iPodia students from the United States, Qatar, and Germany joined their classmates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from late November to mid December. The trip marks the first time the iPodia program has run in the fall semester, but the results have been tremendous. Throughout their stay, students engaged at two of the biggest engineering education conventions in the world, the Global Student Forum (GSF), and the World Engineering Education Form (WEEF).
At the GSF, students were able to physically meet who they had been working with digitally over the course of the semester as well as work with many students from different programs around the world including Chile, Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Lebanon, and many more. The three day event focused on identifying problems in engineering education then creating action plans that address those problems. The winning action plan had three iPodia students; one from Aachen University, one from the University of Southern California, and one from Qatar University. It focused on creating a crowdfunding platform specifically for students wanting to meet international counterparts.
At WEEF, students were able to listen to many of the presentations on engineering education as well as network with companies that had booths in the convention center. Among them were Innopolis University, Total, Dassault Systemes, Emirates, MathWorks, National Instruments, and Airbus. After talking with Airbus about iPodia's platform, three USC students were selected to attend the Airbus award dinner.
The iPodia group also traveled out to the BITS Pilani campus in Dubai so that their students could show the learning environment that they live and work in everyday. Before class, the students played a game of soccer worthy of the World Cup.
Throughout the week, the students also participated in various cultural excursions like visiting Burj Khalifa and a trip to the desert where camel rides, cultural food, dancing, and music awaited.