A group of SUPSI students visits PSU
01 March 2022
Between February 12 and 19, a group of students from the Department of Innovative Technologies (DTI) and the Department of Environmental Construction and Design (DACD) visited Penn State University (PSU) as part of a collaborative project that will involve them throughout the Spring semester.

A group of students from the Department of Innovative Technologies (DTI) and the Department of Environment, Construction and Design (DACD) visited Penn State University (PSU) between 12 and 19 February as part of a collaborative project on recycling which will involve them remotely throughout the Spring semester, to follow a series of courses on the theme of intercultural communication.

The students were accompanied by the Head of the Bachelor in Computer Science, Prof. Sandro Pedrazzini, and by Amos Brocco and Vanni Galli, respectively Senior Lecturer-Researcher and Lecturer-Researcher at the Institute for Information Systems and Networking (ISIN) of the DTI, and by Chiara Napolitano, International Relations Coordinator of the DACD.

The students, divided into mixed groups of 4-5 components, started work on joint projects, defining the activities to be carried out and roles. During the week, they also attended some lectures of the semester already in progress at PSU as auditors, visited the sports facilities on campus, attended a university championship basketball game and participated in many other social and leisure activities.

"The activities were very interesting but even more was the exchange and discussions with the American students and their way of thinking and seeing the world" commented Alessia Sarak, a Bachelor student in Computer Science. "I was also struck by everything being so big and very different from the reality of Switzerland we are used to."

Chiara Napolitano underlined that "the fruitful collaboration between SUPSI and Pennsylvania State University began in 2019 thanks to the initiative of the College of Engineering, which wanted to organize a study trip to Europe with its students. During the first year, a joint workshop on communication skills in the technical field was presented at the DACD. During the pandemic it was transformed into a semester-long online module and this year it will be held in presence again, partly in the United States and partly in Switzerland. The joint module involves all DACD undergraduate courses and, from 2021, also the DTI undergraduate courses, enabling participating students to develop important communication, technical and interpersonal skills necessary for a successful professional placement".

"We were all impressed by the warm welcome and organisation of activities. In addition to the time dedicated to project work, which we had already planned together, the PSU International Service offered guided tours and created the best conditions for the students to get to know each other to begin this collaboration, which will see them working together for an entire semester. It was very satisfying for the staff to see them already bonding, in mixed groups, on projects," said Prof. Pedrazzini. "Having lived for almost a week on the university campus of the PSU, which has 80,000 people between students and staff, and having followed some courses together with their American peers will certainly be an experience that our students will remember for a long time".

In May, SUPSI will host the students from Penn State University for the conclusion and presentation of the projects.