Study Abroad: Take the Challenge

Greetings from Shanghai! My name is Kareem Fayek, and I am a third-year undergraduate student at NJIT currently studying abroad at the University of Michigan – Shanghai Jiao Tong for the Fall semester. Throughout the upcoming weeks, I will be writing about my experiences in Shanghai.

First off, I would like to highlight all the great benefits of Studying Abroad through NJIT, as it comes with great perks that are generally overlooked.

1) Through NJIT’s Global Engineering Education Exchange (Global E3) program, students can choose from a list of top-tier tech universities to attend around the globe.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but the University of Michigan – Shanghai Jiao Tong University (the school of my choice) turned out to be a Top 3 Ivy League school in China. (Which looks pretty killer on any resume!)

2) You pay NJIT in-state tuition for your semester abroad.

This perk blew my mind. Through the Global E3 program, you’re paying the normal NJIT in-state tuition cost, in exchange for enrollment at a top-tier, private university that would have cost you THOUSANDS more. Even on-campus housing is included! (Commuters, did you get that??)

3) Your grades abroad will transfer back to NJIT as PASS/FAIL.

I know that you should take your academic curriculum seriously, but this is a HUGE perk to consider.

A good-friend and ΘΧ fraternity brother of mine, Jeremy Buhain, is a fourth-year undergrad at NJIT. Jeremy is studying abroad at the University of Leeds for the fall. Jeremy has a 4.0 GPA. Jeremy WILL RETURN to NJIT in the Spring with a 4.0 GPA, regardless of how his grades turn out. Talk about having a stress-free time while abroad. Amazing.

4) Responsibility

Whether it’s hand-washing your laundry or taking cold showers, you will learn to take responsibility for your actions. You will most certainly become more grateful for what NJIT housing/residence life has to offer.

5) It’s Fun

There is nothing boring about sitting on the edge of a cliff in the legendary Yandang Mountains in southeastern Zhejiang, China. Rebuilding old Chinese chapels north of Wenzhou was a great time as well. Even just walking the streets is fun.

That said, studying abroad comes with its challenges, all of which directly relate to the benefits of studying abroad. No matter where you end up, you WILL be out of your comfort zone as you face obstacles like homesickness, budgeting foreign currency and simply living in a new, unfamiliar place.

Personally, I was very active on campus at NJIT. From the Student Senate, to my Fraternity, Theta Chi, I had many commitments that I had to give up in order to study abroad. My biggest fear was that I’d be giving up everything for something that wasn’t worthwhile.

With my fourth week abroad coming to an end, I can gladly say that this experience has already surpassed my expectations. So there you have it.

Take the challenge.

Want to know more? Have questions? Email me at: kf43@njit.edu

Interested in Studying Abroad? Contact Scott Kline, Associate Director, Office of International Students at: kline@njit.edu

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This article was written by an individual or organization that is not part of The Vector. The name of the individual/organization that wrote this article is at the bottom of the article.

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