Students from Korea University hold up the flag of California
Students from Korea University hold up the flag of California. They were the first cohort of a study abroad program at UC Davis for semiconductor engineering research within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. (Adrianna Owens/UC Davis)

New Study Abroad Program Offers 'International Insights' in Semiconductor Engineering

Faculty and staff celebrated the achievements of students and the success of a new semiconductor engineering study abroad program at the University of California, Davis, on June 12.

Over coffee and baked goods, students received their certificates of completion and shared their thoughts on the program. They were grateful for their classes, their professors and the opportunity to open their minds by studying in a foreign country. 

The program, an innovative partnership between Korea University and the University of California, Davis, brings high-performing Korean sophomores to campus to study and share international perspectives on semiconductor engineering with UC Davis students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

"UC Davis recognizes the critical importance of embedding global perspectives in our engineering curriculum," said Jake Hosier, the director of access programs at the UC Davis Division of Continuing and Professional Education. "This unique program ensures that many of our electrical engineering students who might not have the chance to study abroad themselves have the opportunity to gain international insights by studying alongside some of the top students in their field from Korea."

Korea University and UC Davis are both members of Universitas 21, or U21, a unique global network that brings together world-leading, research-intensive universities to collaborate and advance common goals.

UC Davis Global Affairs, Continuing and Professional Education and the College of Engineering established the quarter-long program to allow Korea University students to take classes in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The program ran throughout the spring quarter with three mandatory classes taught by electrical and computer engineering professors: "Engineering Problem Solving," "Digital Systems" and "Probabilistic Analysis of Electrical and Computer Systems" The international students excelled in these courses with professors lauding the strength of their work.

"The students participating in the program met all expectations, greatly enhancing international exposure for everyone involved," said André Knoesen, a Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "We look forward to hosting another group of such talented students next year."

Funding for the program comes from the South Korea-based semiconductor supplier SK Hynix, which has a subsidiary company — Solidigm — in San Jose, California. The company hopes to offer site visits and internship opportunities to future cohorts. 

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