Study Abroad while Masters. Good or bad idea?


Hey everyone! I hope I dont make this to long but I am new to the forum and would like to know everyone's opinion on the topic.

I lost my opportunity of traveling abroad to Genoa, Italy and other countries for a stay of 4months during my 8th semester. I stayed in Miami, where I go to school and decided to do it the next year after that, the next Fall when I am starting my thesis. People who go during their first thesis semester cannot choose their thesis professors and everything gets really complicated afterwards but I was somewhat willing to risk it. The Head of the Department announced that instead of now going during the Fall 2016 we will go in our last semester when we are suppossed to actually be 100% into our thesis to Genoa. They said it would be better because we present our thesis there and have a professor with us that will be our thesis professors. Therefore we really arent missing out on our thesis since we all have the same professor. 

There are some pros and cons to this, starting from the fact that it is awesome to travel in your last semester but will your project actually be a nice one? Have in mind that although lasercuters or 3dprinting is not a guarantee that your project will be amazing, they do not have them in Italy apparently and our models will have to be done by hand. That for me is a setback. Also, we are going to be traveling and perhaps some of the time being stressed out because of our masters. And for me, not being able to present something completely amazing that I know I have worked my hard off is also a setback. I don't know, I see it more as a bad call to make rather than a fun one. But I would like to know what other people think. Is the Master Thesis extremely important for an individual to have an "OK" project? Is traveling the European nation better than actually studying?

Thanks in advance for all comments!

Feb 16, 17 10:19 am

They don't have laser cutters or 3D printers in Italy? Or just the institution that you're placed in doesn't? If digital fab. isn't outright banned by your professor you should be free to use external resources. Befriend someone at another university and use their equipment, or pay for services at coworking spaces or specialized material shops.

Feb 19, 17 4:42 am

First of all, just go, enjoy, experience and improvise, there's nothing like studying abroad. If you really rely so heavily on laser cutters and 3D printers you will especially learn some new and valuable skills you'll profit from for the rest of your career. Most offices (also the one you might be working in the future) rely more on low-tech oldschool model-making in-house (and will often outsource the laser cutting and 3D printing), you'll be extremely valuable knowing your way around an x-acto knife or foam cutter, since everybody and all of your peers can hit a print button and you seem to indicate you already mastered those skills. Studying is also about developing new skills, or at least new to you.

Having said that, if you really see too many disadvantages in doing your master thesis abroad, just relax and go abroad after graduation and do some internships here or there, but do go abroad, no matter what, just go.

Feb 20, 17 6:44 am

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