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Summer International Experience For First Year Students

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

International Engineering Education I

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1180.1 - 10.1180.7



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Paper Authors

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Teresa Larkin

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Dan Budny

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

Summer International Experience for First Year Students

Dan Budny and Teresa Larkin

University of Pittsburgh / American University

Abstract – The Plus 3 Program is an optional three-credit study abroad opportunity offered jointly by the school of business and engineering as a follow-up to the freshman year. The course consists of a field study trips to a number of locations including: Brazil, Chile, China, Czech Republic, France; or Germany. The course involves lectures at the local universities, company visits and sightseeing. It culminates in a group research paper and a presentation focused on one of the visited companies, as well as in the national and global industry in which it operates. The groups consist of both business and engineering students, thus their view points are considered in the paper and in the presentation. This paper will outline this award winning course layout and how it fits into the School’s ABET and other student learning goals.

Index Terms –Study Abroad, Global Issues.

Program Overview:

Plus3 is a University of Pittsburgh study abroad program jointly developed and led by faculty from the College of Business Administration (CBA) and the School of Engineering. The program is designed as a three credit (hence the name) optional add-on to both the CBA’s required freshman course “Managing in Complex Environments” (MCE) and the School of Engineering’s required freshman course “Engineering 12” (ENGR12). Plus3 includes a two- week international research trip taken by the business and engineering students at the end of their freshmen year. The program targets rising sophomores with little or no international experience. Its purpose is to induce interest in both language and further study abroad, while providing an opportunity for students to participate in a serious, multi-discipline team experience as they study and compare international and US companies within an industry. The program fully integrates faculty and students from engineering and business. The program builds on natural synergies between business and engineering and allows programs to run that would lack critical mass for either school on its own.

The program makes study abroad more accessible to professional engineering students, as the discipline has traditionally been less well-represented due to time constraints imposed by strict curriculum requirements. The Plus3 model has been so successful that the University of Pittsburgh has adopted it to create "Integrated Field Trips Abroad", now a component of courses across the university curriculum.

In 2004, the Plus3 program included seventy student participants from four university administrative units, as well as four partner institutions, including the University of Augsburg in

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Larkin, T., & Budny, D. (2005, June), Summer International Experience For First Year Students Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14938

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015