Q. What is Global E3?

A. Recognizing a growing demand for more well-rounded, global-minded engineering graduates, a consortium of leading universities around the world established the Global Engineering Education Exchange (Global E³), administered in the United States by the Institute of International Education (IIE). This program provides opportunities for students at member institutions to receive academic credit for courses taken at overseas institutions, and practical training in a foreign setting. Through participation in the program, Global E³ graduates gain the necessary foreign language ability, cross-cultural skills, and professional experience to excel in the multinational/multicultural business environment of the 21st century. Global E³ has been, in the past, supported by ABB, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and institutional membership fees. 

Q. Who is eligible to participate?

A. Engineering and Computer Science students at member institutions are eligible to participate prior to the completion of their regular academic degree program. In the United States, Global E³ students are typically in their junior year. Students who have completed their engineering degree or are not registered students at a participating university, and students who have completed less than one full year of university are not eligible. Currently over 50 universities in over 20 countries are members of the Global E³ program, including about 35 universities in the United States. Students at universities which are not members of the Global E³ program are not able to participate, though any eligible university may join.

Each participating university sets its own criteria for student eligibility. If your school is a member of Global E³, please contact your Global E³ campus representative to find out the grade point average, foreign language ability, and level of study requirements at your university. Please email Global E³ if you do not know the name and contact information of your on-campus advisor.

Q. Where can I go?

A. U.S. students may study in any country overseas where there is a participating Global E³ university, provided that a Global E³ member university in that country accepts them for study. Students at universities outside the United States may apply to study at participating US universities. 

Q. What engineering disciplines are available?

A. Almost all engineering disciplines are available among the many Global E³ member institutions, although not every discipline is available at every school. Please visit the home pages of the universities to determine if your preferred courses are offered. Some humanities courses are also available as electives for those students who wish to pursue other interests in addition to their engineering studies, with the approval of their academic advisors.

In countries with more than one participating member institution, students may express a preference of schools at which they would like to study. However, since space is limited, placements at specific institutions cannot be guaranteed. In addition to academic achievement, universities select those students from the pool of applicants for whom they can provide a meaningful academic and practical experience which meets the goals, requirements, and expectations of the student and host campuses. 

Q. What are the costs?

A. In order to minimize the increased costs associated with most study abroad programs, Global E³ consortium members offer a student exchange where students pay tuition to their home campuses, and not to the host universities overseas. Housing, meals, health insurance, and airfare costs are the responsibility of the students for the most part, with host campuses helping to identify or provide inexpensive housing. 

Q. Can I do an internship overseas?

A. Yes! Internships are an integral part of the Global E³ program. U.S. students in particular are strongly encouraged to do an overseas internship as part of their study abroad program. Paid practical internships in industry are usually arranged by students through contacts provided by host institutions. Internships may be available in Austria, France, Germany, Mexico, and Singapore. Non-U.S. students are often able to obtain positions assisting US professors in on-campus research. US students may increase their chances of receiving financial aid by electing to do an overseas internship in industry. Finding an internship generally takes considerable initiative on the part of the student with assistance from the host university. 

Q. Do I need to speak the language of my host country?

A. Not necessarily. For information on which institutions offer courses in English, please visit the online application system and conduct an advanced search. Please visit the individual institution brochure for more details on course offerings in English.

Students who wish to study in the following countries must take courses in the language of that country: Austria (German), France (French), Germany (German), Italy (Italian), Mexico (Spanish), Spain (Spanish), and Sweden (Swedish). Students are encouraged to learn some of the local language whether they plan to study in English or in another language. It is strongly recommended that those who plan to study in a language other than English, arrive in their host country early to take intensive language classes. Many universities offer intensive language classes for engineers in the summer. Please check with your host university advisor for more information about such classes.

For all Global E³ students coming to the United States, demonstrated proficiency in English is required. 

Q. Is financial aid available?

A. While Global E3 does not offer scholarships of its own, some external scholarships are available to students planning to study abroad with demonstrated financial need, students planning to go to study in particular world areas, and more. Click for more scholarship information

Q. Can I earn a degree at a university overseas as a Global E³ student?

A. Global E³ is a non-degree student exchange program. Students receive credit from their home institutions for courses taken abroad, which can be used toward a degree at their home university. They also have opportunities for internships in industry or academic laboratories.

Overseas students studying in the US are registered as undergraduate exchange students and may enroll in master's level courses, but may not earn a master's degree under the Global E³ program. Students wishing to earn a master's degree at a US institution must apply to the graduate school of engineering at the institution they wish to attend and not to the Global E³ program. If they wish, foreign students coming to the United States through the Global E³ program who are taking master's level courses as undergraduate non-degree students can apply to the graduate school of engineering of their host campus after arriving in the United States. If accepted to a master's program, they may be able to apply those courses towards their degree, but must begin paying tuition in the next semester once they formally enter the graduate degree program. Some graduate students may have tuition waived in exchange for services as teaching or research assistants; however, the number of such positions is limited and varies by host university. 

Q. Do I need a visa? Do I need to register in the country when I arrive?

A. All students participating in Global E³ need to secure the proper visa for their host country. Visa regulations vary widely from country to country. In almost all cases, visas must be secured prior to departure for the host country. We strongly recommend that students contact the consulate of their host country at least 6-10 weeks prior to departure. It is the responsibility of the student to secure the proper visa. Some countries also require foreign residents (usually those residing over 3 months) to register with the local authorities in their region. When you contact the consulate, please check whether or not you will be required to register.

Find foreign embassies in Washington DC

Please note that some consulates require that you apply for a visa at a specific consulate office (for example, if you are a resident of Colorado, you may specifically be required to apply for a visa in California, or specifically in Texas, or specifically in another state depending on the requirements of the consulate). Please read through the consular requirements carefully, and discuss any questions with your on-campus advisor. 

Q. How do I apply to participate in Global E³?

A. Each member university sets its own deadlines for applications to the Global E³ program, but generally, completed applications for the fall semester must be received at Global E³ by early March and applications to study abroad in the spring semester must be received by early October. For current application deadline dates please refer to our home page. Contact your Global E³ campus representative for the deadline (which may be earlier) at your university. Applicants must provide the following to their Global E³ campus representative by the application deadline set by their home university.

All applicants students must complete their applications online.

  • a brief essay in the language of the host country describing the goals to be achieved through participation in the program. (If you are applying to study abroad in a country where the local language is not English, but your courses will be in English, you may submit an English language essay.)
  • demonstration of ability to fulfill host campus language requirements.
  • transcript of grades.
  • a bank letter demonstrating sufficient funds to cover living expenses. (For students applying to study abroad in the U.S.)
  • one faculty recommendation. 

Q. More Questions?

A. If you have additional questions about the Global E³ program, you may send a message to ge3@iie.org or contact your Global E³ campus representative.