International Experience

International Experiences provide opportunities for students to experience once-in-a-lifetime international experiences by participating in programs such as study abroad, exchange programs, and projects that assist less fortunate communities throughout the world. The Student Success Center can set students up with engineering-specific study abroad experiences.

College of Engineering Study Abroad Experiences


A group of 7 civil engineering students visited Colombia in the summer of 2017. The group not only got to learn about engineering outside of the United States, they also had a variety of cultural experiences while visiting a number of different locations around the country.


The thought of spending three months in a foreign country where one does not speak the language could be intimidating for some people. It was certainly intimidating for Gaelen McFadden, a graduate student in the College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. But, having missed out on studying abroad as an undergrad, McFadden decided that he wasn’t going to miss out this time around. So, this past June, McFadden left his comfort zone in San Antonio, Texas, and traveled to Bejing, China, for a research opportunity at Tsinghua Univ.

“Going to China was a great experience and I strongly recommend that students at UTSA study abroad,” said McFadden. “I think with engineers, well, we have to make a good effort to broaden our perspective."


Approximately an hour from the Adriatic coast and three-and-a-half hours northeast of Rome, sits the picturesque, walled city of Urbino, Italy. Urbino rests on a hill, above the Italian countryside, looking much the same as it did during the renaissance—if one can ignore the car parks marring the scenery. The city, home to famous artist Raphael, was the destination of choice for two engineering students who spent a semester studying abroad. Raquel De La Garza and Christian Trevino, both mechanical engineering majors, went to Italy as part of a UTSA study abroad program designed to get students out of their comfort zones and into new environments.


Ilse Malagamba, a Civil Engineering major, studied at The University of Melbourne, which is one of Australia’s top universities, and has international scholars and Nobel Prize winners on its faculty. She took core classes that would transfer into her civil engineering degree.

“I started telling myself, my family, my friends, ‘I am going to go,’” she said. “There was no if. I was so determined; I did everything by myself. I wanted it to not be like America, and it wasn’t,” she said. She visited Cairns in Queensland on her breaks, wanting to explore as much of her adopted country as she could. She snorkeled at the Great Barrier Reef a week before her program started.

While at the University of Melbourne, she lived in student housing as a way to make more Australian friends and immerse herself in the Australian college experience.