Situational learning and study abroad
The UF in Lille Engineering and Arts study abroad program is the first program to offer an Engineering Critical Tracking course, PHY2049, in a UF led summer program. This allows all engineering students to participate and creates an interdisciplinary cohort which diversifies the program. Students are also enrolled in my Engineering Arts Sketchbook class which immerses them in European culture while teaching them a new skill set. This course encourages engagement with and appreciation of their surroundings, prompts creativity, and helps them develop the critical thinking skills needed to thrive in an interconnected world.
The Engineering Arts Sketchbook class is designed to help students adapt to their international location by taking them into the streets and museums of their host city. Most of the students have never drawn before and are uneasy with art. Students are assigned readings that consider the nature of what it means to create in a foreign environment, and discuss the importance of museums as a visual dictionary for new artistic vocabulary. They are encouraged to do tracings of the building materials that make up the city and take drawing walks that help them translate their experiences into two-dimensional modes of communication. Their final project asks them to create a work of art that sums up their time in their new country. In each of these assignments the students are pushed out of their comfort zones and given the tools necessary to navigate their time abroad. The works of art have been displayed in Gainesville and are permanently hung in the Center for Student Excellence to showcase the power of study abroad and the accomplishments of our students.