June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.268.1 - 14.268.12
Baja SAE Competitions: Meeting and Interacting with International Students – Experiences of Student and University Participants
In today's global economy, engineers must collaborate with their international colleagues.11 Study Abroad is an excellent preparation for this collaboration. Unfortunately, less than 3% of United States (U.S.) engineering students take advantage of such programs.1 Baja SAE competitions may be a good alternative for students to achieve exposure to the culture of their international peers.
Baja SAE student competitions were started in the 1970’s in the U.S. and involve the design, analysis, and manufacture of a single-seat, 10 horsepower off-road vehicle. Initially, only teams from the U.S. and Canada competed. Today, teams from five continents compete in events around the world. At the 2007 Baja SAE Rochester World Challenge, hosted by the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), students representing 35 international teams from 9 countries competed alongside 106 U.S. based teams. The eventual winner of the event was a Brazilian team from Sao Paulo, Centro Universitário da FEI.
Baja SAE events can provide the following benefits to participating students:
≠ Interaction with students from different backgrounds. ≠ Travel to experience cultures. ≠ Witness the capabilities and alternative thought processes of their international peers. ≠ Establish personal contacts within their international peer group. ≠ Recognize working challenges between international groups.
Universities are also affected by the experience of hosting or competing in an international Baja SAE event. RIT will be used as a model school to show how visibility and prominence were affected by the school’s participation in and hosting of international events. The RIT campus has hosted two International Baja SAE events. The RIT team competes in three North American events per year, and has traveled to a number of competitions in South America and Africa.
Participating in or hosting Baja SAE events may provide the following benefits to universities:
≠ Increased visibility in the local, academic, and business communities. ≠ Increased prominence within the academic community. ≠ Aids in freshman, transfer and graduate student recruiting. ≠ Associated job fairs for students. ≠ Enhanced alumni relations.
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