Project Title: Launching the International Engineering Program in Chile
University of Rhode Island’s project focused on four activities that aimed to engage engineering students from the U.S. and Chile in international study and experiential service-learning activities. The first two, international internships and bilateral exchange, were designed for students who possessed an advanced level in their Spanish language proficiency and who also had technical engineering knowledge and skills. International internships allowed three (3) students to work on relevant projects at host companies arranged by URI and their partner university, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV). The international internship experience would not have been possible without URI’s efforts in building a bilateral exchange agreement with Valparaíso, which gave six (6) students, including one researcher, the opportunity to study at PUCV. The last two activities, a course in innovations in sustainability and a sustainability project and study tour, were for students who were in the early years of their studies. The Innovations in Sustainability Course was created and offered to students as part of URI’s “Grand Challenges Program”, a cornerstone of the institution’s new interdisciplinary General Education requirements. It was the first under the program that was taught in a language other than English. The sustainability research project and study tour was a two-week program, in which seven (7) URI students traveled southbound to carry out projects alongside PUCV students. As a result of the short-term program, the participants experienced increased interest in spending all or part of their year abroad in Latin America. In total, URI sent 16 students (21 proposed) through one of the four program activities, and hosted two (2) out of the seven (7) proposed Chilean students.