It is not everyday that you dine in the desert overlooking a group of skiers or meet your project team in Kosovo to prepare for a research event in Rochester. But that’s what several of our students are up to as the winter quarter starts.
They are taking advantage of our international campuses, taking in the sights and taking on projects that will have far-reaching effects well after the classes are complete. I’m ready to dust off my own passport, but I’ll have to live vicariously through them for now as they venture out. And, it helps to have resources and relationships locally and abroad to cover the stories at our international colleges.
One person who has seen the campuses abroad and who is encouraging more and more of these student exchanges to RIT global campuses is Lyndsey McGrath. As manager of global initiatives, she and the RIT Global Programs staff work closely with the campuses in Croatia, Dubai and Kosovo. They are excited about the increased opportunities for exchange and research at the global campuses. Here are a few recent updates from students just starting their study abroad experiences in Dubai and Kosovo:
“Before the seriousness of classes begin at RIT Dubai, eleven engineering students dined with Dr. Mustafa Abushagur, president of RIT Dubai, as well as one of their faculty members—a familiar face in the engineering college—Dr. Hany Ghoneim, professor of mechanical engineering, who is on leave from his teaching in Rochester to spend the year at RIT Dubai,” she says.
“The dinner was part of new student orientation arranged by the RIT Dubai staff at the Karem Beirut in the Mall of the Emirates, overlooking the Ski Dubai facility. Later in the weekend, the group took a tour on a dhow (a traditional Arab, single-sail boat) into the Persian Gulf.”
Classes began on Sunday, Dec. 5. The orientation was a way to get the students acclimated to the area, but also to share some of the traditions and culture of a community they’d be expected to immerse themselves into while taking classes.
Not too far away, 10 of their classmates will landed in Kosovo for a week-long visit at the American University in Kosovo. They are there to work with 13 of their American University in Kosovo classmates on a project for an energy and innovation course.
“Carl Lundgren, professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology and FacultyAssociate for the RIT Center for Student Innovation led the group to make face-to-face introductions for a cross-disciplinary project on issues related to energy and new innovations in Kosovo,” McGrath adds.
“When the RIT students return after their week visit, the groups will continue to work together and will present at the RIT Student Colloquium held at the Center for Student Innovation. The American University in Kosovo students will present virtually with their RIT team members. The teams of RIT and American University in Kosovo students will be learning how to work across time zones and address appropriate technology issues. They will also be getting to know each other as classmate and future colleagues.”
You can keep up with the students on their adventures. One of the students, Andrew Couvertier, is spending the entire quarter in Kosovo and he has started a blog to record some of his experiences and insights: http://kosovo-innovation.blogspot.com/
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