International Educator - March/April 2016 - 20

Georgia Tech's International Plan
Captures Students' Attention

The International
Plan was perfect
for Hannah
Oermann, a 2013
graduate who
just completed a
master's degree
in mechanical
engineering.

20  

The Georgia Institute of Technology mission statement sets
forth this ambition: "We will be leaders in improving the
human condition in Georgia, the United States, and around
the globe." Toward that end students and faculty study, conduct research, and do other work and internships on a global
scale. Twenty percent of the 24,000 students and half of the
15,000 undergraduates-80 percent majoring in engineering
or science-study abroad. Yves Berthelot, vice provost for
international initiatives, said, "At Georgia Tech, we are not

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M A R + A P R .16

just talking about educating global citizens, we are actually
doing it. We have a large numbers of programs and opportunities, both on-campus and abroad, designed to broaden
the students perspectives in a meaningful, global way.."
Georgia Tech made international education the thrust
of a Quality Enhancement Plan for its 2005 reaccreditation
and received a Senator Paul Simon Award in 2007. The International Plan (IP) requires students to master a second
language and spend 26 weeks studying, working, and doing research outside the United States. It is integrated into
more than two dozen majors, from aerospace engineering
to computer science to industrial design. The requirements
are stringent enough that only a few dozen students each
year graduate with the IP designation on their diplomas,
but the campuswide impact is deeper with upwards of 700
students each year signed up and attempting to meet the
IP's high standards. "The IP has been very good for bringing the entire campus community together to appreciate
and look positively on global learning and competencies,"
said Berthelot, a mechanical engineer who is also president
of Georgia Tech-Lorraine, the institution's quarter-century-old campus in Metz, France. "We have a lot of friends
over campus actively involved in helping students get some
kind of international experience or outlook."
These future engineers, computer scientists, and business people understand how this will serve them in their
careers. "When students come, they don't ask if they will
be doing an international experience. They say, 'How
many and when?' They all want to do it," said Berthelot,
who often shows a graphic from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer showing all the countries where parts of the Boeing
787 jet are constructed. "Engineers understand even if you
work in the U.S., you definitely will interact globally and
work across borders with suppliers and vendors."
The IP was a perfect fit for Hannah Oermann, a
2013 graduate who just completed a master's degree in
mechanical engineering. "When I heard about IP at a
workshop during freshman orientation, I said, 'I want to
do this,'" said Oermann, whose mother is German. When
her first adviser sounded lukewarm about the IP and the
extra work it entailed, "I said, OK, who do I need to talk
to?" She switched to a supportive adviser and wound up
interning at Bosch in Germany. Now she is starting two
years of managerial training with Bosch in Michigan and
hopes to spend six months in Asia and learn Japanese.
To earn the IP "you have to be organized. You can't be a
whimsical, go-with-the-flow kind of person," she said. The
IP requires three courses on global politics, economics,
and regional studies and requires students not to "burn
off your electives on other classes."

COURTESY OF HANNAH OERMANN

it began awarding Excellence in Global Learning Medallions to students at graduation who have gone beyond the
minimum requirements, including taking at least four
courses, participating in cocurricular activities, studying
abroad, doing a global internship, and taking two years of
language or undertaking a global research project. Seventeen have earned the distinction so far.
It was not arduous for Melanie Korner to earn her medallion. Korner, newly graduated with a bachelor's degree
in psychology, was born in Venezuela to Venezuelan and
Romanian parents, grew up in Miami with its cornucopia
of cultures, studied abroad through Semester at Sea, led
the Hillel organization on campus, and attended youth
leadership seminars in Uruguay and Mexico. "The combination of my many global experiences and global learning
in the classroom has prepared me to face global issues and
the real world head-on," she said. "Thanks to global learning at FIU, I'll be able to hit the ground running."
The Office of Global Learning Initiatives now compiles
a "global score" for every college and department, based
on their number of global learning courses and faculty
participation in professional development.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - March/April 2016

Contents
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover1
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover2
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Contents
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 2
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 3
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 4
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 5
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 6
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 7
International Educator - March/April 2016 - 8
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International Educator - March/April 2016 - 56
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover3
International Educator - March/April 2016 - Cover4
International Educator - March/April 2016 - FCover1
International Educator - March/April 2016 - FCover2
International Educator - March/April 2016 - F1
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International Educator - March/April 2016 - FCover3
International Educator - March/April 2016 - FCover4
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