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Welcome to Asia Pacific Programs!

If you like to think out of the box, challenge yourself, and take roads less traveled by, join us now to travel to Asia Pacific! GEP offers signature LEAPs (Long-term Engineering Abroad Program) and STEPs (Short-term Engineering Abroad Program) in mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. LEAPs and STEPs are specially designed to empower our undergraduates to become innovative and informed problem solvers in Asia Pacific - a geopolitically area that is of significant economic and diplomatic interests to the United States. Asia Pacific LEAPs and STEPs are partially sponsored by U.S. Department of State and the Partners of the Americas.

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Why Asia Pacific?

Here are the 6 reasons why you want to take advantage of the amazing opportunity to take a LEAP (Long-term Engineering Abroad Program) or STEP (Short-term Engineering Abroad Program) to Asia Pacific.

  • Safety
  • Affordability
  • No language requirement
  • Premier engineering education
  • Competitive career edge
  • Immersive cultural experiences

Safety first & high support: Student safety is our first priority and we’ve undertaken several steps to improve safety. 1) We’ve secured amazing on-campus dorms so that our students can enjoy the most convenient and safe lodging. 2) The cohort model provides our students with a vital psychological support network while abroad. 3) Our programs are run by a program manager providing end-to-end support from teaching a pre-departure orientation class to traveling along with students to the destination. 4) The destinations we've hand-picked are incredibly safe for study abroad, such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo.

Affordability: Asia Pacific programs are affordable for our students, because students can pay less on food and lodging than they’d normally do in West Lafayette (WL). Based on program alumni's experiences, a semester in Shanghai or Hong Kong is typically cheaper than a semester in West Lafayette.

No language requirement: Students who cannot speak Chinese, Japanese, or Korean are welcome to take a LEAP or a STEP to Asia Pacific. There is no language requirement!!! Chinese is considered as one of the most-in-demand foreign languages in the business world, and the bonus point for China programs is that our students typically come back with quite authentic and useful local expressions that can go a long way toward making personal and professional contacts.

Premier engineering education in English: Our Asia Pacific partners are top-ranking engineering schools (e.g. SJTU, HKUST, Waseda). Core engineering courses are offered in English by professors respected world-wide, which means our students can take a semester load of engineering core courses while studying abroad and still graduate on time!

Competitive career edge: Employers want globally-minded engineers. Our participants will gain a substantial competitive edge with several industrial visits and by immersing themselves in Asia Pacific to 1) build up their professional networks home and abroad, 2) feel the pulse of market trends in the most vital U.S. trade partners, and 3) get in touch with different styles of problem-solving philosophies and practices.

Immersive cultural and language experience: Students will experience authentic Asian cultures by traveling around with friends to see engineering wonders around the region. Students will have exclusive access to fun cultural field trips (cooking, martial art, calligraphy, kite day, join a local varsity team to play American football).

LEAPs to Asia Pacific

“Studying abroad in Shanghai, China was truly transformative. I am proud to say that the program impacted me in every aspect of my life – from my academic career to my personal and career goals. I gained an intensely human sense of the world and the impact of different cultures, and I believe all these experiences helped me become a more creative, confident, and globally-focused engineer."

-- Brendan Michaelsen, ME, 2015 Shanghai program alumnus & Class CEO

LEAP to Shanghai: Shanghai Jiao Tong University

If you want to experience an exciting metropolitan lifestyle and authentic Chinese culture, Shanghai will be your top choice. If you want to study engineering in China, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) will be the best destination, with several programs highly ranked worldwide including the prestigious SJTU-ME school! This is why every year a class size of Purdue Engineering students (typically juniors from ME, IE, ECE, and BME) studies at SJTU for the spring semester exchange. More than 300 Purdue undergraduates have benefited from this program as we are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the program. Eligibility: ME, IE, ECE, and BME students in good academic standing; Spring semester only.

Bonus points: Purdue BME participants will receive clinical research exposure at the Med-X research institute and its partnering hospitals. Purdue ME and IE participants may enjoy summer internship at Caterpillar Research and Development Center in Wuxi (space limited; separate application required.).


LEAP to Hong Kong: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is one of those hidden gems that becomes increasingly popular among American students. HKUST is a dynamic, international research university, in relentless pursuit of excellence, leading the advance of science, technology, business and humanities, and educating the new generation of front-runners for the world. The School of Engineering (SENG) has a strong international reputation and consistently ranks high among major engineering schools around the world. Several faculty members at SENG are Purdue engineering alumni. In the 2015-16 Times Higher Education World University Rankings in Engineering and Technology, HKUST was ranked No. 1 in Greater China region and 16th globally. Eligibility: GPA>3.0; Possible for exchange during either Spring, Summer, or Fall semester.


LEAP to Tokyo: Waseda University

Waseda University is a premier private university located in the center of Tokyo and the home to the world’s first humanoid. Waseda has nurtured numerous high impact alumni, including 7 prime ministers and many CEOs for household names such as Sony, Honda, Toshiba, Samsung, Nintendo, etc. Spending a semester abroad in Waseda will definitely expand your world personally and professionally.Eligibility: GPA>3.0; Spring semester only; no language requirement.

STEPs to Asia Pacific

“The to China and Japan program provides me with a jump start on my studies with hands-on engineering experience, but also introduce me to new countries with exciting cultures.”

- Incoming freshmen engineering student

STEP to China & Japan- Beijing, Shanghai, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe

Start the new chapter of your life at Purdue by climbing the Great Wall. STEP to China and Japan (Intro to Engineering Innovations and Trends in Japan & China) is a new summer offering for pre-freshmen students admitted into the College of Engineering. Learn basic engineering design and practice from the perspectives of China and Japan. Develop a global mindset by experiencing the impact of globalization on consumer trends, product design, and workplace teamwork. Enjoy a great deal of cultural excursions and hands-on activities to develop intercultural communications skills and bond with fellow Purdue students. Gain experiences that will set you apart from classmates and provide skills to aid in classes and professional settings! Earn 2 credits for ENGR 195. [Note: 2017 Summer program has completed; 2018 Summer program will be coming soon]


STEP to China - Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Harbin

Climb the Great Wall, enter the Forbidden City, visit Shanghai and Hong Kong, and make new friends at partner universities! The academic coursework (Intro to Intercultural Teamwork in China or China Maymester) provides foundation in global issues and in communicating across cultural boundaries with emphasis on China as the world's second largest economy and the world's fastest growing market. Participants prepare as a group to travel together--including Chinese visa applications. Program dates allow participants to return to the U.S. in time for internships, work or for summer school! Approximate 2017 dates: May 10 through May 24 (may shift one day or so, depending on final air travel arrangements). Earn three credits hours of ME 49700, MSE 49700 or LC 49000.


STEP to Taiwan - Taichung, Taipei and Tainan

Engineering Cultures Taiwan program introduces students to the engineering culture of Taiwan while also building relationships between Purdue and two schools in the region. The main objective for this program is to increase interest and preparedness among participants for future study, research, and/or work opportunities in Taiwan specifically and East Asia more generally. The experience begins with a series of preparatory meetings that will start to familiarize students with the history and culture of the Taiwan and East Asia. Students will also learn strategies to improve their ability to function effectively in cross-cultural environments, including through the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).


STEP to South Korea - Seoul & Pohang

South Korea has been on the forefront in the industrialization and scientific research in Asia. The purpose of this course - Engineering Education and Practice in South Korea - is to introduce you to the history, culture, higher education, and industry in South Korea. You will spend time at Yonsei University in Seoul and Pohang University of Science and Technology (Postech), collaborate with Korean students on projects, and explore the cultural sites of South Korea. Program Leaders are Prof. Bumsoo Han and Prof. Jong Hyun Choi. A few of highlights will include Gyeongbokgung Palace, Hyundai Motors, The National Museum of Korean Contemporary History, taking the bullet train from Seoul to Pohang, and free to explore Seoul on your own.