Sluggish Economy Ignites Enrollment At Georgia Tech-Lorraine

The perilous state of the economy, and the resulting lack of opportunities for students, is proving to be a boon to Georgia Tech-Lorraine (GTL).

Enrollment at the Institute's first international campus reached a record level for the 2009 summer session. Last year, 127 students were admitted to the program. That number nearly doubled this year as 250 students sought to spend the summer semester in France. Only 200 were accepted to the program, a 58 percent enrollment increase.

One reason interest reached these heights was the current lack of internship opportunities for students. Internship job placements and career fair opportunities fell nearly 40 percent this year, making a summer study program abroad an attractive alternative.

"In today's economy, we've noticed a significant decline in domestic internship opportunities,"said Yves Berthelot, president of Georgia Tech-Lorraine. Given Georgia Tech-Lorraine's strong reputation for academics and research, it represents a tremendous value and opportunity for students to study and experience Europe in the heart of France."

Another benefit of the GTL program is cost.

Out-of-state students, who comprise 48 percent of those admitted to GTL this summer, pay in-state tuition rates plus $2,000 to spend the semester in France. This represents a $6,000 savings compared to a similar semester on the Atlanta campus.

GTL is a year-around campus with a 40,000-square-foot instructional, research and administrative center that provides state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. A new residence hall complex with kitchenettes and private baths opened in 2007. Students interact with French students at other engineering schools on the Metz technopole, and in the residence halls. Located in picturesque Metz, the campus is an 80-minute train ride from Paris with several other countries a short car ride away.

The curriculum at GTL is a mix of engineering, computer science, French language, social science and management courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. All courses are part of the official Georgia Tech catalog with many instructors Atlanta faculty teaching abroad for a semester.

The global experience garnered at GTL also provides students with the international experience that prepares them for today's competitive global marketplace.

"GTL is the first experience outside the United States for many of our students, so we try to take advantage of our unique location in Europe," Berthelot said. "For instance, this summer the 200 students and faculty were invited by European member of Parliament Nathalie Griesbeck for a special tour of the EU parliament in Strasbourg, just 90 minutes from Metz."

While the fall 2009 session at GTL is already filled, there's still opportunity to attend during spring and summer 2010.

The application deadline for spring 2010 is October 15. Summer 2010 applicants need to have their paperwork presented by March 20, 2010.

Students interested in learning more about GTL can find additional details at

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.