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International teamwork is increasingly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Multinational organizations must be able to apply the skills of their people to best address their business opportunities, whatever the origins of the team members or the geographic locations of the projects. Yet, the educational experiences that incorporate internationalization to prepare the students accordingly are limited. A small percentage of students get the opportunity to study abroad and/or benefit from working with international partners in their co-operative or internship programs. However, there is value in integrating international programs in the engineering curriculum to provide these experiences to most students, permitting them to get a global education and increase their value to potential employers. To this end, the authors at Clemson University in the US, and Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico worked together with an industry sponsor in a capstone design project course. The industry sponsor provided a problem common to their operations in the states of South Carolina, US and Guanajuato, Mexico and challenged the student teams to find a solution that would be as common to both locations as possible. Student teams were formed by mixing students from both partner institutions. The original problem description was deliberately written with multiple unknowns, towards encouraging collaborative active research and inquiry from the international student teams. 34 students from three different programs: mechanical, metallurgy, and mining engineering; and 6 faculty from both institutions and similar backgrounds than the students participated in this 5-week program in the summer of 2021. The program was held entirely online, and the official language was English. The course was a requirement for graduation for all students. Assessment was performed by implementation of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) before and after the program. Here we report on the challenges during the preparation of, during and after the program; as well as feedback from students and the result of the assessment. The overall objective is to identify best practices towards making this program sustainable.
Martinez-Duarte, R., & Turnbull, S., & Guggisberg, T., & Dobarganes, J. (2022, August), Identifying Best Practices to sustain a US-Mexico International Program integrated into an engineering curriculum Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41633
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