Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Going back to Europe!

The spring semester is halfway over, so summer is quickly approaching! The snow is melting and the sidewalks are clear, but knowing Michigan, it will probably get cold again. I have finally decided on something I am going to do this summer. Two months from now, I will be in Europe as a part of the International Corporate Tour.

The International Corporate Tour (ICT) is a two-week experience for freshmen and sophomores in business and engineering. It is an opportunity for students to visit some of MSU's international corporate partners, network with them, and tour their facilities. There is no homework, but this learning experience does NOT count for course credit. In each of the destinations, there will be at least one free day to explore the city. There are two ICTs this summer: one in Europe and another in China. As part of the Europe ICT, London, Cologne, Luxembourg, Geneva, and Venice are some of the cities we will be visiting. Some of the companies we are planning on visiting are BP, GM, Eaton,  ArcelorMittal, Bosch, Diageo, and ALCOA.

I think that a program like the ICT definitely has its advantages. A lot of people forget that you have to do homework when you study abroad. I spent the two weeks after I returned home from my trip finishing up all my homework. You may not get class credit for an ICT, but you can focus on all of the company visits and exploring cities without worrying about any homework. Also, I have to do minimal planning for the trip. I just have to pay the cost of the trip, buy my plane ticket, and attend a few informational meetings. They even suggested a flight so that we could travel with the group, which  made finding a flight really easy. I do not have to worry about any of the logistics, like lodging and travel, which would be necessary if I planned a trip to Europe on my own.

I already have some international experience on my resume from my study abroad last summer, and I think that a lot of companies were impressed. I have been asked to elaborate on my study abroad at career fairs and during interviews, so I know that it is definitely something they look at. A lot of companies that have presented at club meetings have international opportunities for engineers, such as rotations abroad as a part of a rotational program. I have been to London and Venice before, but I haven't been to any of the other cities. My family and I went to London almost 6 years ago for a family vacation, and I went to Venice last summer during the free weekend of my study abroad trip.

I took this picture last summer when I visited Venice, Italy
I am looking forward to going back to Europe, especially because I had so much fun last summer! Visiting all of these countries and facilities will help me see in what kind of environment I would like to live and work. Michigan State University has a variety of international experiences available, you just have to choose which one is right for you!

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