There’s really nothing quite like being there. Two groups of students from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering learned that first hand this summer as they traveled to London and the Netherlands to explore in real life the concepts and ideas they studied in the classroom.
Tokyo, the largest metropolitan area in the world, is home to almost 38 million people. While “sustainability” might not be the word that comes to mind upon hearing about a city of this size and magnitude, the city manages to grow without depleting of Japan’s natural resources. That's why Tokyo was chosen as the setting for the new Japan Program on Sustainable Development — a collaboration between Georgia Tech's College of Engineering and Tokyo Tech.
Environmental engineering major Claire Anderson spent the spring semester studying at Lund University in Sweden. It was a trip that carried both professional and personal attraction for her — she’s interested in the country’s environmental sustainability efforts and her ancestors came from the Scandinavian nation.
Maimuna Jallow, a third-year civil engineering major, came back to campus this spring after a semester studying in Europe. With funding from the Joe S. Mundy Global Learning Endowment, Jallow took classes at Georgia Tech-Lorraine and explored the continent. Jallow said her months abroad left her with “newfound personal strength, courage, independence, and a strong appreciation of public transportation and infrastructure.”
They climbed the Great Wall of China and explored the Forbidden City. They visited a town destroyed by an earthquake then preserved as a monument to the lives lost. They saw baby pandas and flood control systems, Japanese towns devastated by a tsunami and the Hiroshima memorial. But in the end, it was the relationships they built and an overnight summit of Mt. Fuji in Japan that etched this trip into the memories of four engineering students who traveled to China and Japan in early August.
Civil engineering undergraduate Andrew Melissas spent his spring semester studying at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, with support from the Joe S. Mundy Global Learning Endowment. He calls that time “the best four months of my life.”
A group of Georgia Tech students has just returned from two weeks studying bicycle infrastructure in the Netherlands and contrasting the Dutch approach to American standards. The overwhelming consensus: it’s not just bicycles that define the Dutch transportation system. Rather, it's the integration of biking with all forms of public transit and infrastructure planning that makes the Netherlands’ famed bike culture a way of life.
While many Georgia Tech students enjoyed some time away from classes during Spring Break, students in Joe Brown's "Environmental Technology in the Developing World" class were working to improve the lives of Bolivians. Join us on their journey, through the students' own words and pictures.