Bioprocess Engineering Study Abroad + Undergraduate Research Story: Hannover, GER

 lab photo

Jada Neal

Biroprocess Engineering

What country did you visit while studying abroad?

Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy

What type of study abroad program best describes your experience?

Faculty-led program

What motivated you to study abroad?

  • To complete projects abroad within my major

How did you find this opportunity? What was the process like?

I found out about this opportunity through an announcement email from the Center for Inclusive Engineering Excellence. To be eligible for selection, the process included completing an online application, submitting a letter of interest, and advancing through two rounds of interviews.

Tell us about your study abroad experience. Did you complete coursework or a project while abroad? What did you learn? Was there a particular part of the experience you learned the most from?

In light of my summer abroad, I participated in cutting edge research in Hannover, Germany, over the course of two months at the Hannover Medical School in the Leibniz Research Laboratories for Biotechnology and Artificial Organs (LEBAO). I had the chance to be involved in a research project that serves to develop novel therapies for the treatment of a respiratory disease, utilizing stem cells. During this experience, I learned the most from working hands on in their cell culture and progressed in my skill and ability to generate differentiated smooth muscle cells for further testing. My main takeaway from this research experience is to be ambitiously independent, to be adaptable and resourceful, and to push myself to perform out of my comfort zone.

Did you have a work experience while you were abroad?

This unique work experience influenced my career ambitions by introducing me to a new world of opportunities in the biomedical/bioengineering field and the impact that I can make. Working alongside PhD researchers of such diverse backgrounds allowed me to grow in my professionalism and overall as an individual. Having the opportunity to work on an impactful health project abroad is something I will be able to carry with me and apply throughout my future career and beyond.

Do you have any advice for other students looking to study abroad?

I encourage students to take part in such experiential/educational trips abroad because it offers a special chance to learn, make lasting memories, and grow in all aspects. With access to so many people and resources, the networking opportunities are endless, and you are guaranteed to enhance your communication as well as other soft skills. For students looking to study abroad, my advice is to be outgoing, observant, and open, because with these three you can accomplish many things. Despite any fears or nerves you may have, the experience is what you make it, and an experience abroad is one that is worth overcoming those for.