Matthew MorrisSenior Instructor, Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering
Global Seminar: Evolution of Building Construction - Historic Crossroads (Valencia, Spain)
Did you study abroad as a student? What was your international experience like?
I love to travel internationally and my family and I make it a priority whenever possible. I have lived abroad for three years including Saudi Arabia and South Korea. It is always very refreshing to experience new cultures and explore new places. I was not able to study abroad as a student.
Why should engineering majors go abroad?
Engineering students should travel abroad for multiple reasons. Every country views engineering and construction in a different way and engineers can learn so much from these different technical approaches, planning strategies, public policies, safety standards and quality initiatives. Additionally, the world is a much smaller place now. There is a high likelihood that our engineers will engage in international projects during their careers. Domestically, our engineers will be working with diverse teams formed from countries all over the world. It is imperative that engineers recognize and understand other cultures.
What is your favorite Spanish food?
As I am teaching a Global Seminar in Valencia, I am obligated to say that Paella is my favorite Spanish food. I also have a serious sweet tooth and could go for an horchata right now.
Why is Spain such a good place to study this topic?
Spain provides an abundance of easily accessible historic and modern structures to showcase classroom concepts and provide daily examples of lessons learned. Multiple centuries of architecture are still standing and can illustrate the evolution of building construction through time. Valencia is home to world famous architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava’s, where his work can be seen throughout the city illustrating modern construction practices. The excellent transportation systems in Spain allows the class to visit Barcelona and Cuenca where excellent examples of engineering are on display. Lastly, the people of Spain are very welcoming and friendly, providing a safe environment for our students.
What aspect of this program do you look forward to the most?
I am excited to share this wonderful learning experience with our students, delivering a core engineering course in a spectacular location. Big picture, I hope this program encourages students to continue travelling both professionally and personally.