This article summarizes responses to an exit interview administered to French International Engineering Program (IEP) students at the University of Rhode Island (URI) upon return from their six-month internship in France. The goal is to determine what are the factors students attribute to their success during their engineering internship in France. The exit interview elicits information from students on their perceptions of : 1) their technical skills to do the engineering work required of them, 2) their French language skills in order to work on a day-to-day basis, and 3) their cross-cultural skills in order to bridge cultural differences. The exit interviews show that students felt that the internship in France was a success. They felt they were well prepared technically for the demands of the internship. They were less confident about their language skills. They felt highly prepared to handle cultural differences. Further probing revealed that students also experienced growth in self-confidence and knowledge of business practices. The article’s conclusions make suggestions for future areas of inquiry into students’ criteria for a successful international engineering internship as well as into the differences between study abroad and internship abroad.
Erickson, Lars O.
"I Can Intern in France! Student Perceptions of Success during Their International Engineering Internship,"
Online Journal for Global Engineering Education:
1, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/ojgee/vol6/iss1/6