Albania is located on the Adriatic Sea in southeastern Europe, across from Italy and north of Greece. National Geographic ranked Albania among the top places to visit in 2018, as did Lonely Planet again in 2019. Albania has numerous small cities of historical of archeological interest in additional to Tirana, its bustling, chaotic, capital city. Tirana offers cultural activities, museums, good restaurants, cafes, nightlife, and a large population of students eager to practice their English.
Each year 24 WPI students work in 4-person teams on six projects in Albania. The projects address a variety of topics, including waste management, water resources, sustainable agriculture, ecotourism, education, entrepreneurship and technological innovation. These projects (and the entire student experience in Albania) offer valuable, real-world opportunities for WPI students and provide Albanian organizations with useful data and fresh perspectives on pressing problems. For example, past Tirana students have:
•Promoted community-based tourism in a village having a previously inaccessible cave
•Documented environmental conditions along a major river
•Developed a water education program for Albanian high schools
•Collaborated with goat farmers to develop markets for local dried meat products