The European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) organises Twin Programmes for students at member universities. Because these exchange programmes are pre-approved, there is no approval process standing between the student and an exciting opportunity to go abroad for a semester.
With Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico being a member of the network, it is even possible for students to cross the Atlantic. That is what Alonso Macias, Guillermo Mortera and Saul Rivera did in the fall of 2017, when they took one semester at University of Stavanger (UiS).
One benefit of visiting another university was getting different subjects.
«The course package in Stavanger was more about mechanical engineering than my study programme at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. The professor was very good at explaining the “Finite Elements” topic. I also got to study Lean Manufacturing, which was also very good», says Alonso Macias.
As Guillermo Mortera discovered, going to university in Norway means a higher degree of self-study.
«The way of teaching is different. Here, you are more independent. You need to decide for yourself whether you go to class or not. It is up to you how responsible you want to be», says Mortera.
Saul Rivera enjoyed the close ties between theory and practice that is a hallmark of many UiS programmes.
«I like that the laboratory work is complementary to theory. I was a bit lost in one course, but when we did the lab exercises it all made sense and I understood everything».
Exploration and friends
Going abroad is, of course, a learning experience all by itself. While in Stavanger, the students made the most of their time, exploring the region, Norway and Europe. They took in the natural beauty of places like Trolltunga, and visited cities like Berlin and Prague.
«I also got the opportunity to practice English and meet new friends», says Macias.
Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering is the first study programme to offer the ECIU Twinning. The next step is to add exchange possibilities at Master level.
Other study programmes are expected to follow suit, broadening the exchange opportunities for students at ECIU universities.
See our short video with saul, Guillermo and Alonso below: