This summer, OSU Institute of Technology welcomed a group of eleven students and one faculty member from Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) in an exchange geared towards enhancing mutual understanding and learning. The group from Puebla, Mexico, spent four weeks in Oklahoma where they attended university classes, toured various business and industry facilities, and experienced the local culture.
The UPAEP Faculty Led program was initiated by OSU’s Division of International Studies and Outreach and offered jointly by OSUIT and Oklahoma State University.
“The intrinsic value of cross-cultural visits expands the educational experience for both the UPAEP students and our faculty,” reflected Kenneth Kern, International Programs and Compliance coordinator. “Our visiting Mexican students represented their home country well and demonstrated a readiness to learn and experience new things throughout both campus and industry-based interactions.”
The students stayed their first two weeks at OSUIT where they spent the majority of their time experiencing its hands-on approach to technical learning utilizing industry-caliber equipment.
The UPAEP group attended manufacturing classes conducted by instructor Guenter Kornmueller, GM-ASEP automotive classes by George Regier and Chrysler-CAP classes by John Prior.
While hosted by OSUIT, the group toured local engineering and manufacturing facilities, including Braden Winch and Covington Aircraft in Okmulgee as well as Flight Safety International and the Lexus, Audi and Jim Norton Toyota auto dealerships in Tulsa.
The UPAEP group participated socially on campus by attending a Multicultural and International Student Association club meeting where they conducted a presentation on Mexican culture for students and faculty.
“OSUIT has a unique approach, and I think it worked really well to partner with the Faculty Led program to provide a hands-on learning environment for the UPAEP students,” explained Rachel Colle, International Recruitment and Programs coordinator. “I believe we have something unique to offer as part of the OSU system, and we look forward to collaborating with OSU’s Division of International Studies and Outreach on similar future projects.”
“This was such a good group of students,” added Colle. “We’re excited about welcoming the program back next summer.”
Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) is a private, non-profit university located in Puebla, Mexico. It was founded on May 7, 1973 by a group of teachers and students looking for a new and better option in higher education. UPAEP has developed into a recognized university with a strong presence in the state and region. It currently offers 46 different bachelor programs in Economics and Administrative Sciences, Design, Health Sciences, Humanities, Engineering and Information Technologies. Its academic offering also includes continuing education, masters and doctoral degrees.