Emma was one of 24 students who traveled to the Albania Project Center to complete their IQPs. She and her team—three other WPI students—assisted a tourism company, Albania Rafting Group, with the development of an eco-adventure park aimed at providing additional revenue sources and growth for the company. The team conducted surveys to identify popular adventure activities among the target audience, researched how these activities could be implemented, and brainstormed possible locations for them on the sponsor’s site.
The most valuable part of Emma’s IQP was learning how to work with a sponsor. This provided her with the opportunity to collaborate with partners from outside WPI, preparing her for real-world project experiences.
In addition to her project work, the experience that most resonated with Emma was a visit to the National History Museum in Tirana. Seeing artifacts of a culture far older than her own was fascinating, and the museum offered an interesting perspective on Albania’s transitions into and out of a communist regime. These pieces, left behind by the people who had died for a cause they believed in, were especially moving to her.
West Suffield, CT
BS in Mechanical Engineering
Professor Robert Hersh
Professor Peter Christopher
Albania Rafting Group (ARG)
Wake up and prepare for the day.
Meet my team in the lobby of our apartment building for breakfast pastries, then, because our sponsor doesn’t have an office in the city, decide whose apartment to work in for the day.
Gather in the apartment, establish our goals for the day, distribute work, and get started.
Head out to lunch either nearby or further in the city.
Return to the apartment, check on the progress made in the morning, then resume work.
Finish work and return to our separate apartments to enjoy some free time before dinner.
Go to dinner with a group—often down the street, occasionally in the Blloku, a well-known area in Tirana.
Hang out in the living room of one of the apartments, often watching movies or playing cards.
Go to bed.
Wake up early and grab some breakfast before getting on a bus to a tourist destination.
Arrive at destination and begin participating in tourist activities (hiking, swimming, castle tours, sightseeing, etc.).
Break for lunch in a nearby city. If we aren’t staying overnight, this is about the time we’d begin traveling back to Tirana.
Dinner either back in Tirana or close to where we were staying.
Participate in cultural activities with local Albanians (traditional dances, opera, etc.).