Student exchange program offers world-renowned science and engineering courses

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By Kate O’Neill 

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From Left: Senior Research and Innovation Advisor / Science Attaché / Innovation Centre Denmark Jeppe Dørup Olesen, Head of International Education Morten Overgaard , Senior Vice President and Dean of Graduate Studies and International Affairs Phillip Binning, Dean of Baskin School of Engineering and Distinguished Professor of CSE Alexander Wolf, Associate Dean of Engineering for Undergraduate Affairs and Professor of CSE Tracy Larrabee, Assistant Vice Provost of Global Engagement Becky George, International Partnerships Manager North and South America Jeppe Duus Dolriis

A new student exchange program with the world-renowned engineering school, Technical University of Denmark (DTU) provides students the opportunity to enroll in a variety of computer science, computer engineering, and bioengineering courses while studying abroad in one of the happiest countries in the world, without losing time to degree.

Thanks to the work of several BSOE faculty, UC Santa Cruz students have a range of DTU course offerings to choose from that are eligible to earn UC credit and substitute for degree requirements at UCSC. Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Professor Dimitris Achlioptas collaborated with Global Engagement and DTU faculty to develop a list of courses for CSE majors to take while studying abroad. Similarly, Bioengineering Professor Kevin Karplus devoted time to reviewing DTU coursework and identified a range of DTU courses that may substitute for biomedical engineering major requirements.

The exchange program, which was finalized in 2018, is now accepting applications for the 2019-20 academic year; applications close on March 15, 2019. Undergraduate students can attend DTU in fall 2019 or spring 2020 semesters, or for the full 2019-20 academic year.

DTU is located in Kongens Lyngby, a northern suburb of Copenhagen located only 10 miles north of the city center and well-connected by efficient public transit. The university is one of Europe’s leading engineering institutions, founded in 1829 as Denmark’s first institute of technology campus. The US News & World Report ranked DTU 28th globally for engineering.

Delegation Visit

A delegation from DTU visited UC Santa Cruz on Jan. 18, 2019 to connect with faculty, students, and administrators. While on campus, the delegates hosted an information session for engineering students and met with faculty and campus leadership.

Throughout the day, the DTU delegation met with faculty and administrators from Global Engagement, and BSOE, including Dean of BSOE Alexander Wolf, BSOE Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs Abel Rodriguez, Interim Vice Provost of Global Engagement Richard Hughey, and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs Tracy Larrabee. These meetings provided an opportunity to continue a dialogue focused on the student exchange, and expanding the opportunities for research collaborations to facilitate increased mobility of faculty, researchers, and students for mutual benefit.

At the information session, Phillip Binning, DTU senior vice president and dean of Graduate Studies and International Affairs, spoke to undergraduate students about academics, student experience, and research opportunities. Søren Møller Christensen, a DTU student who is currently participating in the exchange program at UCSC, provided participants with insights into student life, the academic culture, and a comparison of the UCSC and DTU student experience.

Binning highlighted that DTU offers more than 1200 courses in English within the fields of natural and technical sciences, including computer science, physics, chemistry, and engineering. At DTU, students learn to work individually, but the bulk of coursework is group work.

“Classes are typically in four-hour blocks, where you work on projects in groups. We’re very hands-on, we have state-of-the-art labs and we really like the students to get in there and use the equipment,” said Binning.

Students at DTU will also have plenty of opportunities to work closely with faculty. Binning mentioned that there is a lot of direct interaction between the students and faculty at DTU as they have a six to one student to faculty ratio.

Students can participate in a variety of collaborative extracurricular research projects. One such opportunity, Blue Dot projects, provides students the opportunity to join student-driven initiatives that address the big challenges in the world. Christensen spoke of his participation in the eco car project, a Blue Dot project, which develops energy-efficient cars. In 2018, the eco car set a new track record of 374 km on one liter of bioethanol at the Europen Shell Eco-marathon.

“We had six exchange students working on a Blue Dot project; they were a core part of the team. It is definitely possible to get involved as an exchange student,” said Christensen.

As a technology campus, DTU is partnered with industry, and as such, provides students a variety of avenues to innovate. One such place, called Skylab, is a dedicated space where students work on student-led projects that translate technology and science into commercial products and companies. Binning noted that 75% of companies that have started in Skylab over the last ten years are still running today.

DTU also has a vibrant student life on campus, including many clubs, associations, social events, and sports. There are many perks available to exchange students, including guaranteed housing; students have hassle-free accommodations that are only 30 minutes from downtown Copenhagen.

Binning noted the university’s popularity with exchange students, “students love DTU, 98% of our international students say that they would recommend DTU to their friends.”

Students interested in learning more about the exchange program with DTU can visit studyabroad.ucsc.edu or contact studyabroad@ucsc.edu. Individuals interested in exploring partnership opportunities with international universities can visit global.ucsc.edu or contact global@ucsc.edu.

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