GEARE - Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education

A student exchange program between the universities of Purdue, Shanghai Jiao Tong and KIT
Geare Logo

Under the project name GEARE, Purdue University - School of Mechanical Engineering (West Lafayette, Indiana/USA) and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) originally developed and launched a student exchange program with the goals of internationalizing existing traditional courses of study and building competencies for development activities at international company locations. In the meantime, this cooperation has been extended to other partner institutions.

Today, GEARE refers to a cooperation with the universities of Purdue (USA) and Shanghai Jiao Tong (China). Studying in an international team, gaining experience in development departments of international companies, and the recognition of examination results obtained abroad at KIT are essential aspects of the GEARE exchange.

The project is developed and managed at KIT by Professor Albers and his Institute for Product Engineering in cooperation with the two host universities.

Partner universities in the GEARE network

Student Group AK-GEARE

The student group AK-GEARE consists of current and former GEARE participants and has compiled a lot of additional information on its homepage.

It is worthwhile to have a look:

Requirements and Organization

Info Event

This year's Info Event will be announced in the following months for the cohort 2025/2026.

If you couldn't attend or missed this event, you can find a link to the slides and the recording on the German version of this page (both only available in German).

You can also get more information at the Internationaler Nachmittag.


1. GEARE Program - Requirements and Procedure

Target group: Bachelor students at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (e.g. Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics)

Selection criteria include:

  • Participation in MKL III/IV
  • MKL I/II examined
  • All orientation examinations completed
  • 3rd semester at the time of application
  • Good school/academic performance
  • Good English skills
  • Others such as social commitment

Of course, you are welcome to apply even if you do not meet all of these criteria. Because: If you do not apply, you will definitely not be taken in.

Based on a selection procedure, several teams of guest students from the partner universities and KIT students will be formed, who will study one semester each in Karlsruhe and in Purdue or Shanghai over a total period of 14 months and carry out accompanying project work from the product development area at the respective places of study.
Integrated into the exchange project is a three-month industrial internship in international companies in the respective host country.
The content of the exchange program is fully integrated into the normal teaching program and begins at a relatively early stage of the studies in the 4th semester (summer semester). Corresponding examinations are taken at the respective place of study and are mutually recognised, so that extensions of the duration of studies due to the exchange are not to be expected. Accompanying programs to deepen the language skills and to understand the different cultures are integrated.

In the case of financial support in the form of a scholarship from a funding body (DAAD), personal data will be passed on to the DAAD for processing purposes. More information on this can be found in the data protection declaration (German only, esp. point 2).

2. Application

Application period is closed.

Application documents:

  1. Electronically completed questionnaire (please visit the German page, as this document is only available in German)
  2. Cover letter with letter of motivation for the exchange at the desired university (Purdue University or Shanghai Jiao Tong University) (one to  two pages max.)
  3. Completed and signed consent form* (associated data privacy statement)
  4. Current curriculum vitae (if possible one-sided)
  5. Current German grade report from KIT about all achievements incl. failed grades
  6. Other certificates (Abitur, education, internships, etc.)
  7. Proof of social commitment or other qualifications

Further notes:

  • Use the subject "GEARE Bewerbung First Name Last Name Purdue / SJTU" for the application email. Please select one of the two universities accordingly.
  • Submit all documents as a PDF.
    • Due to electronic evaluation, the email text itself will not be read, so do not use the email text as an extended cover letter or to convey other important information, but write these in the attachments (cover letter, resume, etc.).
  • Please address your cover letter directly to Professor Albers.
  • Please note that the questionnaire as well as the grade report will be read electronically. Therefore, these files must not be compressed, flattened or edited in any way.
    • Since the questionnaire is read electronically, your answers and explanations may, if necessary, be longer than the space provided in the corresponding fields. The size of the fields is only for the visual design of the questionnaire.
  • Please do not zip and/or combine the attachments, but attach all files individually.
  • Please name all attachments sensibly, e.g. "Resume First Name Last Name".

Please submit your complete application (either in German or English) by e-mail to geare∂

* Consent is voluntary. If you do not wish to consent, please note that you may then have to take action yourself. You can find more detailed information on this in the consent itself and the associated data privacy statement.

3. Further Application Process

The application documents will be thoroughly examined by IPEK and the most promising students will be invited to an interview just a few days after the application deadline.

This year, the date of interviews stil to be defined. We therefore ask you to keep this day free. The interviews will take place entirely in English. You will be informed about the documents to be prepared with the invitation by e-mail and asked for a binding commitment to the interview.



Does Covid-19 have an impact on the GEARE program?

In view of the dynamic Covid-19 pandemic development, no reliable prediction can currently be made as to whether the courses and industrial placement will be held on-site, online, in hybrid form, or at all. However, we currently plan that the GEARE program can and will take place as usual.

Where can I get information on data protection? Is there a privacy policy?

Information on data protection and on data processing in the context of participation in the GEARE exchange programme is available in this data protection declaration (German only).

By when do I have to apply?

The exact deadline varies each year and is usually in the November/December range, please see point 2 "Application" for details.

What must be included in the application?

A complete application with all necessary documents is expected, for details please see point 2 "Application".

How can I finance my exchange?

The tuition fees are waived. In principle, you will have to bear all other costs yourself. However, the GEARE program may provide scholarships for students. In this case you will receive financial support. Please enquire about the current funding situation if you are interested. Alternatively, you can apply for scholarships on your own initiative.

Which subjects are recognised?

The way of recognition varies depending on the exchange country (please ask for details).

How do I get in touch with former GEARE students?

Former GEARE students are organized in AK GEARE. They can be reached by email:vorstand.akgeare∂

What is the timeline of the respective exchange?

In the 4th semester you will attend the MKL-IV workshop together with the exchange students from China and the USA. In September you will travel to your exchange country. In China, you will study at SJTU for one semester until mid-January and then complete a self-organized internship. In the U.S., you will first complete your self-organized internship through Christmas and then study at Purdue University for one semester beginning in mid-January. In both cases you will return to Germany between April and June in time for the examination period in the 6th semester.

Do I have to choose a university when I apply?

Yes, you have to.

Do I need prior knowledge of Chinese?

In principle, no knowledge of Chinese is necessary, but it is recommended to take a Chinese course in the 4th semester and to deepen your knowledge of Chinese in China. However, all lectures are held in English.

Am I on my own in organizing the entire stay abroad?

No, you will receive support from IPEK, AK GEARE and of course the other exchange students.