Matt studied at the Universidad de San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador for a year, and then returned the following Christmas for a special research project. His goal? To listen to and be inspired by the sounds of Ecuador.
I have always been interested in a diverse range of topics. When I came to college I had difficulty choosing a degree, because I did not want to limit myself by choosing just one field of study. After a lot of soul searching, I finally decided to study music, a longtime love of mine. However, I still wanted my education to have a global scope. I needed to be able to learn the technical aspects of music, but I thought it equally necessary to be cognizant of the worldwide issues that are dramatically shaping the world that we live in. Fortunately I found the International Degree, which allowed me to expand the reach of my studies. Through my thesis project, a soundscape composition exploring Ecuadorian culture through its sound environment, I was given the opportunity to utilize what I had learned in music to explore themes such as globalization, modernization, intercultural interaction, sociopolitical disparities, and other prominent issues. The whole experience, from studying abroad, to the research, to the writing and composing, turned out to be profoundly moving. I can easily say that my international experience has been one of most beneficial aspects of my education.