(MENAFN - Arab News) As part of a pilot summer training program, King Saud University (KSU) students at the College of Architecture and Planning under Scott Tallon Walker (STW) Architects have recently returned from Dublin, Ireland, where they attended a course in architecture and design.
Addressing a press conference at the KSU campus, STW Associate Director Kevin Bates said that Saudi Arabia is implementing major construction projects and needs a high-caliber and trained local work force.
He said the training, which his company is providing for free, would provide young Saudis in-depth experience in the field of architecture, while they are still studying.
"I have seen their strong potential and interest and this will make them more confident when they take up jobs," said Bates
According to him, the training program is a major initiative by STW that has great potential for both STW and Saudi students undertaking the program. Bates said the program will have important outcomes such as preparing students and college graduates for the Saudi labor market, where students learn about the latest techniques used in architecture and building sciences.
"They learn new and innovative methods in the areas of urban planning and design," he said, adding that this experience enhances their competitive spirit and a commitment to work as a team in a professional and systematic manner.
"I had to pass the architectural exam in the English language as this was one of the conditions for acceptance in the training program," said Ala Mahrous, one of the Saudi students who participated in the training program.
He said the training was "beneficial for us as it contained a variety of activities, including visiting field sites, lectures about the latest in architecture and construction as a fundamental activity.
"The training program has enhanced my abilities in designing and creativity," he said.
Mahrous was one of the three students who achieved innovative designs. Meetings with experienced professors in the architectural field turned out to be highly useful for them.
"In addition to the information and detailed notes in my personal notebook, we also made reports and took detailed photos of the architecture on our field trips to the cities near Dublin," said Mahrous. "I noticed that the training program was closely related to our syllabus which includes sustainability, community service and ways to run a building with high efficiency and at very low cost."
There was in-depth specialization during the period of research. According to him, the program was excellent because it benefited the students a great deal.
The high-end service and comfortable accommodation contributed a great deal to the success of the training period, said Mahrous. The Department of Architecture at King Saud University has given its students practical field training with the cooperation of institutions in Italy, Germany, Malaysia, Turkey and France.