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What is it like to study engineering in Ireland when you are female and you come from somewhere far away, in the Middle East, which has different social customs and norms? What is the lived experience? What aspects of the experience are common to all Middle Eastern women enrolled in your course? As education researchers, we aim to understand the essence of the experience such women have had studying engineering Ireland; we focus on what life has been like for them and what unique challenges they have faced that may be invisible to us as instructors. In this work-in-progress, a longitudinal study that uses phenomenological methods, our research team investigates and interprets the experiences of eight women from Kuwait and Oman who started the four-year Bachelor of Engineering program at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in 2014. Of the eight, seven were still enrolled in 2018 and in their fourth year of university-level study. One participant had returned to her home country to complete a degree in an unrelated field, but the seven others were on-track to earn engineering degrees. Across this four-year period, we conducted 15 interviews with these eight students. The lead author had opportunity to observe their participation in PBL design projects (that we were not assessing) during the students’ first year. We report preliminary findings of our analyses in this conference paper.
Chance, S. M., Williams, W., & Wagner, A. (2017). A longitudinal study of Middle Eastern women’s experiences studying engineering abroad. UK & Ireland Engineering Education Research Network Symposium 2017 in London.