SWE Grad International: Liberia Edition

Greetings from Liberia!

Today’s blog post is about the international efforts of SWE and SWE members. Did you know that SWE has sixteen international affiliates? SWE’s international presence is growing every day. Here is a snapshot of where it stands.

SWE international by the numbers:
– 16 SWE international affiliates representing 10 countries
– 2 sister societies (in Japan and Korea)
– 2 annual international conferences (WeEurope and WeIndia)
– 8 SWE international champions

– 33% or 66% membership discounts based on country

– Free “Friend of SWE” membership for students outside of the United States.

As grad students, we have a unique perspective on SWE as a global society. Many of us regularly interact with peers who are from many different countries. As academics, we may go to conferences all around the world and collaborate with diverse people on research projects. As professionals, we may work on engineering teams with global remote employees. In either case, SWE is there for you.

As for me, SWE has broadened my view of the world. By being involved in SWE, I have been able to travel to Liberia in West Africa three times. In fact, I am here now!

I am in Liberia working with Africa’s future first SWE student affiliate – L-SWE. L-SWE started in 2013 the help of two graduate SWE members from the University of Michigan. The SWE at UM members introduced the idea of a global network of women engineers to the Liberian students and encouraged them to start their own student group. Three years later, L-SWE has over 40 members from three Liberian universities.

Last year, with the support of the SWE Professional Development Grant, 9 members of SWE at UM facilitated a two-week residential leadership camp for 30 female Liberian engineering students in Kakata, Liberia. The camp, L-SWE SUCCESS, covered academic, professional, and leadership development activities as well as engineering projects and student organization skills. It was a smashing SUCCESS!

Now, I am back in Liberia with a new team ready to facilitate a second camp. It started yesterday, Monday, 15 August 2016. You can learn more about last year’s activities and this year’s camp by following our social media.

Blog: GradSWEatUM.wordpress.com

Twitter: @GradSWEatUM
Instagram: @GradSWEatUM

Now, this is just my personal experience. SWE graduate student members are engaging with the global engineering community in many different ways.

How have you interacted with SWE globally? Please share in the comments below or email me at grad-member-coordinator@swe.org to be featured in a future blog post.

Until next time,
Elizabeth Dreyer
Grad Member Coordinator FY17

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