experience. Plus, OSG paid for all of the American students. I didn't have to ask my university (or myself) for a dime.

There are lots of other opportunities, too. Last year, PIRE started undergraduate research abroad (link for 2009 [] ). Fully paid, and you get a little stipend to help out.

Start searching for "intern abroad" or "research abroad" and you'll find many different opportunities. Most of them aren't a full semester and often fall in the summer (and rarely offer school credit), but you'll still get a great education and a chance to see great places.

"Do it. Don't think about it, just do it." (1)

Arrakiv (1272134) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245529)

... The advice my friend gave me when I considered it. I'm not CS, but my friend who went along with me to Japan was and I guarantee you'll get a recommendation from both of us. Not to mention everyone else else who participated in the program. In Japan, there's a program up in Sendai where you'll be able to do research in fields such as engineering and CS, which could be directly beneficial to your degree. But, even if you don't have classes that directly relate to what you want to do with your life, the experience will be entirely worthwhile regardless. You'll learn a lot about yourself, the world, and you'll get a rather impressive little thing to add to a resume. So, yeah. Do it.

Look at Edinburgh University, in Scotland (4, Informative)

imac75 (161912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245543)

Edinburgh University has a very strong Computer Science Course, plus it is in a great city, I know a lot of US people how have studied at edinburgh for a year so it shouldn't be a problem.
If you have never visited Scotland then you are missing out. Lets start with the important things. The drinking age is 18 :)

Australia, New Zealand or Ireland (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245571)

My picks would be Australia, New Zealand or Ireland. All three have multiple Universities with strong CompSci departments, and I've heard good things from Americans studying CompSci, Math or Physics in all three countries. High course fees for international students are the main disadvantage.

why not just travel freely? (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245583)

Here's another question -- why study computer science abroad? Why not just backpack around South America during one of your breaks? Visit Macchu Picchu and neat stuff like that.

Are you looking to get something out of studying abroad rather than just travel? An extended stay, deeper contacts with the local citizens?

Boston University has ENG study abroad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245595)

Boston University has a well-developed study abroad program run through the college of engineering. Students take equivalent courses in English in any of a number of countries (Germany and Israel come to mind), designed to fit into the regular curriculum.

In this way, computer engineers, for example, can get a study abroad experience without losing time in their curriculum.

Come to France : Ecole Polytechnique (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245617)

THE French school for geeks by all standards : most top CEOs in France are graduates. They have CS in English, it's free, as an American, you could even pickup the girls there. Apply for a master's at

Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245621)

It would probably help if you specified where you are now. The definition of "abroad" generally depends on the starting point.

You could try the Netherlands (1)

WoLpH (699064) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245675)

Almost everyone around here is able to speak and understand english enough to get around (actually, the complaint I always hear from foreigners is that everyone speaks english so they can't learn Dutch) and all the Computer Science Master courses are given in English. And from my experience, the Bachelors are also given in English if there's even a single non-dutch student in the room ;)

Re:You could try the Netherlands (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245775)

Aye. I study CS at a Dutch university and only one of my books was in Dutch (and it was not CS-related). The rest was in English. I won't suggest we're the only non-engiish country that does this (and it doesn't apply to all studies), but it is a good indication of how well students are expected to speak English :).

Singapore (4, Interesting)

mercurialmale (928377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245703)

Singapore is pretty much the perfect choice:
  1. Good CS programs: Two great universities with well-regarded CS programs - NTU [] and NUS []
  2. Language: All classes are in English; most people speak English (it's quirky Singlish [] , but you'll get by)
  3. Infrastructure: The country and both schools have excellent infrastructure and your basic living comforts would be similar to or better than in the US
  4. Travel and exposure: It's cheap and easy to explore neighboring countries (Malysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, China, India, Korea, etc). You can experience a rich diversity of cultures solely through weekend getaways
  5. Diversity: Singapore itself is pretty diverse - you can experience elements of Chinese, Indian and other cultures within the city-state.
  6. It's not "the West": Chances are, you have visited or will visit Europe anyway. Singapore will expose you to an entirely different worldview. Yet, you will not sacrifice basic comforts that you take for granted in the US

Full disclosure - I am an NTU alumnus.

Definitely do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245713)

I studied abroad in Madrid the spring of my junior year, taking Spanish, Spanish history, Spanish culture, and Flamenco dance for my courses. I can't begin to tell you what a fantastic experience this was. The courses themselves were nice, but they only helped facilitate cultural immersion.

I got myself in a bit of a pickle because I hadn't declared my major as CS until my junior year, but with one summer class I graduated on time and landed a job at Amazon.

While I can't speak for the credit requirements of your school, I can tell you that it's worth it to study abroad, no matter what lengths you have to go to. Talk to a study abroad coordinator and make it work!

Guadalajara, Mexico (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245737)

There are 2 good tech colleges in Guadalajara, Mexico. I can't remember what they are, but when I visited a customer (auto supplier), a couple of guys gave us a quick tour of the city... and of course pointed out the engineering schools that they went to. Also, you would like Guadalajara, it's a nice city with a strong economy and lots of pretty girls.
(I had to mention that because it was extremely noticeable) Good luck on your search!

ITESM in Mexico (1)

mkirsch (736318) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245739)

ITESM is a very well recognized technical university with several campuses all over Mexico. It is regarded as the MIT of Latin America and has many students from all over the world. Many U.S. companies recruit over there, including MS and Google. Right now I work in a large tech company in Austin and we have many engineers from this school. They're top notch. You should check that one out.

University of Cambridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245741)

Cambridge [] is where it's at. The original Cambridge that is, not the copycat in Massachusetts. ;)

The case for Chile (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245745)

First of all I think is great that as an engineering student you want to study abroad (an underrepresented degree in study abroad programs). Having done my undergrad there, I highly suggest Universidad Catolica in Santiago, Chile ( The CS department has a lot of technical courses ( and the school was visited by abet ( The teaching system is very similar to the one in the States (I'm doing grad school in California). It will give you an opportunity to practice your Spanish and the country is packed with great destinations.

JAPAN!! (1)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245763)

from it's cultural richness to its school girls and robots
just be in the lookout for -and avoid if possible- tentacle rape!

Utrecht or somewhere in the Netherlands? (1)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245767)

I am not Dutch but I've traveled to the Netherlands. It's an awesome country with people who speak multiple languages, including English without any accent. Utrecht, IIRC, is the tech hub of the Netherlands with an university [] that offers computer science courses. See if you can take a course there. You'll meet some very friendly people and taste great beer while being able to travel easily throughout Europe. Plus there's also a bunch of American students there, which could be a good thing depending on what you want.

Open University (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245781)

Maybe a few residential courses from OU [] would be interesting.

Study Abroad (5, Interesting)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245783)

Has anybody here from the US studied abroad while doing computer science? Was it worthwhile? Or anyone from outside the United States recommend a university program?

I have a BS in CS and I studied abroad for a year in London. However, I didn't take a single class relevant to my degree. When I left for London, I needed 2 CS classes to graduate. Basically, I transferred to another school, took their (awesome) study abroad program. Lived with a host family. Networked with people from all over Europe. Had the best time of my life. And met my French fiancee.

I more than doubled my student debt to do it (it's not cheap) but it was worth it. I didn't care about not having a CS class though I did well in all the classes I did take. I also joined the Rugby (Union) team of my college. Damn, it was a great time. I love Jolly Old London (Twickenham technically).

I'd recommend doing it. Heck, if you even have to ask, then I think you're probably wanting it enough that you should do it.

It has nothing to do with that you learn in the class room and everything about what you experience. Some of the best courses I had where the History courses offered at my England college.

Don't study abroad to take CS courses. Study abroad to experience a different culture and meet new people. Even if it's just an American in London, there's a lot to learn.

Even if it means, basically, taking a semester or year off of your normal course work to do it. Just know that it isn't cheap and that it's really something you want to do. I've seen several people on my study abroad program who did it and clearly didn't want to do it and wasted the entire trip crying in their bedrooms over missing boy/girlfriends.

Bon Chance!

ps. Know what you're looking for when studying abroad. Is it just a location? Or do you really want to integrate into the host country? Many programs out there are nothing but a school of Americans, secluded in an area, and you don't get much integration into the country. If you're reasonable good in a 2nd language consider a country with that a primary language. If you're not, fear not to go to an English speaking school (England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, etc.)

Don't study abroad if you're trying to focus on school work. That's NOT what it's about. Stay in the States and focus on your classes and your grades if that's what matters. You study abroad to experience life in a different place. Take classes that will expand on this experience. You don't want to be stuck in a computer lab for 40 hours a week to finish a programming project, when you can see the Tower de Eiffel from your window, kind of thing.

Costa Rica (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245791)

You should consider Costa Rica.
You'll find CR is well thought of as a tourist destination and the education is top notch. It also has the benefit of being nearshore.

The Instituto TecnolÃgico and Universidad de Costa Rica both have excellent computer science programs (the first one is probably better).

Just do it. Go abroad, whatever you have to do. (3, Insightful)

trainsnpep (608418) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245793)

I'm a senior CS student at Rice University who studied abroad the first semester of my sophomore year. The hoops you have to jump through to study abroad are worth it.

You probably don't really need to take technical courses every semester: there may be a light one with courses you can put off. I had to take a 3 week summer course and adjust my schedule a bit, but I made it to Florence, Italy for a semester. If you absolutely cannot go abroad for a full semester, do a summer program or go after you graduate (I knew a kid who graduated, then still went abroad for the experience).

Decide what school you want to go to based on whether you want to experience the culture or drink. A lot of the schools built for studying abroad have people who just go abroad to drink. I was at one of those schools although I would've liked more cultural things and less drinking. It's up to you.

I took no technical courses while abroad. I actually fulfilled a number of university requirements (arts and social sciences).

Make sure you clear all the courses you're going to take with your advisor: they should know you might be taking a semester off of CS. Make sure that you also get any classes you want to transfer approved beforehand. Get signatures.

(It may actually be cheaper to go abroad if you're currently going to a private school. If you have scholarships, some of them may pay for you to go abroad)

If you can't find some time to go, you don't want it bad enough. Feel free to contact me if you have any more specific questions.

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