International Experiences of a US Undergraduate Student in Exchange Programs in France and Brazil
2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
Gary is a graduating senior in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. He has studied abroad in France and Brazil and spent a summer in India on an an academic project. Vinod K Lohani, Virginia Tech Vinod K Lohani is a professor in the Engineering Education Department and an adjunct faculty in the Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. His research interests are in the areas of knowledge modeling, water and energy sustainability, engineering learning modules for
... ing modules for freshmen, and international collaboration. He led a 5-year DLR/NSF project at Virginia Tech. A spiral curriculum approach is adopted to reformulate engineering curriculum in bioprocess engineering in this project. He co-authored an award winning paper with his PhD student (Dr. Jennifer Mullin) at the 2007 annual conference of ASEE. Abstract This paper documents one year-long study abroad experiences, each in France and Brazil, of a civil engineering undergraduate at Virginia Tech. This student (the lead author) spent his sophomore year in an engineering school in France with instruction in French and senior year at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with a medium of instruction in Portuguese. The rest of his engineering program was completed/is ongoing at Virginia Tech. In France, twentytwo school credits were earned in engineering and history/culture/language classes. In Brazil, 23 transfer credits were obtained, including an online class from Virginia Tech. Therefore, this student earned nearly 33% of his academic credits for his B.S. degree outside United States. Study in Brazil is funded under a project with funding from the Funds for Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) program of the U.S. Department of Education. These study abroad programs allowed the student to study subjects such as the Eurocodes for structures, European green building systems, and environmental engineering projects in Brazil. In addition, the student learned French and Portuguese and became familiar with the cultures/countries of many other exchange students from Europe, Asia, and South America. Lastly, the authors discuss an innovative experiment conducted in fall "10 semester in which the lead author shared his study abroad experiences in a live presentation from Brazil with engineering freshmen at Virginia Tech using TabletPC/DyKnow technologies.