By SHERRY SIMKOVIC
The Hopkins Center for Leadership Education (CLE), in a joint initiative with the Study Abroad Office and the Whiting School of Engineering, has recently announced a new semester abroad opportunity at the Technion: Israel Institute of Technology located in Haifa, Israel.
The opportunity is designed for both engineering majors and non-engineering majors interested in technology, entrepreneurship and management.
Lawrence Aronhime, director of the CLE, said that the idea for the program for undergraduate engineering students grew out of a study abroad opportunity for Hopkins Masters of Science in Engineering (MSEM) students that took place last January at the Technion.
Pamela Sheff, a senior lecturer in the CLE, explained that a group of MSEM students had participated in an immersion program last January at the Technion.
Students took a class called “Practice of Consulting” in which they gained experience working with clients abroad and were involved with a number of startup projects.
“The Technion tailored the program specifically for our students,” Sheff said. “Students gained experience by consulting with clients and working to solve market entry-related issues that startups face all while in an international setting.”
According to Sheff, last winter’s program has expanded through Aronhime’s contacts at the Technion. This winter Sheff expects for there to be up to eight MSEM students at the Technion, and they will be joined by undergraduates as well. Lori Citti, director of the Study Abroad Office, commented on the new opportunity for Hopkins students.
“This is the first fully articulated study abroad opportunity for undergraduate engineering students here at Hopkins,” Citti said.
According to Aronhime, beginning in January 2016, the program will allow engineering students to continue their Hopkins coursework at the Technion while delving into entrepreneurial opportunities available in Israel.
Aronhime said that one of the most unique aspects of the program is the “minimester,” in which students will spend the first seven weeks of the semester interning or researching.
Students will begin the semester at their professional entrepreneurial positions in Tel Aviv or Haifa in January and will begin to take classes in March when the Israeli semester begins.
Citti discussed the value of the study abroad program.
“Students participating in the program will have the best of both worlds,” Citti said. “Studying at the Technion will give students the chance to both stay on track academically in their engineering coursework and gain real-world experience. All of this will be done at a university and place that is the home of many of the technological startups in the Middle East.”
Citti said that the Study Abroad Office hopes for at least 10 engineers to participate in the program.
According to an email sent by the Center for Leadership Education, all courses are Hopkins approved and transferable. Hopkins will award credit for equivalent Technion courses in subjects such as biomedical engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, civil engineering, computer science, environmental engineering and mechanical engineering.
Although the semester abroad experience is geared toward engineers, the course offerings are not restricted to exclusively engineering classes.
Other options include math, computer science, business and humanities courses. Courses will be taught by both Technion professors and Hopkins professors such as Aronhime, who will be traveling to Israel as well.
Aronhime said that he is excited to work with students from around the world and introduce Hopkins students to Israel’s startup world.
“I’m looking forward to the upcoming semester and to get this program started, and I’m excited for engineering students to have equivalent experiences abroad to arts and sciences students,” Aronhime said.
“Like any entrepreneurial venture there is uncertainty at the beginning. But I truly believe in the successfulness of this flexible and dynamic program.”