International Programs

AIMS faculty offer a number of study abroad opportunities. Each are built around emerging research and unique cultural opportunities. Past international trips have included trips to London, Dublin, Dharamsala (India) and Eastern Europe.


Student work in these trips have been diverse. For instance, in the trip to Dublin, students applied Design Thinking with an interdisciplinary team to develop a learning module for “interactive environments” targeted at primary and second level schools in Ireland. They stayed near Christ Church Cathedral in the heart of Dublin in a furnished apartment within walking distance to Trinity, the Temple Bar District, and Collins St.


Other students visited Dharamsala, India, to study Tibetan Culture and Language at Sarah College. As part of AIMS’ ongoing relationship with the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, AIMS students furthered the online Tibetan cultural preservation projects begun in Fall 2010.


In June 2015, a cohort of students traveled to London, England as part of the London Design Interactive workshop lead by Dr. Michael Bailey-Van Kuren, C. Michael Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Interactive Media. During the workshop, students lived in the trendy Borough of Camden and explored the city, including the Design Museum. Students traveled on their own on weekends, exploring many European destinations. Primarily,the students worked with Birkdale Paediatric & Adult Neuro Clinic in West London under the direction of Farshideh Bondarenko developing new devices to assist the therapist-patient interaction.

In order to focus on the needs of the therapist and the patient, the students learned and applied a design thinking based process. Three teams were formed to tackle different aspects of the therapist's needs: cycling therapy, gaze tracking, and web based communication. All three teams progressed from assessing user needs to developing functional prototypes in 4 weeks.

The cycling team developed a modified therapy cycle that could track patient applied forces to the left and right pedal. The forces provided inputs to control a character in a laptop based video game. The game was designed to increase patient engagement in the cycling activity.

The gaze tracking team also developed a game for the I-pad that would assist in eye-hand coordination as well as developing a tracking system. The tracking system was comprised of a set of lightweight glasses that triggered an infrared sensor when directed at the sensor. The sensor device would then light up so that the therapist and patient would know that the desired gaze was obtained.

The third team identified a need for a new web community to bring therapists and designers together in order to solve more problems in the field. They developed a new website that facilitates crowd-sourced problem solving through problem solicitation, idea generation, and iterative prototyping of solutions.

For upcoming opportunities, visit the AIMS office at 203 Laws Hall or email us at