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Study abroad programs facilitate a means by which students can gain international experience during their academic programs of study. These programs are increasingly important for aerospace engineering students because aerospace design is decreasingly a domestic enterprise. For engineering students with complex curricular pathways, taking a semester away from campus is impractical because of the disruption to the course sequence and/or to internship/co-op appointments. A semester away from campus causes a year delay to degree attainment not to mention severing ties with study peers. A survey of engineering-based study abroad programs reveals a wide array of programs that vary by engineering discipline, destination, duration, cost, academic credit, etc. For UCF students, a short-term, faculty-embedded study abroad program with an aerospace manufacturing focus was crafted to leverage the institutional context and contributions of key supporters. While the location of Sao Paulo, Brazil is an inducement for students, the location satisfies multiple program requirements. Both Central Florida and Sao Paulo have rich histories with regards to aerospace. This article reports on the initial design of the program, its implementation, and program outcomes. The study abroad program is embedded within a semester-long, credit-bearing course called Contemporary Projects in Aerospace Engineering Manufacturing. The goals of the course are as follows: (1) serve as a link between elementary mechanics of materials and engineering design, (2) allow participants to gain a broader perspective on aerospace manufacturing in the real world, (3) help individuals understand contemporary design challenges in aerospace manufacturing, and (4) allow students to understand strategies for managing improvements to existing designs. The program and course are in their third year (i.e., 2018, 2019, 2020) and have involved 28 students since their co-inception. Results from participant feedback reveal a strongly impactful and sustainable program that can be repeated in other contexts.
Gordon, A., & Sousa, S. (2022, August), Three-Year Review of a Short-Term Faculty-Embedded Aerospace Engineering Study Abroad Program in Brazil Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41743
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