Major Advising Pages

Learning Abroad in Biomedical Engineering

There is no such thing as a “local” company or issue anymore. An international experience will provide you with the necessary skills to work effectively in industry, academia, and the public sector. Every CSE student should consider gaining international experience through study abroad.

Study Abroad Process

This is the basic process you'll complete in order to study abroad. The order in which you do things is somewhat flexible.

Academic Planning

Review the following suggestions from the Department of Biomedical Engineering before beginning your study abroad research.

Biomedical Engineering is the most recently created department within the College of Science and Engineering (established in 2000).  The curriculum for BME is relatively new and specialized.  All core BME classes are offered only once per year, and international equivalencies have not been established.  Most BME majors take their core classes in Minnesota. 

If you are planning to combine study abroad and a BME degree, you may want to focus on completing:

NOTE:  Courses specific to the BME curriculum sequence may only be considered with departmental review and approval. 

Best Time to Go Abroad

Short Term Options

Academic Planning for Study Abroad (APSA) Form

Step 1:  Bring the APSA and meet with Adam Pagel ( in 106 Lind Hall to discuss the courses you plan to take abroad

Step 2:  Request a meeting with the Undergraduate Program Assistant and Adviser, Jessica Baltzley  You may also need to meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Odde.  Be sure to bring:

Note:  If you are planning to take courses in other majors in CSE, such as Chemistry or Math, you will need approval from those departments.


Africa and the Middle East

Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID)

  • Spend a semester or academic year in Kenya or Senegal and earn credit through coursework, research, field placements, and internships.
  • Possible internship placements include organizations focusing on environmental protection or waste removal
  • Two years of French required for Senegal


Summer Engineering: The Power of Kenya
  • Combine engineering and cultural coursework, to get a well rounded view of engineering in the developing world
  • Participate in a hands-on service learning project in a rural area
  • Earn 6 credits in 5 weeks in the summer

South Africa

University Study in South Africa: University of Cape Town

  • Located on the slopes of Devil’s Peak, UCT is dedicated to educating for life and addressing the challenges that face society
  • This campus is home of the faculties of Science, Engineering, Commerce, and Humanities. Programs are for a South African semester or academic year.
  • Courses may include physical science, advanced engineering mathematics, electromechanical control theory, microcomputer technology, and more

Asia and Oceania


University Study in Australia: University of Melbourne

  • Melbourne was recently named the “world’s most livable city” because of its culture and arts, parks, and climate
  • Offers specialized advising and support for science and engineering students. Courses in biomedical science and engineering are available
  • Some courses off fieldwork component; courses may include Genome Science, Intro to Biomedical Statistics, Genes to Phenotype: Control and Integration, and more.

Monash University (available through IFSA-Butler Australia or Arcadia Australia)

  • Located outside of Melbourne, Monash’s engineering department is known for quality staff and research faculty with a large number of industry links.
  • The biomedical engineering degree combines physiology with electrical, computer, mechanical and other engineering courses.
  • A wide range of courses are available.

New Zealand

University Study in New Zealand: University of Auckland

  • Located in New Zealand’s most populated city and the University of Auckland has an excellent reputation for sciences, engineering, and research.
  • Courses available may include Foundations of Biochemistry, Biology for Biomedical Science, Bioinstrumentation, Mechanics of Biomaterials, and more.


Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (CSE)

  • HKUST maintains high-ranking faculty from around the world.
  • Taught in English, a wide variety of courses are available for a semester or an academic year. Contact Adam Pagel for more information.

South Korea

CIEE South Korea: Yonsei University

  • The most prestigious private university in Korea located in the vibrant city of Seoul
  • The University strives to cultivate leaders and provide higher education based on the national ideals. Many activities held throughout the year
  • Courses may include Solid State Physics, Mechanical Behavior of Materials, Polymeric Materials, Optical Properties of Materials, and Design.


United Kingdom

University Study in the UK: Queen Mary, University of London

  • A leading institution for teaching and research, Queen Mary is located near the center of London, yet it maintains a strong sense of campus community.
  • Queen Mary has the oldest materials science department in Great Britain and is active in biomedical materials science and engineering.
  • Internationally known for its biomaterials work. A variety of courses are offered in the sciences, including biomedical sciences and engineering.

University of Leeds (available through IFSA-Butler England)

  • One of the largest universities in the UK with an excellent reputation for high standards in teaching and research.
  • A variety of courses are offered in engineering fields.
  • Courses may include Biomechanics, Biomaterials, Surface Engineering, Anatomy, Bioengineering, and Biotribology.


University Study in Ireland: University of Limerick

  • Regarded as one of the leading institutions in Ireland for business, science and engineering.
  • Easy access to Limerick’s vibrant mix of historical and cultural attractions, as well as the scenic landscapes of the surrounding countryside.
  • Students may elect to take coursework including biochemistry, biology, and bioinformatics in Genetics and Protein analysis.

Additional Options to Consider

College of Science and Engineering Learn Abroad

  • Students should also look at the study abroad exchanges and programs approved for other CSE departments on which you may be able to take general requirements as well as mechanical and electrical engineering courses. For information on exchanges, contact Adam Pagel, 106 Lind Hall or email.


Non-Credit Opportunities


  • Non-credit  opportunities can be a great option for students who do not need academic credit but want to gain skills and experience abroad related to their field of study.  


International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE)

  • An organization dedicated to developing global skills in tomorrow’s technical leaders. IAESTE coordinates on-the-job training for students
  • The University of Minnesota is one of twenty educational institutions in the U.S. with a local IAESTE committee. Visit their website for more information.
  • An organization dedicated to help build careers by giving students the opportunity to gain meaningful, practical training in a number of countries.
  • CDS coordinates on-the-job training that stimulate the exchange of knowledge and technological skills and contributes to the development of a highly trained and intercultural competent workforce.

Engineers Without Borders

  • EWB partners with disadvantaged communities to improve their quality of life through implementation of environmentally and sustainable engineering projects.

Directed Study

  • Directed Study allows students to create a contract between themselves and a faculty member that outlines a project and credits to be earned.
  • Students work independently on a project of their own design while abroad, under the direction of a University of Minnesota faculty member.

Student Experiences

Santhi E. Studies Biomedical Engineering in the Americas
Santhi went abroad twice: first to the Dominican Republic and then to Nicaragua. Her summer experiences helped her focus her career goal of working with hospitals in the developing world.

Visit the Learning Abroad Center's Student Experiences web page for details on other students' experiences studying abroad.