Study Abroad

Explore study abroad programs and experiences designed for mechanical engineering students in exciting destinations. These programs offer a unique opportunity to earn credit while studying abroad with your fellow Cal Poly students and learning from experienced professors at distinguished universities. For a full list of programs and more information, visit the CENG page

Check out all the study abroad and international experiences open for you to apply in our interactive map below! 

About the Programs

Exchanges with Partner Universities

There are several special exchange relationships with specific partner universities in Europe that Cal Poly ME students can take advantage of. Most of the exchange agreements have been written on the College of Engineering level, so students from all engineering disciplines within the College of Engineering are eligible to participate as exchange students at these universities. These universities are:

The way these exchanges work is that students on both sides of the Atlantic continue their enrollment in their home university and continue to pay fees there. There are no fees charged by the host university for visiting students. 

Some of these exchanges are mature (Munich, Karlsruhe, Chalmers) and others are relatively new. Though an exchange is very worthwhile, judging from the testimonials of students who have participated in them, they are not without their problems. Students considering an exchange take on the responsibility of knowing what these problems are and working them out prior to the exchange.

Problem 1: Language - The offerings of courses in English are limited. Munich has the best offering of courses, but these are primarily elective, not required courses.

Problem 2: Credit transfer - Though many courses, especially in Munich, have been recognized before, do not assume automatically that because we have a relationship with the university that we automatically recognize all courses from that university. Ideally what you should do is find out what courses you will be taking and pre-authorize credit for them before you go. 

Summer Schools

There are two summer schools with our two German partners that offer students a way to go over for not much cost and study for three weeks or a month in Germany. The courses offered in the Munich program are recognized for Cal Poly credit. The Karlsruhe program is new, and the course offered there will probably get Cal Poly credit in short order. Both programs are Mechanical Engineering/Mechatronics oriented and have some focus on automotive engineering. The language of each program is English.

  1. The summer school at the Munich University of Applied Sciences has run every summer since 2005. It is always well-attended by Cal Poly students. Often there are also German participants and sometimes participants from Europe and other countries. Several different courses are offered, and this changes from year to year. A brochure for this program can be found at This year (2011) the program's focus is on sustainability engineering, but automotive mechatronics is still offered since the control of an automobile's systems leads to better energy efficiency.
  2. The summer school through the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences is new this year (2011). It is shorter than the Munich program by a week. It is also more focused on factory visits in the automotive industry. Thus it provides participants with a very good overview of the German automobile industry. A flyer for this program is available. This program moves around Germany, from Karlsruhe to Berlin and then to Dresden, so participants get a good look at different auto manufacturers in different parts of the country.


When should I go abroad?

Spring and fall are most recommended for studying abroad because many of the programs are semester-long. Below are flowcharts with programs during the year that works best with your major.
Mechanical Engineering flowchart with study abroad timeline

What classes can I take abroad?

This depends on the program (CEA, CSU IP, or Cal Poly International Program). Some programs have pre-approved classes but you should visit CENG International Exchange Program advising to ensure you are taking the right classes. Refer to the flowcharts above to get a better understanding of programs that work best with your major.

Who can I talk to for advising?

You are welcome to visit the CENG International Exchange Program office during scheduled drop-in advising hours (call Engineering Student Services at 805-756-1461 to verify hours). If you have any inquiries, please email them at:

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