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Impact of Study Abroad – 10 Years of Trips to Germany with Students

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2014 ASEE International Forum


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 14, 2014

Start Date

June 14, 2014

End Date

June 14, 2014

Conference Session

Track 1b - Session 1

Tagged Topic

Curriculum and Lab Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

20.21.1 - 20.21.8



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Paper Authors


Henry W. Kraebber Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Professor Kraebber joined Purdue University and the faculty in Mechanical Engineering Technology in 1989. He began to develop contacts with Universities in Germany in 1990 and first traveled to Germany with 10 students in 2004. Since 2004 150 students in 11 groups have traveled with him. He has 15 years of industrial experience in electronics, consumer products and food product manufacturing. His areas of interest include international collaboration, production systems and lean operations, and quality systems.

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E. Shirl Donaldson Purdue University, West Lafayette

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E. Shirl Donaldson received a doctorate of philosophy in Industrial Technology from Purdue University December of 2012 and is currently a post-doctoral fellow researching entrepreneurship, innovation and diversity. A strong advocate of inclusionary practices in education and business, she encourages students to work to their strengths while constantly expanding their skill sets and prospective of life. She has mentored several graduate and undergraduate students in areas of progression and transition from undergraduate to graduate studies, research, and study abroad.
Her research agenda and commitment to intellectual growth is driven by her life experience. While completing her Master’s degree and for several years after, she worked in a family owned manufacturing firm. As a doctoral student, Shirl was recognized as an AGEP scholar and received the Bilsland Fellowship. Outstandingly, she collaborated in the creation of an innovation course and taught the initial offering
Today Dr. Donaldson’s research interests include entrepreneurship, innovation, technology management, and diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields of study. She examines how academic and industrial environments enable effective learning, discovery, and realization of new and transferred knowledge

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Katie Mae Hackney

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Impact of Study Abroad – 10 Years of Trips to Germany with Students  ABSTRACT  During the past 10 years 140 Purdue students have traveled to Germany to tour industrial, cultural and historic and educational sites in groups of 12 to 15 led by a professor in Mechanical Engineering Technology.  Many of the study abroad participants graduated and joined companies that were looking for applicants with international experience; individuals who can work effectively with their counterparts all over the world.  This paper presents the findings of a survey of participants in short‐term (week long) study abroad trips to Germany beginning in 2004. The survey captured demographic data on these participants and presented questions to capture insight into the value of this experience and the impact of the study abroad experience on their careers.   The Germany Trip Alumni Facebook Group and a list of email addresses provided survey access to 105 participants.  The impact survey was distributed electronically to participants with active email or Facebook addresses.  74 responses were received (52% of all participants, 70% of those contacted).  73 participants (98%) agree or strongly agree that they value their investment in the study abroad opportunity.  72 participants agree or strongly agree that they want to return to Germany.  The responses include extensive comments on the key concepts learned and how they benefited from the study abroad experience.  Short‐term study abroad trips are valuable learning experiences that provide positive impact to the participants beyond graduation.  

Kraebber, H. W., & Donaldson, E. S., & Hackney, K. M. (2014, June), Impact of Study Abroad – 10 Years of Trips to Germany with Students Paper presented at 2014 ASEE International Forum, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--17184

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