As part of ongoing efforts to develop a student exchange program and professional partnership, two leaders from the University of Applied Sciences in Linz, Austria recently visited the University of Findlay.
Dr. Gerald Reisinger, president, and Professor Witold Jacak, vice president of academics met with UF President Katherine Fell, Ph.D., spoke with faculty and staff, and took a campus tour. Their visit resulted from a meeting that a contingent of UF leaders had at the Austrian institution, where a memorandum of understanding was signed.
According to Chris Sippel, UF’s assistant dean for international, intercultural and service engagement, UF is “always looking for new areas throughout the world that are a good ‘fit’ for our students, faculty and staff. We need institutions and locales that offer the right amount of support and opportunity for cultural and academic learning, and Austria and UAS, based upon our visits and discussions, is just such a place.”
“UF constituents will know they are in another culture and will feel that, but they will also be well-supported and nurtured so that they can get the most out of their experience,” said Sippel.
Students from more than 60 countries are enrolled at UAS, which already partners with more than 240 other universities around the world. Its four campuses are located in the central region of upper Austria.
It is hoped that student exchanges will begin as early as spring 2017, Sippel noted. With UAS’s heavy focus on engineering and research, and its established corporate partnerships, most of the initial exchange students from both institutions will concentrate on learning the business aspects of manufacturing, administrators said. But other opportunities are expected to be available in different areas of study, Sippel said.
UAS also hosts an annual international conference in which UF students and faculty could participate.
The University of Findlay’s location to local and regional industries, and its similar size, makes it attractive to the UAS, said Reisinger.
Sippel said UF has exchange programs with universities in Japan, Sweden, Korea and the Dominican Republic. “The exchanges take different forms, but these are all about helping students better understand and grow in their relationship to the global community,” he explained.