BSCI Study Abroad Programs Back to Full Speed

BSCI Study Abroad 2023

Students in Auburn’s McWhorter School of Building Science (BSCI) have study abroad opportunities year-round.

After some interruptions due to COVID, BSCI’s study abroad programs are once again running at full speed. This past year, several different groups of students and faculty members traveled halfway across the world to expand their knowledge of design and experience new cultures.


Instead of hitting the beach for a week, a group of BSCI students opted to spend their spring break in Quito, Ecuador, working on a service learning project. Under the direction of Associate Professors Alan Bugg and Jeff Kim, the students earned three credit hours while working on the construction of a day care center in an economically disadvantaged Quito suburb. They worked alongside local builders using local building techniques. When they weren’t working, the students were able to tour historic Quito, hike in the Andes Mountains and take a quick trip to visit the Equator.


As soon as the spring semester ended, a group of students spent two weeks with Bugg and Associate Professor Lauren Redden traveling around Europe. They completed six elective credits studying international construction as well as the historical, legislative, cultural, social and economic factors that influence the conservation of cultural heritage. They also learned about the British non-profit Considerate Constructors Scheme, an organization that works to support and guide positive interactions between the construction industry and the general public. This trip took the students to London, Paris, a tour of the Normandy beaches, Ypres, Belgium and Amsterdam.

Also in the summer semester, Associate Professor Mark Tatum led a group of senior BSCI majors on an extended five-week tour of Europe. Due to the amount of credits they earned, this study abroad program allowed participating students to graduate a semester early in August 2023. Prior to leaving the country, they enrolled in a two-credit course in which they worked toward completing the majority of their senior theses. During their travels abroad, the students found real life examples and case studies that helped them to compare construction practices between the U.S. and Europe. Upon returning to campus, students had the rest of the summer to complete their theses before graduation. 

Tatum and his students began their trip with a week in Paris where they toured the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, Versailles and the Louvre and then spent four days in Normandy visiting World War II D-Day sites including Omaha Beach. Next, they headed to London where they visited Buckingham Palace, London Tower and Hyde Park with a side trip to Stonehenge and Bath. From England, they traveled to Krakow, Poland, to see the Schindler’s List Factory and Auschwitz, and Prague, Czech Republic. They finished the trip with six days in Munich, Germany, studying German engineering at the foot of the Alps. In addition to local attractions, the group toured several construction sites throughout their travels. The students earned nine credits in electives studying Global Construction Management, Multicultural Issues in Construction and Construction Law while also completing work on their theses.

FALL 2023

In the fall semester, Associate Professor Anoop Sattineni led a group of students to complete a semester of studies in the historical walled city of Urbino, Italy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They lived in the University of Urbino dorms while taking trips outside the city to places like Rome, Florence and Venice.  They completed 13 credits in Italian culture and history, international construction and construction law in addition to working on their senior theses. Students got to take excursions to places like Vatican City and the Colosseum.

In early November, BSCI students attended Associated Schools of Construction’s Region 8 competition on the campus of Liverpool John Moore’s University in the United Kingdom. Bugg and Associate Professor Tom Leathem both coached hybrid teams in the Design & Build division; Bugg’s included students from Auburn and Birmingham City (U.K.) University, while Leathem’s was made up of students from Auburn and Liverpool John Moore’s University. Professor Paul Holley coached a team of Auburn students in the Construction Management and Quantity Survey division. In addition to the competition, students got to do some sightseeing in England.


After his semester in Italy, Dr. Sattineni will cross the globe once again, leading a group of students on a study abroad trip to Australia and New Zealand. Students will spend time in the Australian cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane as well as Auckland, New Zealand as they earn 13 credits. They will study Global Construction Management, Multicultural Issues in Construction and Construction Law while also completing work on their theses. In addition to academic studies, students will take excursions to Olympic Park, Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Blue Mountains, Federation Square, Australian Open, Docklands, The Great Barrier Reef, Mount Eden and Hobbit Town.


In the summer of 2024, BSCI will offer a new study abroad program with an itinerary unlike any other. Professor Salman Azhar and Associate Professor Keith Rahn will lead an exciting five-week trip that will have participating students traveling around countries in Asia and Europe. This program is open to senior BSCI majors and Master of Building Construction students preparing for graduation.

The group’s travels will begin with a week in London, England, and then several days each in Stockholm, Sweden; Berlin, Germany; and Zurich, Switzerland. As they travel through these countries, students will visit various construction sites as well as the Tower of London, Stonehenge, the Berlin Wall and the Acropolis in Athens. From there the students will travel to Greece to see the cities of Athens and Santorini and then spend the remaining 12 days visiting Dubai and Abu-Dabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The U.A.E. is home to over $100 billion in construction projects currently underway as well as hundreds of unique structures including the world’s tallest skyscraper and largest 3D printed building. This country is home to a rich history that is reflected in art, architecture and cuisine as well as diverse landscapes ranging from skyscrapers to deserts to beaches.

While studying construction management practices, students will be exposed to companies, projects, materials and methods different than those they’re familiar with in the U.S. They will also visit monumental and historic architecture and learn about the unique aspects of historic preservation and restoration in Europe and Asia.

All students will earn six elective credits in Global Construction Management and Multicultural Issues in Construction. Graduate students will complete a Graduate Capstone project while undergrads will finish their senior theses.