International Engineering Program

Year Abroad

Study, work, explore, and live abroad

A global training ground for engineers

Vanessa Kamara, BME/GIEP, visiting Stuttgart, Germany

Photo courtesy of Vanessa Kamara

As part of the International Engineering Program, you do not just learn global engineering–you live it.

Students spend their fourth year in the program abroad, spending one semester at a partner university studying engineering, language, and culture. The IEP curriculum provides a high level of preparation so that they feel confident living in another culture and speaking a second language every day. Students have the chance to visit some of the greatest cultural attractions in the world from the Great Wall in China in the East to the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile in the West. As they gain a deeper appreciation for our closely connected world, students grow personally and professionally.

An international internship

Erik Pelletier MCE/GIEP, and his supervisors with the BMW concept car at the research center in Munich


Following their study abroad, students spend a semester interning for a global engineering company while continuing to hone their language skills in a specialized language course. We’ve placed about 1000 students in internships with companies in Germany, France, Italy, China, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Canada, and Austria. IEP students have worked for global companies like BMW, Bayer, Hasbro, Johnson & Johnson, Siemens, Boston Scientific, and Schneider Electric.


International Engineering Program students are subject to the IEP Year Abroad Program Policies as well as the University’s Study Abroad Policies and Procedures as outlined by The Office of International Education. In order to be eligible for the year abroad, you must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5, be in good academic standing and demonstrate proficiency in your target language. You must have the approval of your IEP Director, your language advisor, in order to participate.

Preparing for Your Year Abroad

Preparing for the year abroad in a stress-free way takes many months of planning, starting the fall before you depart, depending on the visa and travel considerations of your destination. Preparation meetings for the year abroad begin a year prior to your departure and are conducted by IEP Directors. IEP students will work closely with their IEP director–or language advisor–to obtain admission as an exchange student at a partner institution, secure an internship placement, and prepare for their time abroad.

Planning Guides

The following language sections offer detailed guidelines for planning your year abroad experience:         

Students will also work with their Engineering department coordinator, and a global education advisor in the Office of International Education. In addition to the documentation and processes required of IEP, there are materials that all URI students must also complete and submit to the URI Office of International Education (OIE). For information on the application process, policies and deadlines, please review the OIE website.

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