Study Abroad

Studying overseas has a deep and profound impact on the intellectual development of all participants and will satisfy some of their curiosities and aspirations. Our Global Explorer Program (GEP) was designed to expand the professional capabilities, stimulate intellectual growth, and broaden personal perspectives of all participants. It enables participants to learn more about the diversity of our world, love of family and friends, character-building experiences, and freedom. Our world is so beautiful, with so much hope, passion, and cultural depth that it must be shared and experienced by all. Through the leadership of Dr. Amir Al-Khafaji, CEC Chairman, and support of Dr. Joe Roach, the director of the International Programs Office at Bradley University, our department is leading the University in terms of participation and innovative ideas that are introduced into this great program.

The thrust of our Global Explorer Program is to provide opportunities for participants to experience the importance of discovery, the unambiguous sense of history that our profession evokes, the emotions that antiquity awakens, the insightful observation of a young student, and the promise of meeting a new friend in a foreign land. To broaden the scope of opportunities to our students, our program, which traditionally has included trips to England and Denmark, has been expanded to include the land of Egypt starting with the January 2004 Interim Session and Jordan starting with the January 2008 interim session..

We believe that our program provides extraordinary freedom for faculty and students to gain new perspective on global technologies, cultures, industries, marketing, employment opportunities, and competition. We believe that for our engineering profession to remain relevant, we must conquer new frontiers, seek new dreams, pursue uncommon visions, follow uncharted courses, and learn more about the world around us. We need to develop a global vision of engineering education so that our graduates are competitive with those of other nations around the world.

We are convinced that our Global Explorer program will help prepare engineering graduates meet the challenges of tomorrow, not yesterday, and equip them with the needed skills to face their future. The Global Explorer program is open to anyone who is interested in Civil Engineering, Construction Management, and Environmental Engineering. We are interested in students and faculty from other institutions based on the demands for certain courses. We would like to invite your faculty and students to share the promise and hope offered by our program. Join us in our quest to skillfully make engineering education fun, imaginative, rewarding, and extraordinary. This experience will help shape your dreams and color your imagination as you prepare for the new millennium.

CEC Global Explorer Program

Dr. Christine Blouch
Director of International Programs

Study Abroad at Bradley University took a dramatic, significant step forward with the announcement of the special Global Explorer Program created by the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction. This bold model in international programming has become the most creative and comprehensive approach in internationalization on our campus, or anywhere else for that matter. Thanks to the powerful efforts and brilliant planning of the CEC department, Bradley students, faculty and alumni alike have benefited enormously from this special initiative.

Success has come to the Global Explorer Program with the outstanding leadership of the Chairperson, Dr. Amir Al-Khafaji, the tireless effort of senior CEC faculty such as,

Prof. Jim Seckler, and Prof. Gene Rebholz, the strong support of virtually the entire department, the participation of a large number of students, and now the generous support of alumni and friends of the department. Most recently, the Global Explorer Program has paid handsome dividends in the form of more than $50,000 in contributions earmarked specifically for Global Explorer scholarships and faculty development activity. As in so many other areas, CEC has set a powerful beacon for others in the university to follow. The list of contributors to CEC has grown and gifts have expanded substantially with a growing awareness of the ultimate value of Global exploring.

CEC has captured the position of leading our university in the number of participants in study abroad. No one ever would have imagined that a department of Civil Engineering and Construction could claim first place in the number of majors studying abroad, not here at Bradley, nor at any other institution. The success of the Bradley CEC department comes vibrantly into focus when one considers that most engineering programs tend to follow in the footsteps of others with regard to study abroad programs. The International Programs Office at Bradley routinely keeps an eye on major developments in international education, and what is clear is that there are those who set trends, those who follow trends, and those who slumber while one trend after another passes them by. CEC at Bradley clearly falls into the first category. Setting the trend comes naturally for them.

With more than 30 CEC majors enrolled this past year in Bradley study abroad programs, none of our departments come close to matching this level of participation. In fact, CEC exceeds the number for some colleges. But, numbers alone do not tell the full story by any means. Quality prevails as well as quantity and financial assistance matches academic integrity. A plan has been put in place, which meshes the interests of faculty, students and alumni alike, creates a definitive commitment to curriculum development and delivery with a global perspective, and at the same time carries out an unsurpassed fund raising effort to break down financial barriers to international programming, No one we know of does it better or with more vigor. Truly it can be said, for example, that price is no obstacle to opportunity for CEC students. That in itself is a powerful testament to the efforts of the department.

During the immediate years past, CEC students could be found for a full semester in classrooms, computer labs, and research facilities at the prestigious Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen, or on the beautiful Mediterranean Island of Malta. Following the millennial New Year’s holiday last January, a dozen CEC students could have been sighted fulfilling requirements for advanced study in hydraulic engineering with their Bradley professor in Copenhagen. Wolverhampton University, the centre for European construction cost estimating, not terribly distant from London, hosted yet another dozen CEC students and their professor last January. They spent several days in London as well, among other things examining great buildings and construction sites of historical vintage and contemporary importance. Whilst in London, one saw these CEC majors mixing together with Theater, Religious Studies, and English department students from Bradley, exchanging impressions of a world class theatrical performance, or savoring the grand and ordinary sites of the British capital city.

Beyond the obvious and tangible successes of the program noted above, the ultimate compliment one can pay the Global Explorer Program comes in the form of the emphatic statement from CEC students and faculty alike that the program tops their long list of satisfaction with the department and Bradley University. From recruitment and retention of good students and faculty, to building stronger relationships with alumni and the local community, there can be no doubt that the way has been illuminated by CEC for those who would follow this brilliant example. Good work one and all, and our best wishes for an even greater future.

Total cost for the GEM program, including airfare, varies from program to program, from as much as $3,000 less to $2,000 more than an equivalent semester on the Bradley campus in Peoria, Illinois. The cost includes a round trip airfare from Chicago, rooms with bath, breakfast every day, transportation between cities, hotels and air terminals, cross channel transportation by Eurostar rail, and instructional materials. Visit the Bradley University Study Abroad website for up to date information about the program.