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Rising Sophomore Abroad Program

The Rising Sophomore Abroad Program (RSAP) combines a Spring course with a 1 week to 2 week international module abroad in May immediately following the end of the Spring Semester. By giving students a taste of an international experience and increasing their comfort level with global travel, the program promotes additional, more extended international academic experiences such as internships, study abroad programs, or faculty-led programs. RSAP also allows students the opportunity to make initial contact with a company or university in another country to further their student experience or career prospects.

Eligibility: First-year undergraduate students in engineering may apply.

Spring Course:  ENGE 1644: Global Engineering Practice
Accepted students will be registered for this course in the spring semester. The class is designed to introduce students to global engineering, emphasizes the importance of cultural competency for engineers, and focuses on how differences in cultural, social and economic contexts influences engineering. This course will meet once per week.

Prerequisite: ENGE1215; Co-requisite: ENGE1216

For more information about ENGE 1644, please contact Dr. David Knight (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and follow us on Twitter (@vtrsap).


Back for a second year, this trip will include a 13 day international travel experience to Beijing and Shanghai, China. Students will be immersed in the local culture through guided tours through cities, on-site visits with local engineering and technology businesses, and unique cultural experiences specific to the region. The group will be accompanied by a local guide familiar with the area as well as Virginia Tech engineering faculty members to maximize students' experiential learning in cultural and engineering contexts.

The approximate cost for this trip would be $4,250 and includes airfare, program fee, lodging, some meals, and all in-country travel; scholarships are available.

Sample Itinerary

For more information about the China track, please contact Dr. David Knight (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

 

The Dominican Republic track is a service-oriented trip. This one-week experience involves flying to Santo Domingo, then taking a bus to San Juan de la Maguana. The group will stay in the guesthouse run by Solid Rock International, a Christian non-profit organization focused in the Dominican Republic, and will spend one night at a resort just before we leave.

While in the Dominican Republic, the group will be involved in a number of projects that will be better defined as the trip approaches. The group will definitely work on some construction projects--last year's group built a section of a perimeter wall surrounding a planned brand-new medical clinic. Other projects have included: workshops for teachers in the local schools, helping with the child nutrition program, assisting in mobile medical clinics, and repairing a solar-powered water heater. Last year, the group delivered a prosthetic leg, toured a dam and hydroelectric power plant, visited a water bottling plant, and spent a day with a Dominican engineer. This group is unique as it is the only all-engineer group that typically visits this site. One of the goals will be to bring donations of school supplies for the local schools (these are in short supply). Each trip is a brand-new experience with a lot to do.

This is a wonderful opportunity to experience a new, friendly culture in a developing nation. You will live differently for a week, make friends, meet friendly people, and learn a lot. You will work hard and have once-in-a-lifetime experiences. There is time to venture out to explore and meet the people of San Juan. You don’t need to know Spanish. Ut Prosim!

The approximate cost for this trip would be $2,000 and includes airfare, program fee, lodging, some meals, and all in-country travel; scholarships are available.

Sample Itinerary

For more information on the Dominican Republic track, contact Dr. Ken Reid (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

The Italy, Switzerland, and Germany RSAP trip is back again for 2016! Similar to the route of similar years, the trip will include visits to Italy (Bologna, Milan), Switzerland (Lucerne), and Germany (Munich, Heidelberg). A variety of engineering company visits and cultural experiences will be included at each stage of travel. The group will be accompanied by a local guide familiar with the region as well as Virginia Tech engineering faculty members to maximize students' experiential learning in cultural and engineering contexts.

The approximate cost for this trip would be $4,000 and includes airfare, program fee, lodging, some meals, and all in-country travel; scholarships are available.

Sample Itinerary

For more information about the Europe track, please contact Dr. David Knight (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

We are excited to announce that 2017 will be the first offering of a 13-day international travel experience to Christchurch, New Zealand and Brisbane, Australia. Travelers will experience a number of breathtaking tours of natural and man-made structures with discussions provided by local engineering experts. In addition, connections with the University of Queensland in Brisbane will afford students an opportunity to interact with students and faculty from a different international institution. The group will be accompanied by Virginia Tech engineering faculty members throughout the trip to maximize students' experiential learning in cultural and engineering contexts.

The approximate cost for this trip would be $4,250 and includes airfare, program fee, lodging, some meals, and all in-country travel; scholarships are available.

Sample Itinerary

For more information about the New Zealand and Australia track, please contact Dr. David Knight (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

RSAP is excited to announce a new and unique international track to South Africa. Designed to immerse students into how local contextual issues can influence engineering practice, the program is focused in three South African areas: Johannesburg, Thohoyandou, and Buskbuckridge. Each location was specifically chosen to illuminate the diverse set of issues faced by people in different socioeconomic regions. Students will be tasked with multiple technological issues during the spring semester course that will be addressed within the local context throughout the trip. In addition to Virginia Tech faculty members, an in-country faculty member and program director will accompany students and facilitate learning activities and tours.

The approximate cost for this trip would be $4,250 and includes airfare, program fee, lodging, some meals, and all in-country travel; scholarships are available.

Sample Itinerary

For more information about the South Africa track, please contact Dr. David Knight (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

2017 will also be the first offering of a 14-day tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland! Students will spend their time in London, Nottingham, Dublin, and Galway, experiencing first-hand some of the best known architectural and natural landmarks of the region. On site tours and discussions led by local engineers of world-leading companies will offer students an up-close look behind the engineering processes in many industries, including automotive, transportation, food processing, and technology. As with all RSAP international tours, the group will be accompanied by Virginia Tech engineering faculty members throughout the trip.

The approximate cost for this trip would be $4,000 and includes airfare, program fee, lodging, some meals, and all in-country travel; scholarships are available.

Sample Itinerary

For more information about the UK/Ireland track, please contact Dr. David Knight (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

 
Engineering Education at Virginia Tech


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