Students Report from Study Abroad Program in Galway, Ireland

Four Purdue Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering students are taking classes in Galway, Ireland during the Fall semester of 2011. These students have begun their senior design projects while they are in Galway, with the assistance of NUIG faculty members. In the second semester the students will return to the Purdue campus and complete these projects with their senior design teammates. The following is the first progress report from one of our students.


Dia daoibh! Is mise C.W. Peak. 

Hello! My name is C.W. Peak.  I am senior in Purdue’s BME program currently participating in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering’s first exchange program with the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG).   This is an exciting time to be a Biomedical Engineer at Purdue.  The global contacts and reach of the program is expanding and it is great to be a part of it.  Here I will share some of my experiences to date—academic, travel, and cultural.

The biggest difference thus far at NUIG is that there are no mid-terms!  This is obviously drastically different than Purdue’s system.  Rather, the final counts towards most of the grade (in some courses I have small homework assignments that make up 10% max).  I feel like I am on par with my Irish engineering counter parts.  The Finite Element class (ME501—takes the place of BME401) has a lot of value in it, especially when it comes to Senior Design. Here, you also have the chance of taking some really cool courses—I’m learning Irish!

 With being in a new place, travel is a must!  Since being in Ireland, I have gone to the Cliffs of Moher, Inis Mor Island, Dublin, and London.  Each was great experience with their memorable parts.  In Dublin, I represented Purdue in running the half marathon (finishing at 1:47:06).  The Cliffs are an amazing site to see as was everything in London and Dublin.  Galway has it’s own perks too!  We’ve met some awesome people and have weekly dinners at a new restaurant to get the most out of what it has to offer.

I was in two non-English speaking countries before arriving in Galway.  It was nice to speak and hear English again!  At the same time, I had to get used to a different sense of time and responsibilities.  Coming from Germany was difficult because the culture here is very laid back, “things will eventually get done.”  The hardest thing to get used to was looking the opposite way to cross the road.

Overall it’s been great!  I’d suggest it with no reservations to anyone that’s looking for an international experience!