Focus, Higher Education, and Technology

GVSU offers international partnerships

The new program features internships and exchanges.

August 23, 2013
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The engineering and computing schools at Grand Valley State University have gone international. Students now have an opportunity to study abroad and do internships at overseas companies while they earn their degrees, through two new international partnerships created by the university.

The GVSU Padnos College of Engineering and Computing has entered into agreements with Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland and University of Cooperative Education in Mosbach, Germany.

The partnerships also allow for faculty, staff and student exchanges. GVSU students who take advantage of this new opportunity will become globally competent in their fields — a key advantage when they enter the work force.

“Both institutions are similar to Grand Valley because they integrate academic studies with professional practice and have close connections with local industry,” said Joseph Iannelli, director of the GVSU School of Engineering, in a statement.

Iannelli negotiated the agreements with the European colleges and co-chairs the university’s curriculum internationalization subcommittee.

“The interest in these two countries derives from the presence in West Michigan of more than 50 multinational companies, the majority of which are from Germany, with some from Austria and Switzerland,” he said.

Iannelli said Padnos College will also continue its Industry-Sponsored Graduate Assistant Program for international graduate students who attend GVSU. The program pairs students who are enrolled in the engineering master’s program with an international company that has offices in Grand Rapids, such as Autocam Automotive and Shape Corp.

The University of Cooperative Education has been a partner of the GVSU Seidman College of Business for the past seven years. Iannelli said six students from the German college have enrolled at GVSU for the fall semester. At the same time, three Grand Valley State students plan to complete their internships in Germany.

As for the Zurich university, two of the school’s professors have completed sabbaticals at GVSU, and GVSU biomedical engineering professor Samhita Rhodes will spend a sabbatical semester at the Switzerland school.

For more information, go to gvsu.edu/engineering.

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