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Global Programs Bridging International Experiences for Students & Faculty

February 3, 2012

As Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology steps up its global outreach opportunities, campus life welcomes the global world.  Enriched by visitors from nations as diverse as China, Germany, Japan, and Brazil, Rose-Hulman's small community atmosphere includes a global aspect, and the hallways and cafeterias ring with many languages.

        Phil with Drum

Expanding "Cultural IQ": Phil Cornwell, vice president for academic affairs, was part of a Rose-Hulman delegation that recently visited educational and cultural sites throughout Japan.

"Our world has become an increasingly globalized society, and the engineering, scientific, and mathematical projects our students are being prepared to solve are often at the world scale," states Luchen Li, associate dean of global programs.  "Our students' success now depends not only on their technical ability, but also on their global agility and leadership skills in a global context."

To meet such needs, Rose-Hulman has enriched the curriculum with cultural components and is providing students with unprecedented opportunities and incentives for study abroad, overseas internship, and job placement with multinational corporations.

Last fall, President Matt Branam signed a dual-degree agreement with Germany's Ulm University of Applied Sciences.  This program allows graduate students in electrical engineering and engineering management to complete coursework at Ulm and Rose-Hulman, and receive degrees from both institutions.  Additional dual degree programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels are being developed with other international institutions.

"Rose-Hulman and Ulm have a lot of commonalities, and we could be an international asset to each institution," stated University of Ulm Rector Achim Bubenzer.  "We think this dual-degree program is just the beginning of similar educational programs between our institutions.  The opportunities are enormous."

Matt with Ulm        

Expanding International Relationships: Rose-Hulman President Matt Branam and Germany's Ulm University Rector Achim Bubenzer discuss the international education collaboration that's prospering between the two institutions.


Exchange programs are engaging students from Japan, South Korea, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, among others.  Study abroad sites are expanding to more countries.  Eight Brazilian students will begin a one-year study program on campus this spring through the Science Without Borders program.  These programs complement the increasing efforts of international recruitment.

Branam and Phil Cornwell, vice president for academic affairs, recently visited Japan's Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT) and University of Aizu to examine best international educational practices.  Rose-Hulman has a 20-year relationship with KIT, the country's leading technological institution.  Meanwhile,  Jim Goecker, vice president for enrollment management, went to India in search of attracting more students from the region to study at Rose-Hulman.  Li went to the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden to set up a partnership for student exchange and faculty collaborative research.

Helena Bernald, an international cross-cultural communications specialist, visited campus this winter to visit students participating in a Computing in a Global Society course that completed a collaborative international design project with students from Sweden's Uppsala University.  Rose-Hulman's Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering also has international projects with Turkey's Bilkent University.


Thumbs Up For Global Studies: International cross-cultural communications specialist Helena Bernald has worked with Rose-Hulman students for several years participating in collaborative international design projects with students from Sweden's Uppsala University.

Bernald believes these international experiences are important in the development of engineers and computer scientists with a global perspective.

"Tomorrow's engineers are going to have a vast knowledge of the world around them, and how what they're creating will affect other cultures and lifestyles," she said.  "(Rose-Hulman) students need to not only have the ability to communicate well in meetings with Americans from many diverse backgrounds, and then turn around and have a group meeting, possibly through Skype, with students from Sweden, Turkey, China or Japan.  The world is getting smaller -- and flatter -- all of the time."

Li asserts that Rose-Hulman's global outreach efforts can only be successful with the engagement and participation of its alumni.  These international programs will include global continuing education, and building partnerships with governments and industries.

"The wisdom, support and championship from our alumni, families and friends will be highly valued and greatly appreciated," he said.