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International Exchange Programs: Getting Started

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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

6.643.1 - 6.643.24

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William de Kryger

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

Session 2260

International Exchange Programs: Getting Started William J. de Kryger Central Michigan University


International academic exchange programs have long been enjoyed by those in pursuit of the fine arts. More recently, with the globalization of many industries, international exchange programs have taken on new importance for our technical graduates. Engineering and manufacturing activities are often a collaborative effort with international partners. If international partnerships are common, even required in many industrial endeavors, this same type of relationship should be included as part of our academic programs. Academic administrators, eager to join the bandwagon, have become increasingly more supportive of these programs and in many cases are actively promoting meaningful international technical experiences for students and faculty alike. Students are also enthusiastically embracing the idea of these experiences if they can be included into their academic program without unnecessarily extending their schooling or intruding into their summer employment or internships.

Recognizing the increasing value being placed on international experience, this paper will review the steps involved in starting a successful international exchange program that is focused on engineering and technical education. It will enumerate the rewards that accrue to both faculty and students through an international exchange and the components that must necessarily be included in the program if it is to be successful and live a long and prosperous life. It will include such things as: making the initial contact, evaluating the proposed site, developing a budget, generating support, documenting the responsibilities of each institution, planning for the trip, emergency contingency plans, orientation meetings with the students, language difficulties, academic credit, recruiting, technical projects, and final evaluation.

The paper will conclude by reviewing two different exchange programs, one in Europe, which is well established and has been operating for many years, and another in Central America which has been formed more recently.

I. Introduction

Few aspects of life today remain untouched by the global community. Many of the goods and services that we use every day are influenced by international relationships. American universities have recently recognized this fact and their faculty are being encouraged to actively explore different models of international education and to include an international component in their degree programs. Feedback from students who have participated in an exchange experience

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

de Kryger, W. (2001, June), International Exchange Programs: Getting Started Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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