Today I discussed the benefits of studying abroad with freshmen at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics (VIK) of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME). VIK is my home during my Fulbright scholarship in Hungary.
My host was Gergely Suba, VIK PhD student. Gergely runs a course that helps freshmen acclimate to university life. In the roughly 90 minutes at our disposal, I made two main points to the 13 students in attendance. First, studying abroad allows students to gain the “human experience” that Steve Jobs mentioned in his interview with Wired:
“A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. They don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions, without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better designs we will have.”
~Steve Jobs in Wired, February, 1996
My second point was that we all need to carefully plan how we use our time. Time is a perishable, non-renewable resource. If Gergely’s students wish to study abroad, it’s best to start planning early.
You can see Gergely’s photos from the event on Flickr.