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Experiences From An International Student And Staff Exchange Program And Some Still Unsolved Mysteries

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Faculty & Program Exchanges: Internationalizing, Collaborations, Interactions

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Page Numbers

15.552.1 - 15.552.9



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Paper Authors

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Sabina Jeschke Aachen University of Technology (RWTH)


Lars Knipping Technische Universitaet Berlin

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Lars Knipping is assistant professor for the field of†New Media in Mathematics and Natural Science at Technische Universität Berlin and directs the Universit⁹s multimedia service center. He is a member of the DIN-NIA 36 expert group that cooperates with ISO SC-36 in creating e-learning standards. Prof. Knipping received his Ph.D. degree with distinction and holds M.Sc. degrees in both mathematics and computer science.

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Olivier Pfeiffer

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2002. His thesis in numerical mathematics investigated “Error Control using Adaptive Methods for Elliptic Control Problems in Matlab”. He has been working in several eLearning projects at the TU Berlin, beginning as a student assistant in the Mumie project - a platform using new pedagogical concepts to support teaching of mathematics for mathematicians, engineers and natural scientists - at the TU Berlin in 2001, as a research assistant at SFB609 in Dresden from 2002-2004, and is now part of the Team of the MuLF (Center for Multimedia in Education and Research) at the TU Berlin. In the recent four years, Olivier Pfeiffer focused on the organization and coordination of the involved teams and contributed to several other eLearning and eTeaching related projects. He is also involved in the planning and application of future eResearch projects at the Berlin University of Technology and is the local coordinator at the TU Berlin of the EMECW3 project, a student and academic staff exchange programme between the EU and Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. In 2008/9 he spent four months of research at the Princess Sumaya University for Technology in Amman. His research interest focuses on the development of interactive mathematical objects especially supporting the visualization of complex mathematics and physics related problems. Contact Information: Technische Universität Berlin Sekretariat MA 7-2 Olivier Pfeiffer Mail: Phone: +49/(0)30/314 24603 Fax: +49/(0)30/314 24413 www:

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Nina Reinecke Technische Universitaet Berlin

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Nina Reinecke holds a Master's degree in North American Studies and Cultural Studies from Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and the University of Pennsylvania as well as a Master's degree in Science Communications and Marketing from Technische Universität Berlin. Since 2004, she has been working in international education: She started as student advisor at an international summer school, went on to advise the students of a blended learning international Master program and is currently working for the Erasmus Mundus program at Technische Universität Berlin.

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Erhard Zorn Technische Universitaet Berlin

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Erhard Zorn studied Physics and Mathematics at the Berlin Institute of Technology. After receiving his Diploma in Physics from the Berlin Institute of Technology he worked as a teaching assistant at the School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. He spent the academic year 2000/01 at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. Starting in 2001 he worked as a project manager and lecturer at the Berlin Institute of Technology where he is concerned with the mathematical education of engineers and physicists.

Technische Universität Berlin
Medienzentrum für Lehre und Forschung
Sekretariat MA 7-2
Erhard Zorn

Phone: +49/30/314 23646
Fax: +49/30/314 24413

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

Experiences from an International Student and Staff Exchange Program and some still unsolved Mysteries


This paper describes an ongoing exchange program between 20 partner universities; eleven from the European Union and candidate countries and nine universities form Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, where a bilateral mobility flow between the European and the neighboring countries is implemented. While the idea of this program initially intended to focus on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) subjects only, it was later opened to students from all academic fields. Nevertheless, the better part of all participating students is from engineering disciplines. The described program encompasses undergraduate, graduate, and PhD students as well as postdocs and academic staff. By broadening their technical education, we think that all participants benefit from the reevaluation of their own cultures that occurs while functioning as part of another culture and communicating in a foreign tongue. Over 100 scholarships were awarded in the first year of the program and this number was exceeded for the second year of the program, which started in September 2009. The allocation process for this year is still underway and we expect to see a similar number of scholars in this third and final phase of the program.

A part of the scholarships at the graduate and undergraduate level was granted to credit-seeking students. The rest of the graduate, undergraduate and all PhD scholarships were awarded to degree-seekers. One of the challenges that showed up was that, surprisingly for the Arab students and us, accrediting a degree obtained from some European university turns out to be much easier than getting a credit for just a single lecture attended at the very same university. The reasons for this are quite obvious: on the one hand, as a consequence of the Bologna Process, every European university today uses the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) as a standard for comparing performance and achievement of students while on the other hand, all the partner countries are using the American academic system. Actually, one of them is an American university, i.e. the degrees awarded are officially registered by the Board of Education in New York State.

First experiences are reviewed, including the not exclusively academic obstacles that we had to overcome in teaching and learning within these different educational systems .We will also report on a survey, which we will conduct to learn about the students’ experiences and thus assure the quality of their mobilities.

1. Overview of the Erasmus Mundus External Co-operation Window (EM ECW)

The Erasmus Mundus External Co-operation Window (EM ECW) which has become part of the regular Erasmus Mundus program in the beginning of 2009 is a co-operation and mobility scheme within the area of higher education. The EM ECW was launched by the Europe Aid Co- operation Office in 2006 and has been implemented by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Union ever since.

Jeschke, S., & Knipping, L., & Pfeiffer, O., & Reinecke, N., & Zorn, E. (2010, June), Experiences From An International Student And Staff Exchange Program And Some Still Unsolved Mysteries Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16481

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: © 2010 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