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Exposing undergraduate engineering and computer science students to the asian business culture in a project-based abroad program: An assessment of program challenges

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2 Author(s)
Fry, C.C. ; Baylor Univ., Waco, TX ; Leman, G.W.

Conducting an international summer program is difficult enough, but combine that with a project-based program that combines undergraduate and graduate technology and business majors from the United States, Europe, and China; working on real project for real companies and providing meaningful results in six short weeks; and you have a uniquely challenging program. The 15 program (immersion into international interdisciplinary innovation) is a program about technology innovation that itself had to be innovative to meet the growing ABET requirements for meaningful global experience for engineering and computer science majors. It also had to provide the learning experiences that would apply directly to the various engineering, computer science, and business fields to make it worthwhile and desirable for the students. While the coursework and various project plans were demanding, one of the real challenges came in the recognition and accommodation of the cultural differences and the language barriers within the teams, as well as those between the teams and their program sponsors. This paper will document the challenges faced in the deployment of this new study abroad program. It will also include an summary of the student evaluations, especially the impact of the program on the American, the European, and the Chinese students in terms of how they now approach their perspective of the world, different cultures, their chosen discipline, and their outlook on the future.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 2008. FIE 2008. 38th Annual

Date of Conference:

22-25 Oct. 2008