Department of Biomedical Engineering offers new study abroad program in Milan

April 17, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) is offering a new study abroad program for its students in Milan, Italy, beginning in spring 2019.

The semester-long exchange program, completed at Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi), is designed for BME students to travel during the spring semester of their junior year. In return, master’s-level students from PoliMi will study at Penn State in fall 2019 and will help to socialize BME students who are headed to Milan.

“PoliMi is one of the top 50 engineering universities in the world and is very highly regarded,” said Keefe Manning, professor of biomedical engineering, who proposed and implemented the new program. “There’s no official partnership with another institution for biomedical engineering. This is the first of its kind for our department.”

Founded in 1863, PoliMi is the oldest university in Milan, and with approximately 40,000 students, it is the largest technical university in Italy. According to QS World University Rankings, PoliMi's engineering program is ranked 24th in the world. Aside from its history and statistics, there are many other facets of the program that are unique.

“There’s no break and it’s a continuous matriculation,” said Manning. “There are three core courses students take over in Milan for their junior year that are equivalent to studies here at Penn State and qualify toward graduation requirements. Typically when studying abroad, students take general education requirements only — not at the higher level where you are matching your major courses.”

In addition, Italian students have the potential to perform research at Penn State.

“Our Italian counterparts were looking for partners who are at the same level educationally,” said Manning. “We are looking to do similar study abroad programs with PoliMi and broaden the exchange relationship.”

Applications are currently being accepted for the spring 2019 program, with the following deadlines: first priority review is May 1, second priority review is July 15, and the final deadline to apply is Sept. 15. There are several advantages for those who apply by the priority deadlines, including scholarship and funding options, program availability and preparation time.

Detailed information, such as costs and prerequisites, can be found on the program’s website. BME students who are interested in learning more about the program can schedule time to meet with Sara Kuhlman, coordinator of international experiences, Office of Global Engineering Engagement, via Starfish.

Last Updated April 17, 2018