The International Outreach program strives to empower women and teach the fundamentals of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) around the globe while allowing its members to develop leadership skills and gain cultural awareness.
What is International Outreach?
The International Outreach program organizes a yearly trip abroad to volunteer, promote women’s empowerment, and teach STEM. Founded in summer 2018, SWE members recently traveled to Jodhpur, India, and is in the process of organizing its January 2020 trip to Uganda!
International Outreach gives its members opportunities to…
- Build teamwork and leadership skills
- Meet new people and make friends
- Develop a global perspective and learn about new cultures
- Have fun!
Please contact Ricka Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org or check the calendar for weekly meeting information! Weekly meetings are held Sundays from 7-8pm in room 175 of 1410 Engineering Dr.
Meet the 2019 SWE International Outreach Officer!
Hi! My name is Ricka Edwards, and I’m a junior studying Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics with a particular interest in designing for space exploration. When I first arrived in Madison as a freshman, groups such as WISE (Women In Science and Engineering) and SWE offered me a place to ask questions, learn new ideas, and make friends as I started to navigate my path to becoming an engineer. Now the officer for SWE International Outreach, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to reach out to women across the globe and help them as they navigate their own paths. When I’m not busy studying or attending SWE Events, you can find me working on projects in the Makerspace, reading in the discovery building, or exploring the great outdoors.
A Look Back at the 2019 SWE International Outreach Trip
In January 2019, a group of 11 SWE members traveled to Jodhpur, a city in northern India, where they partnered with Sambhali Trust. Their goal during the two-week trip was to teach English and STEM to underprivileged Rajasthani women and girls by volunteering and leading workshops at women empowerment centers and boarding homes. These workshops included designing and building straw towers and creating and coloring paper kites. The trip culminated with the women from all the centers gathering and sharing what empowerment means to them. It was quite a powerful experience.
In addition to their volunteer work, SWE members also had the opportunity to explore the city of Jodhpur and learn about Indian culture. They tried new foods, bartered in the local market, and visited many of the city’s historical sights. They also spent a weekend in the Thar Desert, a prime place for riding camels or enjoying the sunset with a cup of chai.
All in all, SWE International Outreach is happy to say that its first ever trip—including the volunteering, learning, and all the long layovers—was a huge success.