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A Summer Immersion In French Engineering And Language

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.109.1 - 6.109.9

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Paper Authors

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April Wilson

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David Ollis

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ASEE 2001 : International Division Paper (submitted)

A Summer Immersion in French Engineering and Language

April Wilson and David Ollis, Chemical Engineering Department,NCSU, Raleigh, NC 27695-7905

A major French engineering school, the Ecole Superieure de Chimie Physique Electronique de Lyon, or CPE-Lyon, decided to fund a seed initiative aimed at increasing the number of American engineering students who are ready, willing, and able to spend a substantial academic experience abroad. In June 2000, CPE created and carried out a three-week immersion program in France involving American engineering students, titled "Summer School for Science and Engineering Students". Their expectation was that such an education immersion program, experienced early in the undergraduate engineering career, could create a pool of American students who would have an interest in and ability to return for a later academic semester or year abroad at CPE-Lyon.


The summer school program organized by CPE appears in Table 1. The activities for the intensive three week "immersion" in French language and technical instruction included 45 hours of French language, 45 hours of science courses and/or workshops, and 2 industrial visits. The program was organized to accommodate student interests corresponding to the strengths of CPE-Lyon: chemistry, chemical engineering, and electrical engineering/computer science. Financing of the program was covered in the following manner: CPE-Lyon provided free instruction and student dorm rooms for the entire three week period. NSF/SUCCEED funds provided for air ticket purchase for all six participating students from NCSU engineering; a seventh (non-engineering) NCSU student was also provided with CPE support, and paid his or her own way

Organization: Student recruiting and selection

. Information about the trial program was relayed via mass e-mail to students in the NCSU University Scholars Program, which recognizes high-achieving, well-rounded students. This e-mail included a description of the proposed summer school and a brief interest survey, which asked students about their academic background and French experience.

About 30 student responses were received for the 4 positions originally announced, attesting to the high level of student interest in a summer abroad program. More spaces became available for NC State students when the other two invited universities were not organized in time to recruit students in this first program year. Ultimately, a total of seven State students of various majors, year of study, and French backgrounds were selected to participate in the summer program.



Wilson, A., & Ollis, D. (2001, June), A Summer Immersion In French Engineering And Language Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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