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Study Abroad At Villanova: Analysis Of An Evolving Program

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Preparing Civil Engineering Students for a Flat World

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1327.1 - 12.1327.10



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Paper Authors


Andrea Welker Villanova University

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Dr. Andrea Welker, PE is an associate professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Villanova University. She is the Study Abroad Adviser for her department.

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Lance Kenney Villanova University

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Mr. Lance Kenney is the Director of the Office of International Studies at Villanova University.

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

Study Abroad at Villanova: Analysis of an Evolving Program


One way to prepare students for life in a “flat world” is through study abroad experiences. The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Villanova offers students several ways to go abroad during their time in our department: one or two semesters at a university overseas, summer programs run by Villanova, and internships. Since the class of 2001, 35 civil engineering students have studied abroad either at a university or through a summer program run by Villanova. Civil engineers comprised 37% of the engineering students that studied abroad in that time period; however, typically civil engineers make up 22% of each graduating class. In addition, the numbers of students participating in such programs increases every year: in the class of 2001 just one student went abroad as compared to 12 in the class of 2007. This indicates that within our college, the civil engineers are eager to study abroad and that they are enabled to act on this desire. This paper will discuss what we have done to increase the number of students studying abroad and provide student perspectives on their experiences. We will also describe how we propose to assess the program systematically so that we may continually enhance the program.


Both ABET1 and the National Academy of Engineering’s “Engineer of 2020”2 report note the importance of having culturally aware, internationally employable engineers that can survive in what is described by Friedman3 as a “flat world.” One way to achieve this goal is through study abroad experiences. Interest in study abroad for engineering students is increasing as witnessed by the papers presented at the last ASEE conference4,5.

Villanova University

Founded in 1842 by the friars of the Order of St. Augustine, Villanova is a comprehensive Roman Catholic institution that welcomes students of all faiths. The university is located approximately 10 miles west of Philadelphia in what is often referred to as “The Main Line”. The University offers a wide variety of degree programs through four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Nursing. Villanova's more than 6,000 undergraduates come from 49 states plus Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 29 foreign countries.

Office of International Studies and Overseas Programs

The Office of International Studies and Overseas Programs (OIS) at Villanova University is just over 15 years old. The primary charge of OIS is to oversee all aspects of education abroad, facilitate student exchange, manage international summer programs, and act as a campus

Welker, A., & Kenney, L. (2007, June), Study Abroad At Villanova: Analysis Of An Evolving Program Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2553

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