Engineers leave nothing to chance. Yet when Kimberly Sayre ’15 (CLAS, ENG) was accepted to UConn and took her tour of the Storrs campus, a chance encounter affirmed her choice of school – and allowed her to pursue her dream.
The daughter of an electrical engineer, Sayre was always interested in computers, fascinated by the inner workings of the machines. In high school, she took the AP computer programming exam and scored well. “It showed me what I wanted to do,” says Sayre. “At a fairly early age, I knew I wanted to go into computers.”
The New Jersey native also studied German in high school and spent a summer in Baden-Württemberg. Sayre thought that when she headed off to college, she might lose her connection to the German language.
“I enjoyed it so much, but computing was my passion, and I wasn’t about to leave that behind,” she says.
While taking her tour of the UConn campus, Sayre discovered she would not have to worry about leaving her other passion behind when she saw a banner emblazoned with the German flag and the word “Eurotech.” She asked her student tour guide what the flag meant.
The guide explained that Eurotech is a five-year international engineering program whose participants earn a dual degree, a BS in engineering and a BA in German studies. Add in a semester or two in Germany – one to study abroad, another for an optional engineering internship – and Eurotech prepares students for the global marketplace, enhancing their foreign language skills as well as their knowledge of German culture and history.
As a Eurotech student, Sayre can choose to study at any of the universities in Germany for her semester of study abroad. This fall, she will attend the University of Freiburg as part of the Baden-Württemberg Exchange Program.
“[The Eurotech program] just spoke out to me that I belonged here at UConn,” says Sayre. “I absolutely love it.”
Sayre also loves being part of the Eurotech Learning Community on campus, a residential community where she has lived with fellow engineering and German students.
“You have a family,” explains Sayre. “You have people who have similar interests, who take similar classes. It’s just a really nice experience.”
Another nice experience happened courtesy of the School of Engineering, which sponsored a 10-day trip to Germany last summer. Sayre and her fellow students toured numerous universities, visited engineering companies, and did some sightseeing.
“I got to see the universities and better understand what I was about to get myself into,” says Sayre.
Sayre is considering her options after her time studying abroad. She may pursue a master’s degree either before or after working in the field. But ultimately she knows what she wants.
“I want to incorporate my German studies into computer engineering,” says Sayre. “So if that means going to Germany and working for a while, or working for a German subsidiary here in America, that’s what I want to do.”