The Global Technology Practice program is designed to give students an introduction to the development and use of technology in Germany and the role of cultural values in shaping technology practice. The program is centered in Stuttgart, one of the leading centers for scientific research, nanotechnology, automotive and aerospace engineering, advanced manufacturing, robotics, and alternative and sustainable energy. The course enables participants to explore questions such as, why Germany is among the world's leaders in the design, production and use of alternative, sustainable energy, including wind, solar, wave and geothermal. What are the demographic, historical and cultural factors that have made Germany's formidable reputation for engineering the world's finest production automobiles? Comparisons with the US allow students to gain a better understanding of the factors that have pushed the US to the forefront in certain areas, but have held it back in others.
Engineering students will benefit from the course through new perspectives on the education, training and professional practice, and the social/cultural environment of the engineer in Germany. New frames of reference allow participants to compare and contrast their own education, professional goals and socio-cultural values with those of the host country. This increased knowledge and awareness of global context will enhance the student's ability to remain competitive as a professional engineer and engage more effectively in the global engineering enterprise.
Students from other fields will also benefit from greater understanding and awareness of the globalization of technology practice and marketing, and deeper understanding of the role of scientific research, engineering and culture in technology practice.
The program is centered in Stuttgart, a city of roughly 400,000 inhabitants. Stuttgart is the county seat of Baden Wuerttemberg, located in the southwestern corner of Germany, and having borders with France and Switzerland. Strasbourg is approx. one hour to the west of Stuttgart and Basel about a two-hour train ride. Stuttgart is well known for some its most famous sons, including Gottlieb Daimler, the inventor of the automobile, and Robert Bosch, inventor of fuel injection systems. Stuttgart's one-thousand year history is rife with the evidence of its significant role in the cultural, political and technological development of Europe.The program includes a three-day excursion to the Austrian Alps, an area famous for its natural beauty, unique culture and opportunities for hiking and climbing. Several organized hikes will be available, as well as opportunities to enjoy the cuisine, and overnight in an alpine chalet.
Global Technology Practice: Germany
(ENGR 4595; 3 credits)
Stuttgart in the Midst of Germany and Europe
(GETR 3559; 3 credits)
This program is open to ALL UVA undergraduates.
Participants earn a total of 6 credits for this program. Students will first participate in a two-week course in German Cultural Studies course for 3 credits led by a University of Stuttgart instructor. Part of this course will be to write a research paper on a topic of interest related to Stuttgart. Thinking about paper topics and research sources prior to departure is highly encouraged.
Objectives for ENGR 4595
- Enable students to recognize and gain confidence in their ability to overcome cultural and other barriers to communication, exchange and collaboration, thereby enhancing their preparation for engagement in the global science, engineering and technology enterprise.
- Increase professionalism by increasing awareness of both the advantages and shortcomings of the student's own educational and professional experiences and opportunities.
- Encourage and stimulate engineering leadership through exposure to new ideas in engineering education and professional practice, and to different priorities and attitudes about technology, and the role of organizational and cultural context.
- Enable and encourage participants to make friends and establish professional ties with the host country, both in academic and professional contexts.
- Gain familiarity and working knowledge of a wide variety of renewable energy technologies, as well as deeper understanding of many of the issues related to environmental sustainability.
Dana Elzey | firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Elzey is Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Virginia. His interest in Germany was first awakened by its literature, philosophy and music. This interest eventually led him to move to Germany for six years, and to complete a doctorate in materials science at the Universität Stuttgart. He also researched and taught materials science at the Max-Planck Institut in Stuttgart. He has led this program since 2007.
Accommodation and Meals
The program hotel is a modern, comfortable hotel. The hotel is very conveniently located, being fifteen minutes from downtown Stuttgart by foot or five minutes by streetcar. The hotel offers highspeed (cable) internet, washer/dryer facilities, a study lounge, outdoor courtyard, and an excellent continental breakfast.
The University of Virginia believes in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individual and flexible basis. This program includes an excursion with a strenuous, eight-hour hike in the mountains over steep and challenging terrain; an alternative activity is available. If you believe that you would require adjustments in order to fully participate in this program, please contact the Student Disability Access Center at 434-243-5180 as early as possible in order to begin this dialogue.
Passport and Visa
All participants will need a valid passport in order to participate in the program. Students must ensure that their passport is valid at least six months past the program return date. US passport holders will not need a visa to participate in this program. International students should meet with their International Student Advisor in the International Studies Office as part of the application process.
Health and Safety Information
All students considering Education Abroad should consult the Students Abroad section of the U.S. Department of State’s web-based travel resources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Traveler’s Health web resources to research health, safety, and security conditions; visa requirements; immunization requirements; and recommendations on staying healthy and safe in their target destination(s). Students should also carefully review the UVA Education Abroad Health & Safety Abroad web page. Parents and guardians are strongly advised to review all of these resources, as well. UVA students and visiting students enrolled in UVA Education Abroad programs are subject to the University of Virginia’s Policy on Student International Travel.