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  • Locations: Valencia, Spain
  • Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Information:
Fountain in plaza of ValenciaNOTE: This program will not be offered in Summer 2019, but may run in Summer 2020.
  • Fulfill an upper-division technical elective for most majors (see below) or AREN 2050 
  • Examine world-renowned architectural works in Valencia, Barcelona, and Cuenca

  • Practice your Spanish through daily interactions with locals (no formal background required)

  • Explore the local culture through a cooking class and visits to museums, cathedrals, markets and more!

  • Concentrated program in May helps fit your busy summer schedule!

  • Missed the interest meeting? View the presentation here!

This program is based in Valencia, Spain's third largest city. Combining urban life and a relaxed, seaside atmosphere, Valencia is becoming one of the most popular destinations on the Mediterranean coast. Valencia's old city center is made up of historic buildings, cathedrals, shops, restaurants, and businesses, while in other parts of the city, modern architectural landmarks illustrate Valencia's rich multicultural roots.


Apartments or dorms, likely within walking distance of Universidad Politecnica de Valencia.


Students will receive bus and local train passes for the duration of the program.  Bike rentals are also available and the entire city is accessible by bike.


Swimming Pool in Valencia
  • Course: CVEN 3837, Building Materials and Systems
  • Credits: 3 credit hours
  • Approved for: In addition to fulfilling CVEN 3837, the course fulfills an upper-division technical elective for APPM, CBEN, CHEN, CVEN, EVEN, EPEN and MCEN majors. For ENVD majors, the course fulfills ENVD 3115 or an ENVD elective.
  • Grading: This is a CU Boulder course, so you will receive letter grades
  • See course description

The purpose of this global seminar is to provide an enriching cultural and historical experience for students while satisfying a core engineering course. The purpose of the course (AREN 2050: Building Materials and Systems) will be to investigate the broad subject of building materials, building assembly details, systems and methods of building construction. There will be a blend of classroom presentations, site visits and exploration. The classroom delivery will focus primarily on modern building construction. Outside of the classroom, students will explore the similarities and differences between historic and modern construction systems and materials by touring Valencia and destinations in the region. There are ample structures within walking distance of Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, providing excellent opportunities for daily examples. World famous architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava’s work can be seen throughout his home town of Valencia. Major historic monuments are also readily accessible.


This program is directed by Matthew Morris, a graduate of the Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering department at CU Boulder. Prior to joining, CU, Matt was a Project Manager for Mortenson Construction.  He has also served as  the Deputy Chief of Construction Management at Osan Air Base, South Korea, as well as a project engineer, project developer and programmer at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. Matt's teaching experience includes three years as an assistant professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point in the Civil and Mechanical Engineering department.

See Professor Morris's Faculty Spotlight.


Students will be given the opportunity to learn/practice Spanish, take a cooking class, and explore museums, cathedrals and markets.  This global seminar also features trips to Barcelona and Cuenca.



  • Engineering majors: The College of Engineering & Applied Science is pleased to allocate summer scholarship money for credit-bearing programs through the Engineers' Global Summer Scholarship. Click the link for a list of eligible programs and further information.


Group photo in Valencia

Program Reviews:
Summer 2016 Participant
'- Learned a lot on construction systems and building in different and interesting ways.- The location was great as it was old city with beautiful building remaining from different periods in addition to modern buildings.- Lived with locals and interacted with them on daily basis

Summer 2016 Participant
The course was engaging and the setting was ideal. Valencia is a great city for students and there is plenty to see and do. Excursions with ISA were great.

Summer 2016 Participant
For those who are intrigued by how things are built, this course will help you better understand the different techniques used to build in both an ancient and a contemporary setting. The location could not be better. Valencia offers everything that you want from Spain: a beautiful beach, plenty of opportunities to experience local cuisine and nightlife, a large population of university students, quality public transportation and friendly people. , where the locals are much friendlier than Spain's other major cities.

Summer 2016 Participant
Everyone from ISA was incredibly helpful and friendly. They we're all very well organized and made sure that everything went according to plan. Prof. Morris was also outstanding as program director. He kept the course material on schedule and made class fun for everybody. Outside of class he was also great, becoming a part of the group and helped the group chemistry.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.