Exchange Students Gain Scientific, Cultural Knowledge on Visit

Aug. 13, 1999

by LoAna Lopez

Baylor University recently hosted 32 students from the Netherlands for a four-week exchange program designed to give international students a cross-cultural education in computer science. The Knowledge Engineering program, organized by the computer science department in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, is a collaborative effort between Baylor and the University of Maastricht.

Dr. William McBride, professor of computer science and program director, said the foreign students learned via teaching methods more common in the United States, such as lecture time combined with hands-on work. The students also took courses in the Premier FastTrac Entrepreneurial Training Program through the Hankamer School of Business.

Academic portions of the program were only the beginning of the learning experience.

"We give the students information in computer science and a strong feel for the American way of business," McBride said. "But we're also giving students a cultural overview with some of our (Baylor) students."

Two sponsors accompanied the students, most of whom were making their first trip to the United States. While here, the group spent several days on the Texas coast, visiting Galveston and the Johnson Space Center in Houston. They also spent time at various locations in Dallas, including Fair Park, JFK Memorial Plaza, the West End and Six Flags Over Texas.

Peter Brouwers, one of the sponsors, also happened to "bump into" Gov. George W. Bush during a visit to Austin. He said the most memorable aspects of the trip for his students were the American students, the number of cars on campus and the heat.

For more information about the Knowledge Engineering program, contact McBride at


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