CORVALLIS - University science and engineering students will have the chance to study in Denmark as part of a first-ever student exchange agreement signed Wednesday, July 23, at Oregon State University.

Hans Peter Jensen, rector (president) of the Technical University of Denmark, met in Corvallis with OSU President Paul Risser to formalize the accord between the universities.

The agreement finalizes efforts to develop an international exchange program that wonÕt stall engineering studentsÕ studies, said George Keller, OSU vice provost emeritus for research and international programs.

American engineering education programs differ from many foreign programs, making it difficult to find international schedules that allow U.S. students to stay on schedule, Keller said.

Roy Rathja, OSU head adviser for undergraduate engineering program, visited Denmark last fall to make a final evaluation of the university's curriculum, Keller said. The exchange program will also be open to students from other Oregon universities.

"He (Rathja) saw it would meet the needs of many of our engineering students," Keller said.

Courses at the Technical University will be taught in English, so students shouldnÕt encounter a language barrier, Keller added.

The program benefits both universities, Jensen said, allowing both Danish and American students a chance to add an international component to their education.

"We want to 'internationalize' as many of our students as possible,Ó Jensen said.

The Technical University of Denmark is Northern EuropeÕs largest engineering university with 1,250 researchers and instructors and more than 6,000 students.

Oregon State University offers study abroad and exchange programs at more than 30 sites in 17 countries including Australia, Vietnam, Ecuador and Italy.

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Paul Primak, 541-737-6469