My name is Connor Skibeness; I’m a mechanical engineering student. Studying abroad in Madrid, Spain at the Universidad Ponitificia Comillas – ICAI changed my views, ambitions, and personality. It was an intimidating notion at first, because the only thing you know going in, is that you won’t be the same when you are finished. There are an infinite number of exciting opportunities that can arise while living in another country; and for a short period of time you are granted the chance to navigate through a small portion of them.
A few pieces of my 8 month journey included researching nuclear waste management, sleeping in the middle of the Merzouga Desert, and making incredible friends from around the world. Just south of Madrid is the Imperial City of Toledo, with its famous Alcazar (left, by my head) and Cathedral. While I wasn’t able to attend our reunion in Nice, France this past summer, I will be headed to Turkey in July to attend my roommates wedding, which is just one more example of how study abroad enables you to partake in so much more than you could ever have dreamed of. I did some recruiting for Boise State while I was there, as you can see.
I encourage everyone to partake in studying abroad through the Global Engineering Education Exchange. The most common reservations I hear from interested engineers are price and credits transferring back to BSU. Both of these concerns are non-issues with the GE^3 exchange program which offers placement in an engineering program abroad at the same tuition rate they pay here in Idaho.
Anyway, I lied when I said “the only thing you know going in, is that you won’t be the same when you are finished”, because you can also count on the fact that every second will be enjoyable- even when you have to sleep at an outdoor train station overnight or can only afford to eat bread for a few days- because you spent your food budget on a bungee jump from a gondola in Switzerland!