IIE Report on Expanding International Internships/Work Abroad Opportunities for U.S. STEM Students

Download this summary of a recent workshop which I participated in sponsored by IIE in Washington DC: http://www.iie.org/en/Research-and-Publications/Publications-and-Reports/IIE-Bookstore/Learn-by-Doing.  The full workshop details and a collection of PowerPoint presentations, along with short bios of presenters, can be found at http://www.iie.org/en/Who-We-Are/News-and-Events/Events/2012/STEM-Internships-Workshop.

The report highlights: According to the 2011 IIE Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, 3.9 percent of U.S. students who received credit for study or work abroad were engineers, while math and computer science students made up only 1.5 percent of U.S. students studying abroad. These two majors represented the smallest share of U.S. students abroad, other than those majoring in agriculture. While close to 10 percent of U.S. undergraduates study abroad before graduation, less than 4 percent of engineering students participate in study abroad programs; as a result, very few are gaining the global education they will need to be competitive professionals in the global workforce.

This low number of engineering grads who have not had any international experience is of consequence due to the globalization of the engineering profession.  I’d highly recommend the book, Going the Extra Mile: University of Rhode Island Engineers in the Global Workplace, by John Grandin, Rockland Press, 2011 for anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of the impact of the innovative URI International Engineering Program.

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