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2nd year for IE Maymester in Spain

Photo of SA 10526 students and staff in Spain
SA 10526 students and staff show Purdue spirit at the Basque Center of Brain Cognition and Language (BCBL) in
San Sebastian, Spain
Map of Spain
Pamplona, northeast of Madrid
For the second year in a row, Purdue IE offered a unique Study Abroad Maymester program in Spain.

"System Dynamics Modeling for Engineers" (SA 10526) was held at the Pamplona Learning Spanish Institute (PLSI) in Pamplona, Navarre, Spain, May 9-31, 2018. It was the only College of Engineering Maymester program in Spain this year and was open to all engineering undergraduates, who received three credits of Spanish language instruction from PLSI as well as engineering credits.

"The course taught students core topics within system dynamics (e.g., causal loop modeling, stock and flow modeling, analysis software) through the lens of issues in and around Pamplona," said Patrick “Doc B” Brunese, IE Director of Academic Programs.

Joaquín Goñi, assistant professor of industrial engineering with a joint appointment in biomedical engineering, coordinated the program and taught the System Dynamics component. He brings a unique perspective to the course since it takes place in his home area.

There were 13 total undergraduate students in this year's course: nine industrial engineering students, three biomedical engineering students, and one mechanical engineering student. IE staff included Prof. Goñi and Elizabeth Allum, IE senior academic advisor. Duy Duong-Tran, a PhD student member of Goñi's CONNplexity Lab, also took part in the trip. 

Purdue University Global Engineering Programs & Partnerships (GEPP) helped organize this Maymester program.

The group appreciated the help and support of Alfonso Larráyoz, director of the PLSI. Two of the students took an advanced Spanish class with students from other European and Asian countries.

"The best part about my study abroad experience was learning Spanish in a class of people who spoke different languages, but we were all able to communicate with each other in Spanish," said Tori Schweiger, a senior in industrial engineering. "This was such a valuable multicultural immersion for me."

"The greatest part about study abroad for me was that I never stopped learning - even when class was over," said Maggie Roth, an industrial engineering senior. "There were so many opportunities to learn something new about the country, culture, mannerisms, language, and more that really made this opportunity so worthwhile and meaningful."

Other students enthusiastically described the program:

"The best part of study abroad for me is being completely immersed in a new culture," said IE senior Michael Hagan. "It is a learning experience like no other and really gives you a unique perspective."

"The thing I most appreciate about studying abroad are the things we learn that cannot be taught in the classroom," explained Maria Conversa, another IE senior. "Immersing ourselves in a new culture and environment and learning to embrace the unknown as our new home has taught me so much about the world and about myself."

Mark Humphries, also a senior in industrial engineering, appreciated the number of field trips and cultural experiences. "It was a very fun and eventful experience," he said.

For information about the 2019 Maymester course, interested engineering students may contact Dr. Brunese, Prof. Goñi or Elizabeth Allum.

PLSI is located in Pamplonacapital of the province and autonomous community of Navarre, about 240 miles northeast of Madrid in northern Spain.

Read about the 2017 Pamplona Maymester

Writer: DeEtte Starr, starrd@purdue.edu

Maymester students visit Pamplona Ayuntamiento (City Hall)

  Photo of students eating tapas in Pamplona

(l) Visiting the Pamplona/Iruña Ayuntamiento (City Hall); (r) Eating tapas/pintxos at a local restaurant

Photo of Students hiking in the Pyrenees Mountains

  Visiting the San Sebastian Aquarium

(l) Hiking in the Pyrenees Mountains near Ochagavia village; (r) visiting the San Sebastian Aquarium

Photo of SA 10526 students at oceanside in San Sebastian

Photo of SA 10526 students making cuajada at Granja eScuela Ultzama

(l) Enjoying San Sebastian oceanside; (r) Making cuajada (yogurt-like dessert) at the Granja Escuela (educational farm) in the Ultzama Valley

Photo of SA 10526 students & staff at Vitoria Mercedes-Benz factoryPhoto of SA 10526 students at Vitoria's New Plaza

Visiting Vitoria-Gasteiz: (l) Mercedes-Benz factory; (r) Plaza Nueva