Dr. Katherine Raymond, BME Study Abroad Coordinator
When is the best time for BME students to go abroad? (e.g. spring of sophomore, fall and/or spring of junior, fall of senior)
Probably fall of the junior year if only one semester. However, fall semester at many EU schools does not end until mid-January. This presents a problem for students trying to return in time for the start of spring semester here. The senior thesis project (integrated with BMEN 4900-4910) usually begins in the spring semester of the junior year, but can be delayed until the summer or fall of the senior year. Arrangements for the senior thesis project are best made prior to leaving for JYA. Additionally, the fall semester curriculum for juniors includes courses that are adequately taught in non-BME specific curricula. This gives flexibility in choice of institutions abroad.
What requirements should a student complete prior to going abroad?
The student should consult with his/her faculty advisor before leaving in order to minimize the impact of missing prerequisites of required courses. Generally this issue is best handled on a case-by-case basis and requires developing a curricular plan outlining the balance of the undergraduate career.
Do you or other members of your department recommend specific institutions abroad? If so, which ones?
In general, we have no preferred institutions. A school that has no offering of technical courses is less desirable than one with offerings that can fit into our curriculum. Careful advance planning could make it possible to take only liberal arts courses overseas, but it is difficult to do this. The student, along with the faculty advisor, should choose the institution with the student's background and career goals in mind. That said, we've had several students at Imperial College in London, and have been able to find courses that are suitable for Junior year including Anatomy and Physiology, Fluid Mechanics, etc.
What graduation requirements can not be completed abroad?
Graduation requirements that are difficult or impossible to meet abroad are Research and Professional Practice, BMEN 4900-4910, and Team Design Projects, BMEN 4030-4040. Other BME-specific courses that are often difficult to match include BMEN 3030 and BMEN 3060, the year-long anatomy and physiology sequence. If the student is at a university with a coordinate medical school (e.g. Strathclyde) then this is not a problem. If matching courses cannot be found, a workable plan may be to move required courses from the junior year to the senior year, emphasizing taking professional electives abroad.