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Study Abroad: Impact On Engineering Careers

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Abroad Educational Opportunities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1043.1 - 8.1043.7



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Paper Authors

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Susannah Spodek

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D. Joseph Mook

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Lester Gerhardt

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

Paper Number: 2003-2320

Study Abroad: Impact on Engineering Careers

Susannah R. Spodek Lester Gerhardt D. Joseph Mook Senior Program Officer Professor, Electrical, Prof. Mechanical and Aerospace Global Engineering Computer and Systems Engineering Education Exchange, Engineering Asst. Dean, School of Institute of Professor,Computer Science Engineering and App. Science International Education Associate Dean, School of University at Buffalo, State New York, NY Engineering University of NY Rensselaer Polytechnic Buffalo, NY Institute Troy, NY

“As an engineer I didn’t think it was possible to study abroad. But my friend studied in Denmark, and he said anybody can study abroad, so I did a lot of research and found I could take classes for credit overseas. The only reason I might not have gone abroad is because it was my last year and I was worried about missing on-campus recruitment… But, out of 35 industrial engineers who graduated, only 10 had job offers, and I was the only one with two offers! Study abroad definitely gives you an edge!” --Megan Gibbs, graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2002, studied in Denmark in the fall 2001 semester through the Global Engineering Education Exchange program. Megan received a scholarship from ABB that assists female engineering students to study abroad. She was the only person that ABB hired at UW-M in 2002.


In this paper we establish that study abroad, as part of an engineering education, can significantly improve the set of skills new engineers bring to their fields, in the process improving their career opportunities and better meeting the demands of the job market. Data in this paper come from on-going research being conducted by the Institute of International Education for the National Science Foundation with alumni of the Global Engineering Education Exchange (Global E3) program, as well as on-line research of the hiring practices and articulated needs of industry and anecdotal evidence from faculty and Global E 3 alumni.

I. Traditional engineering education is not meeting marketplace needs

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright January 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Spodek, S., & Mook, D. J., & Gerhardt, L. (2003, June), Study Abroad: Impact On Engineering Careers Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12116

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