Over the years, Purdue University has drastically increased the number of engineering students studying and interning abroad from less than 3% in 2000 to more than 10% in 2010. In order to increase the capacity of global engineering education curriculum, there is a need to create different study abroad programs to suit different student interests. Yet, the need of foreign language preparation remains in question. At Purdue University, researchers and administrators observed that students often self-select into study abroad programs of varying intensity according to the varying foreign language and GPA requirements. Case studies of student participants from four different Purdue education abroad programs will be demonstrated in this paper in the following order: (1) Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education (GEARE), (2) International Research and Education for Engineering (IREE), (3) Global Internship, and (4) China Maymester Abroad Program. These case studies will be used to illustrate the importance of foreign language preparation and the varying needs. These results will also demonstrate that the achieved level of foreign language competency impacts technical outcomes and engineering professionalism.
Chang, Yating; Groll, Eckhard A.; and Hirleman, E. Dan
"Best of Both Worlds: Foreign Language Preparation for Purdue University’s Undergraduate Global Engineering Education Program,"
Online Journal for Global Engineering Education:
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/ojgee/vol6/iss1/4