"Engineering in a Global and Societal Context" indeed provides plenty of context for engineering students studying abroad. Nothing compares to stepping inside a French nuclear power plant or walking across the top of a Swiss hydro-electric dam to better understand European energy production and to motivate the study of energy use and policy.

Engineering professors Keith Buffinton, Erin Jablonski and Richard McGinnis spent three weeks this past year visiting academic, industrial and cultural sites in Switzerland, Germany and France, where students visited facilities highlighting European progress in developing alternative energy sources and saw first-hand the changes Europe is making to promote sustainable lifestyles.

"It was a whirlwind trip with the students meeting and interacting with Swiss students in Zurich and French students in Tours, among many other activities," says Buffinton. "Most engineering programs are rather tightly structured so engineering students don’t often have these kinds of opportunities study abroad experiences.

"But Bucknell has developed this and several other programs that allow students to study in England, Spain, Australia and other places around the globe. This trip to Europe allowed these students to really see first-hand the impact and practices of engineering worldwide."

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