Study Abroad Spotlight: Robert Murphy
Robert Murphy is a computer engineering major in Purdue ECE. He spent a semester studying abroad in Madrid, Spain at the University of Carlos III.
Name: Robert Murphy
Major: Computer Engineering
Where did you study abroad? Why did you choose this location/program?
I studied abroad at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Spain. I chose the location (Spain) primarily because I had prior knowledge of the language/culture and wanted to learn more. I chose the program (UC3M) for the easy transfer of classes from UC3M to Purdue ECE classes.
My best experience thus far - apart from all of the amazing new food - was hiking La Peñota. This was a hike up one of the mountain peaks just outside of Madrid. The overhanging rocks at the top that allowed you to go right over the edge was one of the most spectacular views that I've been able to experience.
As a very close runner up must be the entire city of Lisbon, Portugal. The pastéis de nata (egg filled pastry) from Lisbon are by far the best dessert I have ever had. I definitely ate my weight in pastries that weekend.
What you’ve learned—either about yourself or the culture you’re living in.
Reflecting on when I initially arrived in Spain, my confidence in the language has far surpassed my most ambitious goal. Knowing that I can take on a challenge like that and flourish increases my confidence to take on new ones in all parts of my life.
In terms of the culture, the laid-back attitude of Spain was a refresher. The culture in Spain takes a slower approach to life; They put their entire attention to the task at hand and do not spread themselves as thin as many do back home. Life on campus can be hectic at times and being able to direct your focus and not let other stressors in is a very useful skill.
Would you suggest study abroad for other ECE students? Why?
If you have the semester available for it, YES! If you're worried about classes - you'll be fine, Purdue is one of the toughest universities, so you have the work ethic to succeed anywhere. You get to experience a whole new way of living life for an extended period of time; New friends, new foods, new everything - that's what it's all about. The best part is, you'll still graduate on time! Ask any student who's studied abroad, not a single one will tell you they regretted it; I promise that you will feel the exact same way, I know I do.