International Capstone in Lima, Peru
The international capstone project builds on the existing, industry sponsored, multi-disciplinary capstone team project program but differs in several ways. In the international project, half of the team members are students from a non-US university. The full team works on a project proposed by companies with a global footprint in both the U.S. and in proximity to the foreign institution. Most of the global project is carried out using the full range of electronic communication tools such as email, skype, and blogs. Communicating using these tools can be challenging when dealing with different cultures. The overall plan includes at least two trips in opposite direction by the teams accompanied by their mentors. These trips are approximately ten days long including both weekends. Most of the week involves intense project work. Ideally the first of these trips occurs early in the project and allows for solution conceptualization and for the forming of work assignment and responsibilities. The second trip is usually the integration phase of the final deliverables. Each of the trips has a cultural element-activities that are typical of the host culture. For instance, in the U.S. it has included a football game and visit to local tourist attractions or activities such as skiing, hiking, museums etc. depending on the location. To increase the development of solid relationships, the students of the host teams are responsible for the logistics and housing of the visiting team. Visiting team members live with the host students instead of hotels or with faculty. This latter feature does not work for all cultures. However, where this hosting feature has been used, the feature is highly popular with the students, reduces the cost to the sponsoring company but most importantly gives the visitors an authentic real cultural experience and improves the building of personal relationships across cultures.
Contact program leader Jeff Richardson via email with your questions.