Alvaro Perez

IPE Peer Advisor

Major: Industrial & Operations Engineering

Minor: International Minor for Engineers

International Experience: Internship in South Africa - Summer 2016

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

I chose to study abroad the Summer of 2016 at Cape Town, South Africa. This is a city I wanted to travel to all my life and I didn't hesitate to take the opportunity.

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

Shark Cage Diving with the Great Whites in South Africa!

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

I found South African culture to be very welcoming and happy to assist tourists at all times.

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

During my time abroad I got to work among peers from different nationalities, this opportunity made me realize how problem solving and critical thinking can be approached differently depending on culture. I would say that the ability I gained to understand and to use this a strength has set me apart as a professional engineer.

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

It is definitely a once in a lifetime experience. Going abroad as a college student not only gives you the opportunity to learn, understand new cultures and explore new places but most importantly helps you realize who you truly are and what makes your culture unique.

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

On your time abroad you will meet people from different backgrounds, but you will realize they are very similar to you. You will always find someone who is looking forward to do the same things you want to do and this is how you will build strong relationships on your trip.There is definitely more to miss out by not traveling abroad (if you have the opportunity) than by doing so.