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Academic Programs Abroad Fair introducing new programs, Oct. 18 - 19

Visiting the Palace of Justice, touring the Adidas factory, catching a glimpse of the Berlin Wall, breathing the air of the Alps, touring the BMW production facility—these are just a few of the things students in the Encountering Engineering in Europe program did this summer.

For the first time, engineering students studied in Europe, going on tours while earning class credits.

For the first time, LSU engineering students toured Europe as part of Academic Programs Abroad. The students studied with LSU instructor Paige Davis, while earning university credit. To document their travels, the students maintained a blog during their 35-day journey.

The students started in Frankfurt and Nuremberg, Germany. On day two, engineering student Trentan Lancaster writes:

"The bus arrived at 11:30 to transport us from the Frankfurt airport to our Nuremberg youth hotel. During transport, I viewed amazing scenery with rolling tree-filled hills and gullies and windmills on the horizon. A quick lunch break at an information center gave us our first taste of real German food—I had fries and meatloaf—and we were back off to Nuremberg."

The students toured Germany, visiting the Palace of Justice where the Nuremberg Trials were held, the Imperial Fortress and watched some of the World Cup events. They also toured the Adidas factory, the Audi factory and visited the Berlin wall.

"The people at Adidas were kind enough to give us a tour of their factory," said Jordan Moree. "We saw them making custom shoes for all of the top athletes and a few production lines for their mass-produced shoes. We followed the shoe from a sheet of leather to a finished soccer cleat."

About half way through the trip, the students left Germany, and headed to Austria. There, they saw St. Charles Church, the Stephansdom, the Wien Military Museum and the Technical Institute in Vienna.

After Austria, the group headed to Brandenburg, Germany for a view of the Alps, right from their hotel.

"The view of the Alps was breathtaking, even though we didn't have much breath left," said Emma Allain. "No one seemed to care about exhaustion. The hotel is beautifully settled in the Alps. Could we ask for anything better?"

The Alps were a favorite among the students as they took some of their classes in the great outdoors.

"We actually finished classes in a creek discussing topics for the final projects due at the end of the course," Moree said. "I could have never imagined when I enrolled at LSU that I would attend a class where I could get my feet wet in a mountain creek in the Alps."

Aside from Brandenburg, the group traveled to Paris, Amsterdam, Prague and Munich. Toward the end of the trip, the students tried to make the most of their remaining time overseas.

"We are in Germany, but at the same time we are in school," said Nicholas Massimini. "Seems like we are pulling out all of our time management skills to get everything done and see the country. I have to admit it does help when you are constantly with people that are in the same situation as you."

On the last day of the trip, final projects were due and the LSU instructor, Davis, wrote an entry for the blog:

"Since today was our final class in Germany I thought it only appropriate to meet at the creek to wrap up our class. When I get back to LSU, I will sure miss having class outdoors, the Alps, crowded subways, sack lunches, luke-warm beverages, daily excursions, nightly ping-pong tournaments and so much more."

Students who wish to find out more about studying abroad are invited to the Academic Programs Abroad fair Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 18-19. The fair will be open from 12-4 p.m. on Monday and from 10-2 p.m. on Tuesday, in the Union's Royal Cotillion Ballroom.

At the fair, a few new programs are being introduced such as Footsteps in Berlin, Honors in South Africa, Higher Education in Germany, Landscape Architecture in Rome, LSU in South Africa and LSU in the Classical World.

While overseas, students toured the BMW production facility and visited the Audi factory, among many others.

"The fair is the ideal opportunity for students to learn about these new programs," said Elizabeth Dunn, marketing coordinator for Academic Programs Abroad. "Applications are taken on a rolling, first-come-first-serve basis, so it is critical for students to apply as soon as they want to participate."

The fair also gives students the opportunity to talk with the program directors face-to-face and ask questions.

"Study abroad gives you a chance to test drive your future plans," said Jill Clemmons, assistant director for Academic Programs Abroad. "Study abroad gives you a chance to see whether or not you really want to live in another place."

Clemmons said there are several reasons students chose not to study abroad, but their fears can be put to rest.

"It will never be easier to travel the world than it is now, when you're a student," Clemmons said. "Once you graduate, very few jobs are going to allow you to travel for four to six weeks, and almost none will give you a semester or year away. As a student, you can go abroad for a year, come back with a year's worth of credit, and not be behind in your studies."

Clemmons also said many students are worried about the expenses that come along with studying abroad. However, she said there are several scholarships and funding sources available.

"It can seem like a study abroad program is a really long time to be away, especially in an exchange that lasts for one or two semesters," she said. "But as cliché as it sounds, the time really does go by fast."

For more information on Academic Programs Abroad, visit www.lsu.edu/studyabroad.