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Kirkwood Community College on the Spotlight: From Individual Mobility to Institutionalized Cooperation

French Embassy Programs Leading to Inter-institutional Exchange

In April 2020, Kirkwood Community College and IUT Lyon 2 signed a Memorandum of Understanding, following 2-years of discussions between the two institutions.

What started with a delegation of Community College leaders in France to promote and advertise the two-year institutions to the French public marked the beginning of a dynamic relation between Dawn Wood (Kirkwood Community College, USA) and Elise Bodet (IUT Lyon 2, France). This first encounter led to multiple in-depth meetings and a trip to Kirkwood for Elise, to discuss the possibilities of a broader exchange and a long-term collaboration.

Simultaneously, IUT Lyon 2 was awarded a grant from the French Embassy and organized a Bootcamp in France. This program allows community college students to spend 2 to 3 weeks in France and offers introductions to various hot topics through a mix of on-site visits, conferences, and cultural discoveries. One Kirkwood student participated in Lyon’s bootcamp in 2019.

Perpetuation of the Collaboration: Best Practices and Long-term Vision

Both institutions were eager to get to the next level. This has been achieved thanks to the Transatlantic Mobility Program, expanding Kirkwood’s “Origins of Photography” study abroad program to France. Fifteen students will benefit from this grant (due to the current Covid-19 crisis, the program has been postponed to 2021). Along with this short-term faculty led program, virtual mobility and pre-departure exchanges are being implemented.

Kirkwood and IUT Lyon 2 share many programs and are keenly interested in specifically providing opportunity for global learning experiences to their population of technical students. Their recently signed agreement is the institutional solidification and manifestation of a broader cooperation between the two higher education institutions: It gives both parties enough latitude to organize student reciprocal exchanges in various departments, without having the constraints of a strict 1 to 1 student exchange. Semesters, internships or short-term programs are part of the agreement, and each of them strengthens the relationship between the two institutions.

The French Embassy is thrilled to see the achievements of such a partnership and is proud to have supported the partners from the beginning.

More information about the program and Kirkwood Community College