Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

51st Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI)

First Page


Last Page



Technological University Dublin


School of Business and Law




Mejtoft, T., Cripps, H., Fong-Emmerson, M., Blöcker, C. (2023, September). Enhancing professional skills among engineering students by interdisciplinary international collaboration [Paper presentation]. 51st Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI), Dublin, Ireland.


Providing necessary knowledge and skills for engineering students to become successful professionals is a tricky task. Besides disciplinary knowledge, e.g., communication skills, ability to work in teams, and international experience are often mentioned as important. Regarding internationalization, most engineering programs in Sweden rely on either student exchange or low-level internationalization-at-home, such as international literature and lecturers. This paper explores sustainable international experiences for students on their home turf provided through an international interdisciplinary collaboration where engineering students in Sweden and marketing students in Australia work together on a project. The setup simulates a consultancy firm with development and marketing offices in different countries that cooperate to launch an application for the Australian market. The paper is based on interviews and surveys with students and teachers participating in this, since 2017, ongoing project. Findings reveal that students encountered several challenges that are hard to simulate in an ordinary university setting, e.g., language barriers, cultural differences, time differences, differences between disciplines, and varying work habits and values. The results also highlight opportunities such as learning from each other's perspectives and expertise, developing a more professional approach, presenting to people from other industry backgrounds, and gaining a better understanding of different cultures. The results show that the students gain professional experience that is of great value for their future profession. From a teacher's perspective, the paper discusses important issues when setting up an international inter-disciplinary collaboration, e.g., alignment of exercises, building a common ground, and the need for flexibility.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.