A recent visit to 3 Furtwangen University partner universities in the southern USA by Prof. Dr. Ulrike Fasol and Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Kukral has resulted in excellent future opportunities for HFU students. Professor Fasol and Professor Kukral, both of the HFU Schwenningen Campus, also attended 2 Study Abroad Fairs while they were there in order to tell American students about how they can spend a semester at HFU.
Their first stop was Western Carolina University (WCU), with which HFU signed a university-wide partnership this year. For this reason there was a lot of interest on the HFU stand at the Study Abroad Fair. The professors were assisted on the stand by 4 HFU students who are currently studying at WCU for a semester. "We were specifically trying to get the word out about the FISTAS programme," said Professor Fasol. FISTAS stands for "Furtwangen International Study & Teaching Abroad Semester" and is a project run within the framework of the Baden-Württemberg Student Scholarship (Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM)– BWS plus, a programme of the Baden-Württemberg Foundation (Baden-Württemberg Stiftung). The broad programme consisting of English-language lectures and excursions, is offered for guest students on the Schwenningen Campus every summer semester.
Other talks with WCU were also very productive. Professor Kukral was especially interested in the School of Engineering as they are interested in becoming full members of the HFU FiPS network. FiPS, the Furtwangen Internship Placement Service, is a cooperation model in which paid internships in German firms are organized in a direct 1:1 exchange for free study places abroad. FiPS was also supported from 2013 to 2016 by the Baden-Württemberg Student Scholarship ( – BWS plus, from the Baden-Württemberg Foundation. "With WCU, FiPS is now represented in the southern states of the USA, too," said a delighted Prof. Kukral, adding that this is also of interest for the companies in our area which already have, or are currently building, subsidiaries in the southern states.
The second stop in the tour was Kennesaw State University (KSU), which with 35,000 students is one of the largest universities in Georgia, with a correspondingly large range of study programmes, courses and labs. HFU students who want to spend their study semester here have a wide range of courses to choose from, if even a few KSU students are interested in taking part in FISTAS. Early discussions were very promising and with the help of the German professior at KSU, Prof. Dr. Sabine Smith, it looks like there is every chance of early success. Talks were also held regarding membership in the FiPS programme, so the chances that Georgia will become the second southern US state in the programme look good.
The last stop on the tour was the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) in Terre Haute, Indiana, where a Study Abroad Fair was also being held. Here interest in FISTAS and FiPS was also very high, so it is expected that students from the newly founded Engineeering Design programme will start taking their mandatory internship in German industrial firms within the next few years.
"The expectations of our USA trip were more than fulfilled," said the HFU professors. "There were more opportunities at all of the partner universities than expected." The trip by car, which covered 2,800km through 6 US states in 10 days, was well worthwhile. Encouraged by the positive response, they are considering undertaking a similar visit to our partner universities in Scotland before the end of the year.
The international semester was established and strengthened by "FISTAS" which is part of the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for university students – BWS plus, a programme of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung.
The Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM supports the international exchange of students and vocationally qualified people/young professionals. Since 2001, it has enabled more than 20,000 young people from Baden-Württemberg to spend some time abroad and allowed scholarship holders from other countries to get to know Baden-Württemberg. Each year more than 1,000 young people receive a Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM.
Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for university students – BWS plus
Through the programme Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for university students – BWS plus, the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung supports innovative joint projects between universities from Baden-Württemberg and their international partners. The programme, which provides funding of around 800,000 Euros per year, began in 2011 and since then has supported more than 50 projects.
THE BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG STIFTUNG advocates a vital Baden-Württemberg with a high quality of life. It helps pave the way for top-class research, many kinds of educational measures and responsible dealings with our fellow men. The Baden-Württemberg Stiftung is one of the major foundations in Germany. It is the only foundation which invests exclusively and without partisanship in the future of Baden-Württemberg, and thus in the future of its citizens.