Whether Granada is your hometown or your study abroad destination for a few months, Esteban Romero-Frías, Ph.D., is ready and willing to help you engage in the community. Dr. Romero-Frías teaches Business Administration and Communications at IES Abroad Granada. He referred to his first semester with IES Abroad in Spring 2017 as “an amazing experience with very motivated students from all over the United States.”
When he is not in the classroom, Dr. Romero-Frías is facilitating community interaction and partnership through his role as Director of Medialab UGR and Director and Founder of LabIN Granada. Both organizations offer IES Abroad students opportunities to engage with the local community, including internship placements with Medialab UGR.
Meet Dr. Romero-Frías
At IES Abroad Granada, Dr. Romero-Frías teaches The Digital Transformation of Society and Organizations in the 21st Century, where students “examine the social impact of technologies (such as big data or 3D printing), discuss strategic issues in the digital society (such as copyright, privacy, and security, as well as new trends in learning), and experiment with one of the most recent innovation approaches, Design Thinking.”
In addition to teaching with IES Abroad, Dr. Romero-Frías teaches master classes at the University of Seville. He has previously taught at the University of Granada and has been a visiting professor to research centers in Canada, France, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.
Professor Romero-Frías holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Accounting and Finance at the University of Granada. He received his master’s degree from the University of Valencia, and completed his undergraduate and other advanced degree work at the University of Granada.
Dr. Romero-Frías also spent time studying throughout Europe. He received a European Master of Business Sciences from a consortium of 21 European universities, and he is a certified “European Financial Advisor” by the European Financial Planning Association (EFPA). While at the University of Granada, he spent a year studying abroad at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, on the Erasmus Program.
An Interview with Dr. Romero-Frías
IES Abroad: What is your field of study?
Esteban Romero-Frías (ERF): I carry out research in three main fields: (1) the application of Webometric techniques to social sciences, (2) the impact of Social Web in higher education (including Personal Learning Environments & MOOCs), and (3) digital cultures in higher education, particularly within the frame of Digital Humanities and Social Sciences.
IES Abroad: You teach The Digital Transformation of Society and Organizations in the 21st Century, what is the most interesting question you’ve received from an IES Abroad student in your course? How did you respond?
EBF: My course combines a complete overview of digital transformations in our society but, at the same time, is a very practical class in terms of using digital technologies to communicate and learn. We revise various tools that allow student to improve their personal learning environments. Usually [students] are surprised by the variety of services available that help them save time and improve their productivity. Many questions are posed around this topic. They admit that their work as students would have been easier and more interesting if they would have known this from the very beginning.
IES Abroad: What advice do you have for students preparing to study abroad in Granada?
Be open to one of the most exciting experiences in international education in the world. For many years Granada and its University has been the most popular destination among European students under the Erasmus Program (the most important Exchange Program in Europe and the world). Granada is the perfect setting for a multicultural experience in the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and Latin America. Therefore, my advice is to be open-minded and curious to discover a unique place in a safe and young environment.
IES Abroad: Explain your role as Director of Medialab-UGR and LabIN Granada. What is the mission of each of these organizations?
ERF: MediaLab-UGR acts as a meeting point for research, analysis, and the dissemination of opportunities generated by digital technologies in the areas of culture and society. The Lab is part of the University of Granada’s Vice-Rectorate for Research and Knowledge Transfer. It strives to serve as an open laboratory for the generation of proposals at the University and in society, as a research hub, and as an experimental space for exploring creativity and new ways of generating knowledge in digital societies. I am the Director of Medialab since its foundation in 2015.
As a result of this work, we created LabIN Granada, a platform for citizen innovation in Granada. In the same line of fostering innovative and co-creative processes, we have launched the Facultad Cero Process, an initiative to redesign higher education as if we started from scratch. Currently we are in the middle of the process at the University of Granada.
IES Abroad: How do IES Abroad students interact with Medialab UGR or LabIN Granada?
ERF: Since 2017, we have students doing internships at Medialab UGR. For example, our intern this semester, Mia, is working on how to facilitate the participation of international students in the Facultad Cero Process. LabIN Granada offers a platform to connect students with the society where they are going to live for some months. In addition, I try to involve my IES Abroad students in our activities, by inviting them to participate, explaining our work to them and trying to design tasks that engage them with the reality of Granada through these innovative activities.
IES Abroad: What is the most important takeaway you hope students leave their study abroad experience in Granada with?
ERF: I’d like that they know more about the Spanish and European culture, but also about the African and Latin American communities that we have here. I hope that they create a permanent link with Granada and a fantastic memory of these days. Also, I always like to maintain professional relations with my students in the future.
Learn more about part-time internships and the course Professor Romero-Frías teaches in Granada.