August 2009 Graduate
Hometown: Bangor, Maine
Major: Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Chinese
Study Abroad: Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
Internship: Pentair Technological Products, China
Extracurriculars: URI Ultimate Frisbee Team
My relationship with the IEP and China has been a cascade of opportunities that have presented themselves rather conveniently, and altered the course of my collegiate career in a way that I would have never thought was possible upon enrolling in the University of Rhode Island in the fall of 2004. It started with a 6-week summer-semester abroad at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, that was being offered for the first time at URI in the summer of 2006. From that opportunity to travel and learn within China, I became enthralled at the prospect of going back, and made it happen so that the following year (2007/2008) I would be able to not only study more, but also work and make money while living in China.Before taking the opportunity to go over there for the 6 week summer-session, I was completely unaware of my latent interest in our neighbor to the east, and although I was always somewhat interested in travel, without an explicit purpose I doubt there would have been much reason to go to China on my own volition. The IEP program at URI is wonderful and run by very helpful and compassionate individuals who want to see you succeed in areas that many engineers are timid about pursuing, that being the immersion into very foreign cultures around the world. This program is definitely worth considering if you think you might like to travel or see new places. The workload of a double major is not unbearable, and the experiences you walk away with are very unique and enriching. I recommend this program to anybody considering a career in engineering, and even if you pass yourself off as not being a ‘language person’, you will surprise yourself at how much you will actually learn and how much fun you will have while abroad.