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Plans to study abroad quashed by Covid-19? Global Labs is stepping in

13 Aug 2020

Through Global Labs at TU Dublin, international software students unable to travel due to Covid-19 can learn from their home country instead.

Many students who were planning to study abroad this year will no longer be able to because of Covid-19. However, one Irish computer science programme is still trying to bring students from around the world together.

Through TU Dublin’s Global Labs initiative, students interested in software development from the university’s international partner institutions and beyond can gain some of the knowledge and insights that come with the experience of international study.

Global Labs modules aim to bring students around the world into contact with the university, allowing them to “sample the learning experience from their home countries”, TU Dublin said.

A “technologically enabled, blended delivery module” has been designed to mimic remote software development teams in the global IT industry, bringing students around the world together.

The virtually connected teams can simulate the “pressures and environment of international software companies”, according to TU Dublin, in which distributed teams face additional barriers to efficiency and success.

“Trust, integration and shared responsibility are all key features of successful organisations, but when teams are geographically distributed and culturally diverse, these barriers can seem almost impossible,” the university said.

Students who take part will have the opportunity to work in global teams on real-world enterprise challenges, with mentorship from academic and industry leaders. To date, more than 300 students from Ireland, China, Germany, Finland, France, South Korea, Spain and Sweden have completed this Global Labs module.

TU Dublin has developed two pathways, with courses for both computer science and non-computer science students.

Computer science students will spend their Global Labs module developing a complex piece of software, taking it through the full product life cycle. Non-computer science students can use Global Labs to learn the basics of programming and develop their first team computing project.

Both cohorts will benefit from learning to interact with people from different time zones, according to TU Dublin, as well as using online technology to communicate. These are skills that have become critical during the pandemic, the university said, and things that cannot always be taught in traditional classrooms and domestic internships.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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