Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does ME310 mean?

Nothing. It is a course code of Stanford standing for Mechanical Engineering 310. There is also a ME309 and ME101 and so on. That’s it. The boring truth of the mysterious name.

2. Is it really that cool?

Well, to put it brief: yes. Not all courses work with this big budgets, with this challenging and important topics for the sponsors. Sponsors are onboard with significant fees and thus expect significant outcomes. This course really prepares you to apply for high­ level innovation work at management level or start your own business like several alumnies around the world already did.

3. ME310 is divided in several curricular parts. Can I do just one or few?

No. All the parts are essential for the whole course so you need to do them all. Otherwise you don’t finish the course.

4. How much time does it take ?

It’s a hard job! Work load is not shared equally on each day and it will vary during the year.

5. Is it hard? Will I survive?

It is hard but it’s manageable. Porto has very demanding teaching team working together with students to go beyond foreseen creativity and innovation, to really push for provocative, radical and out­-of-­the-­box ideas to make an impact on the field of each project. Every year so far, students are pushed to the limits but all of them have survived. For many, ME310 is a life­ changing experience to open eyes, learn about global co­-creation and change the purpose of life. “ME310 for life” is not just a random slogan.

6. My girlfriend/boyfriend is against this. What should I tell her/him?

Life is full of tough decisions. This will take a a lot of time and commitment and it will be a challenge for relationships in some level, for sure. If it is worthy,  that’s up to you… Some relationships can’t handle this kind of separation, but definitely most will. If it’s meant to be, then it will be able to handle individual ambition, even if it takes time for a while. It’s just 10 months in your life.

7. How is the usual week like?

Usual week goes like this:

  • Mondays are laid back, teamwork organized by teams themselves.
  • On Tuesdays we gather for some sessions or challenge.
  • Wednesday is time to work on weekly tasks; occasionally  masterclasses can happen.
  • And the main day is Thursdays: in the morning, each team gets alone ­time with teaching team, to go through their progress, problems, ideas and, in general, how things are; these meetings are called SGM (standing for small group meetings); after SGM’s is LGM (large group meeting), where we go through with the whole class on some issues, horizontal skills or something else (there even might be a lesson or two every now and then…); and after LGM’s is SUDS (Slightly Unorganized Design Session), an informal event for students, sponsors and other stakeholders to get together, cook, share ideas and relax after the week.
  • Fridays are usually free time again for teams to work on their tasks as they decide.

8. How much do we travel?

In the beginning we start with team building exercises and design thinking in Porto for a month or so. After that, students will travel to Silicon Valley in late October, for Design Thinking workshop in Stanford University. In that moment, students are assigned to their sponsor and project. During the project there might be some travelling in Europe or somewhere else, if the project needs. In January, students spend a week in CERN prototyping with electronics and robotics. At the end of the project, there’s an International Expo in Silicon Valley, in June, which will take one to two weeks. Everything ends up back in Porto, in an Open Day With Industry. All together there might be travelling up to one month during the course. All the flights and accommodations will be covered by the course fee. Please make sure in advance that you don’t have problems of getting a visa or other travelling document to US or other partnering countries.

9. Who pays all the travelling?

All the travelling and accommodations are included in the course fees.