About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3197-3202
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.0613

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

STUDY ABROAD IN GIRONA: INTERNATIONAL STUDIES BEYOND THE TRADITIONAL FRONTIER

M. Delgado

Wentworth Institute of Technology Boston (UNITED STATES)
Study Abroad is widely recognized as an important component of college education. Furthermore, in architecture, it is almost unthinkable that a student could graduate without a first-hand knowledge of certain buildings and urban spaces located in special cities in the world. The quality of a place can hardly be learned in a photograph or a video. Architecture students have to move through and perceive them with all their senses before they even start a serious analysis.

Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) has a long tradition of study abroad programs in Europe. Since the early nineties, we have developed one-semester, faculty-guided, architectural experiences in Venice, Helsinki, Montpelier and Berlin. Since 2003, WIT has operated its own study abroad program in Berlin, optional for the 4th-year undergraduate students, under the direction of Professor Rolf Backmann. For several years, we offered a second option in Montpelier, France, under the same model: WIT rented instructional space and student housing, employing a locally-based director who, in turn, recruited locally-based faculty (subject to approval by the Architecture department chair). In 2014, the Montpelier program closed and WIT asked me to organize an alternative program in Barcelona, Spain (which has run for three consecutive years) with location and strong collaboration from the University of Girona (UdG), Escola Politecnica Superior (EPS). The Politecnica is a very similar school to WIT with equivalent curriculum and we could find the courses that matched our objectives. But beyond the courses, the program has been based on the personal relationship between students and faculty from both universities in both places.

The Academic Agreement between the UdG-EPS and WIT allows several models of international collaboration: from a whole class traveling in group with one professor, in which case the professor teaches two courses and co-teaches the rest with EPS faculty; to individual students traveling alone in either direction and taking all the courses of one semester in the other university. Either individually or in groups, our students are encouraged to establish relations, make partnerships and work in teams with local students, addressing complex problems with new forms of association very close to the way contemporary architects’ offices do international and interdisciplinary work. The EPS has been open to this model and the communication at all levels has been excellent, taking advantage of the fact that Girona students and faculty are required to practice English as a second language and didn’t have an American partner before. As an example, during the past fall semester, the 5th-year EPS studio and WIT Senior students worked distantly as parallel studios following Boston Vision for 2030, proposing urban alternatives for the Air Rights over the Mass Turnpike.

Besides having another central location that allows students to move easily between cities in Europe, and beyond having access to the cultural life that takes place in Barcelona, the Girona Study Abroad model promotes long-term partnerships between students on both sides of the Atlantic and expands the travel experience into a permanent research in architectural education responding to new challenges at different scales and contexts.
@InProceedings{DELGADO2018STU,
author = {Delgado, M.},
title = {STUDY ABROAD IN GIRONA: INTERNATIONAL STUDIES BEYOND THE TRADITIONAL FRONTIER},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.0613},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.0613},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {3197-3202}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Delgado
TI - STUDY ABROAD IN GIRONA: INTERNATIONAL STUDIES BEYOND THE TRADITIONAL FRONTIER
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.0613
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 3197
EP - 3202
ER -
M. Delgado (2018) STUDY ABROAD IN GIRONA: INTERNATIONAL STUDIES BEYOND THE TRADITIONAL FRONTIER, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 3197-3202.
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