Megan Rapuano

IPE Peer Advisor

Major: Industrial & Operations Engineering

Minor: International Minor for Engineers

International Experience: HKUST Summer 2018, M-HEAL SANA (Peru) Spring Break 2018

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

Study abroad would be the only time I will likely ever live in Asia so I knew I wanted to go there, and HKUST offered courses that would actively help me finish my pre-reqs faster.

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

I took a side trip to Thailand and thought that it was the most amazing place I have ever been and absolutely loved it there.

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

I was amazed by how Western Hong Kong was, and how little the language barrier actually impacted my time there.

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

I have learned to be much more adaptable and also outgoing. I am no longer nervous to ask strangers (let alone people I know) when I have questions I don't know the answers to. I also understand asian cultures much more than I did previously which will set me aside from a lot of other young applicants as traveling and having lived in Asia is a fairly unique aspect of my experience in itself.

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

Pick a location outside of your comfort zone. International experiences are unique opportunities you may never have again in your life. They may be your only opportunity to live in a culture you previously knew nothing about, but since it can be through the University you are offered support that will make being outside of your comfort zone for an extended time amazing.

How did your time abroad impact your graduation timeline?

It is not impact my graduation timeline at all, but it did allow me to take a lighter course load for one of my semesters at Umich.