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A Fulbright Experience In Engineering Education In A Developing Country: A Year At The Polytechnic Of Namibia

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Abroad Educational Opportunities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.49.1 - 8.49.7



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Paper Authors

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Jeffrey Giesey

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3260

A Fulbright Experience in Engineering Education in a Developing Country: A Year at the Polytechnic of Namibia

JJ Giesey Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Ohio University, Athens OH, USA.

Abstract The US Fulbright Scholar Program is sponsored by the US government and provides the opportunity for educators and professionals to lecture and perform research at institutions throughout the world for periods of two to twelve months. The goal of the program is to promote mutual understanding and benefit through contributions to host countries as well as home institutions upon the return of grantees to the United States. In the 2001-2002 Fulbright Awards Catalog there were 41 awards listed in the engineering discipline for assignments in developing countries but only ten of these were filled with engineering educators or professionals. The purpose of this paper is to provide information about the Fulbright experience in engineering education in a developing country to those considering such an experience, and to possibly spark an interest in those who have not.

The paper will be based on my experience as a Fulbright Scholar at the Polytechnic of Namibia in 2002. In it, I will discuss the application and selection process, and financial arrangements for Fulbright Awards. In addition to this, I will talk about preparations taken for living in a developing country and some aspects of living there, and will cover the differences and similarities of engineering education and engineering in general in the United States and Namibia. Finally, I will discuss the potential benefits and challenges to both professional and personal development from such an experience.

Background The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 and is currently the U.S. government's flagship academic exchange effort. Its aim is to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills.1 It is funded by the U.S. government and administered by the Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with the assistance of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES).

There are several programs that are encompassed by Fulbright. Some programs bring Non-US scholars and students to the U.S. for study and work. Other programs allow U.S. scholars and students to go to other countries. These include the Student, Distinguished Chair, Senior Specialist, and Fulbright Alumni programs. The program I participated in was the Traditional US Scholar Program.2 Awards are given for scholars to lecture and/or perform research at a host institution for a term that can range from two months to an academic year. Eligibility is limited to US Citizens and a Ph.D. is require for engineering applicants coming from academe.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Giesey, J. (2003, June), A Fulbright Experience In Engineering Education In A Developing Country: A Year At The Polytechnic Of Namibia Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11920

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015