Longhorns Going Global

June 14, 2019

This summer, almost 20 UT PGE students and two faculty members are participating in the department’s Norway Maymester program - covering Engineering, Energy and the Environment.

The program, led by Drs. Jon and Hilary Olson, takes place along the beautiful coastal city of Grimstad at the University of Agder from June 6 to July 6.

Offshore oil and gas development has a strong history on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and Norway is also a leader in alternative energy development. This course provides a unique experience for students to study energy and global culture in the midst of the stunning natural beauty of the Norwegian fjords and mountains.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students,” said Jon Olson. “The program will provide our students with a leg up on their future careers and I believe it will make them better engineers and citizens.”

The course explores the energy and environmental policies that have shaped Norway's development as one of the wealthiest nations as a result of its large oil and gas resources. The program includes field trips to Stavanger, which is considered the Houston of Europe, and cultural activities in Oslo. Students will visit several company sites, including Baker Hughes GE, National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and ConocoPhillips, during the course to see equipment and training facilities.

During the program, students will receive UT PGE faculty mentorship and the valuable opportunity to network with members of the oil and gas industry while gaining cross-cultural communication skills.

More than 3,000 Longhorns study in 80 countries every year and UT Austin ranks second in the nation for the most students studying abroad, according to the Institute of International Education’s latest annual report. With UT PGE’s alumni working and living abroad population representing 60 countries, it is important for petroleum engineering students to participate in an international educational program during their time on the Forty Acres to gain experience with global companies.

Former UT PGE student Laura Bohorquez, who participated in the inaugural Croatia study abroad Maymester, led by associate professor Masa Prodanovic, said it was one of the best experiences during her time in the department.

"Throughout my study abroad program, I was able to learn how to build a global career,” said Bohorquez. “Having that opportunity gave me the confidence to know that wherever my job leads me, I’ll be prepared."