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LMU Engineers to Get Benefit of Study Abroad

Jeremy Pal, assistant professor of civil engineering and environmental science at Loyola Marymount University, knows of only one other university in the country that offers a semester abroad for science and engineering students. That was part of his motivation to establish such a program for engineering students at the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering.

During the fall 2010 semester, 12 to 16 engineering students from LMU will reside in Bonn, Germany, accompanied by Pal, who will teach a class and help the students navigate a different culture.

Students selected for the program will take classes in statics -- taught by Pal -- physics, circuits and differential equations -- taught remotely by an LMU math professor -- and a class on German history, culture and language. Classes will be held at the Academy for International Education. However, Pal said, Seaver College must ship lab equipment to Bonn for the students' use. He noted that this logistical challenge may be one reason more universities do not offer this type of study abroad program.

The students – all of whom will be third-semester engineering majors – will take guided excursions to other European countries. They will also visit several German cities, including Berlin and Dresden, where they will view structures where technology and history are significantly intertwined.

Pal wanted to make a study abroad opportunity available for Seaver College students because so much learning takes place outside of the classroom, he said. Pal, an American who lived in Europe for six years, believes in the educational value of living in a different culture. He noted that the program coincides with a central component of the LMU mission, “the education of the whole person.”

Posted March 29, 2010