Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

International Engineering: Collaboration on Hydrologic Modeling Applications in Central Mexico

In an effort to better educate engineers for professional practice in a "flat" world many institutions have developed programs that include international and global awareness components.  Because of the cultural and language immersion opportunities many students at BYU have already had through serving full time missions they are already prepared to have in depth academic experiences with counterparts from different countries, especially those countries where they already know the language.  The Mexico Study Abroad program has become successful because of the ability to leverage these students cultural and language skills with educational and research opportunities of real consequence.  In an on-going effort to document and publish the academic merits of this program in engineering education journals a formal survey of students participating in this program was conducted.  A short summary of the results are presented here, including links to student comments.

Of the 35 students who responded to the survey:

94% said this experience was the highlight of their academic preparation at BYU.

Was this experience the highlight of your academic preparation?94%6%

Students were surveyed regarding their expectations of developing key attributes associated with the "Engineer of 2020," including Leadership, Culture Awareness, Teamwork, Language, and Technical ability.  While Many expected to develop better Technical, Language, and Cultural Awareness skills, they reported greater than expected development in all attributes and most notably in Leadership, Cultural Awareness, and Technical.  The table below summarizes their pre-trip expectations and post-trip feelings.

LeadershipCultural AwarenessTeamworkLanguageTechnical
Expected development42%71%79%40%69%
Perceived development51%82%84%39%69%
Why students felt it was a highlight to their academic preparation

Advice given to students considering participation in the future