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Engineering student spends semester in Budapest

September 18, 2013

Senior environmental engineering student Chase Jones shares what it's like to study abroad.

“I never anticipated that so many of my credits would transfer back over to CSU,” said Chase Jones referring to his education abroad experience in Budapest. Jones is a senior environmental engineering student who studied at Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Hungary during the spring 2013 semester. It is typical for engineering students to believe that an education abroad experience is impossible due to a tight curriculum, but Jones provides some wisdom on the topic and proves it can be done.

“You just have to plan your courses early on and save your AUCC credits for your time abroad,” said Jones, specifically referring to freshman and sophomore engineering students who are considering studying abroad during their time at CSU. “Take as many engineering credits without prerequisites as early as you possibly can and save any elective credits for when you study abroad.”

Diving into another culture

During his time in Budapest, Jones was able to observe a number cultural differences in terms of approaches to education.

“For starters, the classes were very different. It was very up close and personal with as few as six students in certain classes. That was a huge change from CSU, where some classes had as many as 200 participants,” said Jones.

He also had the opportunity to enjoy classes that were primarily discussion based and interactive, as opposed to pure lecture. “As one of only ten Americans in a program of 300 students, classroom discussion involved perspective from students from all over the world.”

Though earning credits and graduating on time are a definite priority when considering studying abroad, Jones emphasizes a number of other things he came away with as a result of his time in Budapest.

Budapest is divided by the River Danube, thus creating two distinct quarters of the city: Buda, the historical and more traditionally oriented half, and Pest, the home of pulsating and explorable nightlife. “By simply crossing the river, it felt like you were entering a completely different city.”

Regarding his university, Jones likens it to a childhood novel many of us are all too familiar with. “It was like stepping into the world of Hogwarts, with the turret style towers and multi-color tile roofs.” Seemingly, this semester abroad is characterized by the high volume of its fairytale like details.

Made possible by scholarship

Jones is a recipient of the Gilman International Scholarship, which is a program that offers assistance to undergraduate students who are receiving the Federal Pell Grant. The scholarship aims to support students who are traditionally underrepresented in education abroad.

The CSU Study Abroad Office has recently changed its name to Education Abroad. Education Abroad better encompasses the multifaceted programs available to students, including for-credit and not-for-credit opportunities for study, research, internships and service learning.

Contact: Aimee Jones
Phone: 970-491-6342