GEP: Global Engineering Program
"Companies tell us that they need global engineers, and that's what we're working toward," says Becky Hull, who promotes GEP work- and study-abroad opportunities to students in her position as Civil Engineering's study-abroad liaison. Interim director Dan Hirleman (head of Purdue's School of Mechanical Engineering) and assistant director Yating Chang head the program.
GEP equips students to engineer global careers through a variety of programs, including spring break, Maymester, and summer programs; engineering internships and co-op assignments at international locations; semester or academic-year student exchanges or study abroad with partner universities; and Purdue's GEARE program.
GEARE, the Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education, works in partnership with prestigious universities in Germany, China, India, and Mexico to provide undergraduates a domestic corporate internship, a later international internship at the same company, one semester of study abroad, and a two-semester co-located global design team project. (A graduate-level version offers six months of mentored research experience at a GEARE partner university.)
"When [our] students are hired, they have an edge over those who have not gone abroad," says Hull. Mechanical engineering junior and GEP participant Kim Dietz attests to that: "Now I have a better understanding of how to prepare myself for an international career."