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Student Study Abroad Report: Trinity Frantz

Trinity Frantz and other study abroad students pose for a group photo on a bridge in Milan.

My name is Trinity Frantz, and I am a rising sophomore in biomedical engineering. I had the opportunity to participate in the Materials Engineering in Milan program over the summer mini-term. The program ran May 19th through June 7th. This was an introductory course to materials engineering taught with a focus on bicycles, as they are a widely used form of transportation in Italy. While in the program I had the opportunity to see a section of the Tour of Italy bike race in the city of Bergamo. I also was able to go on 3 site visits at different stages of the bike production process including manufacturing the tubes, assembling the metal base frame, as well as final construction of the different components of the bike into a functioning unit. 

Cyclists ride bicycles on a street in Milan, Italy.

During production, the tubes would be treated with various chemicals and water baths to create different desired properties depending on the customers’ requests. During the frame production phase, depending on the rider’s goals, the shopkeeper would decide what material to use to balance the weight versus the strength needed for the bike. The final construction of the bike components was very interesting to witness as I was able to see each piece be added to the base frame until, in the end, the bike was ridden by one of my classmates.

A scenic view of the canal and historic buildings in Florence, Italy.

We had a long weekend, the middle weekend, where I had the opportunity to travel to Zurich, Switzerland. I was also able to travel to Florence, Italy on the other Sunday we had off. We had plenty of time outside of class to explore the ci

Overall this was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had and would highly encourage anyone and everyone to study abroad if they have the opportunity. While I was definitely on a shorter program, it has made such a huge impact on my perception of the world. I have made friends and memories that will last a lifetime.