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Travel and the Executive Master of Real Estate Development Program

In 2008, the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction and the College of Business created a Master in Real Estate Development (MRED).  The program is a six-semester executive program that uses a blended delivery model of on-campus classes and distance learning modules. At the beginning of each semester MRED students work intensively during a one-week residency held on the Auburn’s campus, then they continue their coursework using both synchronous and asynchronous distance learning platforms.  In addition, students spend five to ten days during each semester engaged in a field studies course.

Students in the first three cohorts hail from nineteen different states ranging from Hawaii to Massachusetts and from Tennessee to Texas.  They work full-time in real estate related professions ranging from architecture, construction, and finance to law and politics. They have, on average, more than eight years of post-baccalaureate work experience.

Five of the required field study courses in the curriculum occur in major metropolitan areas in the United States, such as Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Portland, or Seattle.  During their final field study, held in their graduating semester, students travel to an international location. In 2012, MRED students traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina. This year, in 2013, students will travel to Melbourne, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand.

In Buenos Aires, students visited the regional director of the world’s leading project management and construction company, Bovis Lend Lease. Students then met with Baker & McKenzie, the leading property law firm in South America, talking about the hurdles that foreign investors and companies face entering South American markets.  They also visited with Banco Hipotecario to get a general overview of the mortgage markets in Argentina.

Several major development projects, along with their developers, architects, and contractors, were also visited: Nordelta and Nuevo Quilmes, large master-planned development communities just on the edge of Buenos Aires; the Puerto Madero Waterfront, a redevelopment project along the Rio de la Plata riverfront, representing emerging trends in architecture and urbanism; and the Pilara Sports Club, meeting the designers of Buenos Aires most exclusive sports club.

Beyond professional meetings, all students and faculty took tango lessons; attended a tango show; dined at a famous bodega or winner; marched in the pre-game program of a professional soccer game; visited famous neighborhoods n the city such as Boca; and traveled to the seventeenth century city of Colonoia del Sacramento in Uruguay.

The signature feature of the MRED curriculum is on-site exploration of highly innovative planning, design, construction, and real estate development projects from around the country and around the world.  Our international study program, in particular, gives MRED students a profound appreciation of different cultures, economies, and political arrangements. International study, by its nature, creates a set of global skills and knowledge of global practices needed for success in an increasing interconnected economy. MRED’s international studies program thereby underscores the value of becoming an intelligent global citizen.

View the photo gallery: http://studioapla.auburn.edu/content/mred-study-abroad-12

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