Outgoing: IUT students in Wilhelmshaven, Germany
The International Training Project is a bi-national program uniting two departments, GEII (Electrical Engineering and Industrial Computing) and SGM (Materials Science and Engineering) from the University Institute of Technology (IUT) Bordeaux with the Jade University of Applied Sciences in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
The overall aim of the project is to bring together students from different fields of study and different countries to create and develop applications for mobile phones and tablets. The program is organized over four months. In early October, the German students and lecturers come to Bordeaux for one week of “team-building”, from October to January, French and German students, organized in teams, work together remotely using the latest distance collaboration tools. Finally, in January, the students present their finished project for evaluation via video-conference.
After three years with this structure, 2017 was time for a change. In October 24 German students came to Bordeaux and, for the first time, this January nearly 50 French students went to Germany to present their final project orals and participate in company visits. For some of the French students, this was their first ever international mobility experience!
According to Serge Bouter (lecturer - Head of SARII - Automatic Systems, Networks and Industrial Computing - program) and Thierry Villard (lecturer – International Relations IUT Bordeaux), “Organizing this trip for the French students with the presentation of the final project orals in Germany was very exciting and motivating for both the students and the lecturers. Working remotely has its advantages, but real face to face meetings are invaluable”.
It was time for a new challenge.
S. Bouter, T. Villard — IUT Bordeaux
This type of international project management, often proposed at Master level, provides a solid experience for these Bachelor students, preparing them for their future studies and projects. The students work in real-life situations where it is up to them to find solutions that respect the project contract. They are 100% responsible for their project and their team’s work.
This bi-national program is beneficial from both an academic and a human perspective. It obliges the students to use their scientific and technological skills, and also calls on their “soft skills”; their ability to adapt, to integrate a group, to communicate in English, etc., all of which is extremely beneficial for their future integration into the working world. "In these times of international uncertainty, such an international training reinforces French-German relations and reaffirms our European identity." said Serge Bouter.
The International Training Project plans to develop via new partners, notably in Spain, that will enrich the program by further broadening the international prospects and allowing the IUT Bordeaux students to be confronted with a range of different work contexts.
"Not only did this project allow us practice our English within a real life working situation, it was also the first time that most of us had collaborated on an international level thanks to digital exchanges. The most interesting and challenging part of the project was compiling all the work completed and then presenting the finished application live in front of a jury"
Victor Gayan, student IUT Bordeaux
With this project, we were given free rein to design the application (a trilingual chat application), it was great to be able to take initiatives in the creation of the application content".
Marlene Sander — Student Jade University
"I really appreciated the fact that I was able to use and practice the English learnt during our classes. In addition, I was very much convinced by the intercultural approach all throughout the development of the project".
Valentin Marandel, student IUT Bordeaux
IUT key figures
The University Institute of Technology or IUT ("Institut Universitaire de Technologie") is part of the French university system. 2 different degrees are proposed, leading to direct vocational integration:
- A four semester degree: University Diploma in Technology (DUT - “Diplôme Universitaire de Technologie” - a vocational degree)
- A six semester degree: Vocational Bachelor of Science either as an apprentice or a regular student (LPro - “Licence Professionelle”)
In Bordeaux, the IUT offers 17 DUTs and 41 LPros in total. A mixed teaching approach is used with theoretical and practical sessions. These sessions are organized in small groups with an emphasis on lab sessions. Courses cover scientific subjects and also offer communication lessons that help students improve their “soft” skills and prepares them for their future professional life.