In this age of globalization, it is highly likely that you will work with international teams and spend part of your career abroad. Preparing for this now will make you far more confident and successful in the future. It will also substantially increase your chances for a good job upon graduation.
American business and technology can only thrive to the extent that it can compete globally. To do this, the nation needs engineers who understand the perspectives of markets and partners abroad. Without this preparation, which is standard elsewhere in the world, we are at a large disadvantage.
Corporate recruiters like IEP students, because they prove a willingness to “go the extra mile,” to work hard, and to stay at the cutting edge. Recruiters know IEP students have broader skill sets and can potentially fill many different functions in the engineering world, including management.
With two degrees, fluency in a second language and international work experience, IEP students generally start at a higher salary, and likewise, make quicker progress up the ladder.
It is only common sense that recruiters will pick IEP students over students who have only one degree and no international experience. The placement rate for IEP students at graduation is far higher than for traditional engineering grads, even when the economy is weak.
Learning another language and studying and working abroad contribute greatly to personal development and self confidence. Removing oneself from familiar surroundings gives a fresh and broader perspective, leading to greater self reliance.
Living, studying, and working abroad provides the basis for a new and far deeper understanding of your home culture and language. IEP students learn to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of their host culture, but also of their home culture. IEP students become global citizens, while remaining loyal Americans.
Living, studying, and working abroad teaches one firsthand how to face new and different environments, how to appreciate those who come from different cultural backgrounds, and how to adapt and thrive in new environments.
Learning a second language strengthens one’s understanding and command of one’s own native language, and leads to better oral and written presentations skills. The overall IEP experience also builds character and strengthens self-confidence.
The IEP sends students abroad for study and internship experiences and teaches its students to work in new and different environments, in the host culture, and in the host language. The newly acquired cross-cultural communication skills carry over to other new environments as well.
IEP students live and learn together and are thus a special group within the URI community. They receive lots of attention and are greatly appreciated by each other and their teachers.
IEP students have their own home on campus in the two residential houses of the Heidi Kirk Duffy Center for International Engineering Education right at the entrance to campus on Upper College Road. The IEP House and the Texas Instruments House are the administrative and residential center for the IEP, and the home of 75 IEP students. The Heidi Kirk Duffy Center for International Engineering Education provides a place for students to meet, and get help and advice, as well as a great place to live.
Why do the IEP?
Dr. Megan Mercedes Echevarría
Professor & Director
Spanish International Engineering Program