Great question! I studied mechanical engineering in college, and was able to study abroad in Japan for 6 months my Junior year! It was by far one of the most formative and rewarding experiences in my undergraduate education, so I would highly recommend it!
At my college, they offered a few study abroad locations that actually had engineering classes for credit, including locations in Japan and Germany. This made it way more feasible for me to fit the time abroad into my schedule. I would recommend looking at the online information sites for any study abroad options at your school, and if possible, attending information sessions or talking to students who have participated in a study abroad program in the past.
Another tip, is to start planning early! Get a 4 year plan for your degree, and try to fit in a study abroad session with all of the units and classes required to graduate on time. If you need help doing this, normally a college counselor or student advisor at your school can lead you in the right direction.
One final piece of advice is related to class work and outside activites. I took a few classes that worked with global orgnainzations to solve engineering problems, and it also allowed my engineering work and class exepeince to impact people outside of the USA. There are also organizations like Engineers without Borders that would allow you to participcate in international projects. I have listed some exaples websites below. http://extreme.stanford.edu/ http://www.ewb-usa.org/
Either way, try to plan ahead and if you can make it work, definitely go for it!
Best, Kelly LaBuff