Engineering Education Across Disciplines and Cultures with Industrial Practicum Abroad: Assessment, Expansion and Replicability
In this project, focused predominately on northbound travel, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro was able to exceed their target, with 25 total students traveling to the U.S. (8 projected). Through focus groups and interviews, UAQ were able to accurately judge and evaluate responses of students, government officials, and other enterprises involved in the project in order to gauge the success of the program. There were many meetings between UAQ and their partner West Virginia University in order to successfully coordinate objectives, procedures, and logistics. This proposal was aimed at bringing students and enterprises together to work on real engineering projects as well as obtain real solutions to real problems. UAQ worked closely with CONCYTEQ (Science and Technology Council of Queretaro) in order to develop research projects, funded through scholarships, during which students to obtain real world experience. The highlights of this proposal have been featured in 10 articles and media references across Mexico and the U.S. The implementers made a few recommendations including: an increased length of cultural diffusion in the U.S. prior to students arriving in Mexico in order to reduce stereotypes and myths about Mexican ways of living, security and difficulties; and involving more school officials in both universities in order to increase sustainability through strengthening partnerships.