Abby Warsen

IPE Peer Advisor

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Minor: International Minor for Engineers

International Experience: Cardiff University on Cardiff, United Kingdom - Winter 2018

Why did you choose to study abroad when/where you did?

I needed to transfer back ME 395 and ME 360 first and foremost, and then when I started looking into the other opportunities that Cardiff University had to offer in terms of classes, traveling Europe, and exploring the UK it seemed like the perfect fit.

What was one of the most memorable experiences from your time abroad?

One of my favorite study abroad memories was with my friends that I met on the program. We went to Three Cliffs Bay for the day which is a sandy beach like an hour outside of Cardiff with beautiful cliffs and we spent the whole day in the sun. We met this super awesome Welsh man with his dog and played with his dog for like an hour, my friend Emily slipped in mud and completely destroyed her pants and we were all almost in tears laughing. It was the best day ever.

What was one of the biggest surprises about the location, culture or other aspects of your program?

I was surprised to see how much of a rivalry existed between Wales and England. Cardiff is only a three hour bus ride from London, but the change in accents, culture, rugby team affiliation, etc. is crazy different.

How do the skills and experience you gained abroad set you apart as a professional engineer?

I am a much more global engineer now that I have interacted with engineers and engineering students from the UK in a practical sense, with just learning the technical similarities and differences when you look at engineering across cultures. But then as an engineer, I learned so much more that will help me succeed in a global engineering world. I just signed a contract with a company based in Shanghai so to have the experience of international travel and living is crucial to my success. You don't want your first business trip to be your first time out of the country.

What advice would you like to give to a student interested in an international experience?

I would say that going abroad was the single greatest decision I have made in my undergraduate career at U of M. I would credit studying abroad to making me a better person, widening my perspective, teaching me about myself and how big the world is, and honestly giving me the time of my life. I think that I matured and grew more as an individual during my study abroad than my entire undergraduate career.

If you were involved in any clubs or sports, did you feel like you missed out by studying abroad?

I definitely had a lot of fear of missing out on the opportunities here because I absolutely LOVE the University of Michigan. I grew up a Michigan fan, I never leave campus unless I have to because I have so much going on here. However, I wouldn't give up study abroad for the experiences that I left behind. Also, I picked up right where I left off when I got back in the fall.