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  • Writer's pictureGEARE Executive Board

Alumni Spotlight #8 - Sam Albert

Sam Albert is a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow and graduate student at University of Colorado Boulder, studying aerospace engineering sciences. In 2017, he studied abroad in Spain at Universidad de Carlos III Madrid on the Leganes campus, and spent the summer of 2017 at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands as a research intern working on a lunar rover project. He graduated from Purdue in 2018, and shares his experiences in the GEARE program and reflections on them below.

What did you learn from GEARE? What skills did GEARE help you develop that you find useful in your professional career?

I learned how to deal with uncertainty, gained a stronger appreciation for intercultural exchange and diversity, and gained confidence through living in other countries. GEARE helped me grow in my communication skills and ability to deal with uncertainty, and become comfortable communicating and relating across cultures.

What would you do differently if you went through the program again? And what advice would you give current students in GEARE?

I would spend more time with local students during study abroad as opposed to other study abroad students. Consider going somewhere without a lot of other Purdue study abroad students, and live with a host family if possible.

Can you tell an interesting story about your travel experiences?

One of the first trips we took outside of Madrid was to Segovia, famous for its well-preserved Roman aqueduct that dates back to the 1st century. I was living with a host family, and when the dad heard about this plan he grinned and told me to "embrace the stones" while I was there. After I stared at him confused, he explained that this was so I could absorb the engineering genius of Ancient Rome that enabled them to build such lasting infrastructure. I made sure to do so.

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