Transatlantic Science Student Exchange Program links more than a dozen US Universities with nearly twenty Universities in the European Community in an active effort to promote study abroad. In this program, science students study their chosen discipline at an overseas University under an agreement which ensures that they receive full credit at their home University for an arranged schedule of classes taken abroad. Students pay tuition and fees at heir home University and thereby receive student status at the overseas University.
Science has increasingly become international in scope, both in industry as well as in university and government research laboratories. It is therefore essential that science students become familiar with foreign cultures, languages and economic systems. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through exchange programs in which students spend a year abroad, living much like the students at the overseas university and studying alongside them. Study abroad programs have long been available to American students in the humanities and social sciences, while the ERASMUS program has resulted in an enormous expansion in the mobility of students from all disciplines within Europe.
The Transatlantic Science Student Exchange Program now seeks to achieve similar mobility between North America and the European Community. Science students face unique problems because of the vertical structure of the science curriculum, and the Transatlantic Science Student Exchange Program aims to foster robust exchange that extends the benefits of study abroad to this group in particular by providing a sound basis for academic recognition of scientific course work.
Students achieve academic recognition in the exchange program by means of ECTS. Three elements combine to define ECTS: Information exchanged between the Home and Host institutions, Recognition with academic credit by the Home institution for student work at the Host institution, and a commitment on the part of the student to a Learning Agreement which forms part of the uniform ECTS application. Each participating institution provides an ECTS Information Package with a list of the classes offered, giving the detailed content of each class and the workload in the form of ECTS credits. Additional information includes a typical undergraduate course program for science majors in the specified field of study.
ECTS credits are based on the assignment of 60 credits to one full year's work at each university. This permits each university to assign a credit rating to each of its classes on the basis of the total work required.
ECTS uses a common application form which includes a learning agreement, and provides a transcript of student grades with a well-defined ECTS grade for each class taken.
Students at the overseas university will be advised by the academic program coordinators and the study abroad office.
Each student's curriculum is decided by prior agreement between the student, his or her advisor, and the foreign university coordinator. This learning agreement, signed by the three parties, serves as a guarantee that satisfactory completion of the course work will count toward fulfillment of the home institution graduation requirements. Whether the home institution lists the grades in their transcripts, or uses them in determining the grade point average, is up to the home university. Communication between the two universities is essential to ensure that science and non-science courses can be made available as appropriate to the student's academic needs.
It is expected that a student attending a university will have had at least two college years of training in the appropriate language. Additional work or experience is desirable. Exceptions to this requirement can be made in consultation with the foreign university advisor. Most of the partner universities offer intensive language programs during a one or two month period prior to the beginning of the academic year. In general, the sending institution is responsible for certifying the adequacy of the language preparation.
The host institution will provide help in finding appropriate housing for the foreign students. All housing costs are born by the student.
Université de Liège, Belgium
Aarhus Universitet, Denmark
Université Joseph Fourier de Grenoble, France
Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse, France
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany
Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
University of Ioannina, Greece
Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
Universit‡ degli Studi di Pavia, Italy
Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal
Universidad del Pais Vasco, Bilbao (Spain)
Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom
Lancaster University, United Kingdom
University of California at Santa Barbara
University of Colorado, Boulder
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Purdue University, Indiana
Michigan State University at East Lansing
Cornell University, New York
Duke University, North Carolina
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Franklin and Marshall College, Pennsylvania
Rice University, Texas
Texas A& M University
University of Texas at Austin
University of Virginia at Charlottesville
University of Washington at Seattle
University of Wisconsin at Madison