November 14, 2022 Summer lab returns to Spain in 2022 Written By: Jason Daley Departments: Chemical & Biological Engineering Categories Students|Teaching At the end of May 2022, a group of 14 CBE students traveled to Oviedo, Spain, restarting a tradition that had taken a pause during the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. The group, led by CBE instructor Rafael Chavez, was there for the five-week, intensive summer lab course at the University of Oviedo. For several decades, summer lab students have had the opportunity to finish the capstone course abroad in Spain, London, Vienna; Hangzhou, China; and Hong Kong. There were also plans to offer the course in Limerick, Ireland. But the pandemic put those sessions on pause and students completed summer lab remotely in 2020. In 2022, however, CBE offered a single session in Oviedo—the 23rd time the course has been taught there. Chavez, who has led the course many times abroad, says this summer lab was similar to previous sessions, except most of the instructors and staff wore masks. While the course has the same rigor as the sessions offered on the Madison campus, Chavez says doing the program abroad has some benefits. “Everything in Oviedo is well-organized and well run. It’s good for our students to explore other cultures and it’s valuable to see how things are done in other places,” he says. The other advantage, he says, is that it offers students a break between graduation and employment. Many students will take a few extra weeks after Summer Lab to travel Spain or other parts of Europe. Chavez, for one, took the opportunity to visit some islands in Greece. “It’s always a good experience. I would absolutely encourage all students to consider attending this or other available overseas session,” he says.