Category Archives: Semester Exchange Postings

Blog Postings of Returning Students

Engineering Gap Year in Germany

Carike and Peter are enrolled for an undergraduate mechanical engineering degree at Stellenbosch University. (Currently the Gap Year programme is only limited to students from the Mechanical Engineering Department. We also only send students to countries that are part of the Washington Accord: https://www.washingtonaccord.org/washington-accord/signatories/ )

In 2017, Carike and Peter decided to undertake an Engineering Gap Year in 2018, which includes the following two components: A semester exchange at a partner university followed by an internship at a German company. The semester exchange entails taking courses at a partner university in their field of study. This is a great opportunity for students to be exposed to a new academic environment and to see how engineering courses in their field of study is presented at partner universities. The internship placements are mostly organized by the students themselves, but with some support from the partner universities. The internships can be paid or non-paid and is a great way to acquire work experience and strengthen a student’s employability. (We also currently have three other students taking part in a semester exchange at North Carolina State University. Their exchange is starting in August and will only be for one semester.)

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Ariel at Ghent University, Belgium

Pre-Departure:

Before leaving for Belgium, my main points of administration were (1) selecting modules and finalizing my learning agreement, (2) booking airplane tickets, (3) arranging accommodation, and (4) applying for a Visa.

Because I was a post-graduate engineering student that already completed compulsory course work and submitted my thesis before leaving for Belgium, I was able to select any modules of my choice and I had not minimum credits to fulfill. Ultimately, I shortened my time abroad to three months by selecting two engineering modules that had no written exam and a language course in Dutch that I could complete in three months exactly. I will elaborate more on the modules later. Ghent University approved my learning agreement under these circumstances.

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