STUDY ABROAD — ABSOLUTELY!
Regardless of where you are on your “becoming an architect” journey, we will suggest that you strongly consider STUDY ABROAD. While we did not confirm, we are confident that ALL architecture programs provide study abroad experiences as part of their curriculum. Some programs actually require study abroad, but for most programs, it is an option.
Many architecture programs offer the opportunity to study abroad. Some architecture programs, including the University of Notre Dame and Syracuse University, actually require study abroad. Other programs offer foreign study as an option. Such programs may occur during the summer or be for an entire semester. Some students may also choose to study at another institution abroad for a full academic year. Regardless, you are strongly encouraged to study abroad during your academic tenure. In fact, faculty will say that you should make it mandatory for yourself. Money is typically an obstacle for some students, but most programs offer scholarships. Remember, once you graduate and enter the workforce, you may not have the same opportunity to travel.
Consider the following steps of maximizing your education as described by Brian Kelly, AIA, director of the architecture program and associate professor at the University of Maryland:
- Take charge of your time; you are responsible for your educational experience.
- Work in the studio.
- Get to know your peers and faculty.
- Study abroad; step outside the box.
- Take time for yourself; your health is paramount.
Read below as for reasons to consider —
Studying architecture abroad sounds great, doesn’t it? You could visit a place you’ve always dreamed of visiting and soak up its culture while you continue your architectural studies. What could be better for an architecture student than that? – NewSchool of Architecture & Design
The School of Architecture (CMU) strongly encourages study abroad experiences for our students for the valuable perspective gained through immersion in another culture and language. – Carnegie Mellon University
The practice of architecture requires a deep understanding of how the design of buildings interacts with the physical and cultural contexts of human traditions, landscapes, settlements, cities and suburbs. Study abroad programs allow you to examine historical and contemporary architecture and learn from scholars and practitioners with expertise in the diverse cultures of building across the globe. – University of Oregon
Now, some quotes from students.
Going abroad is so much fun, but it is more than the days at the beach and the late nights; it’s about traveling the world and having a new appreciation for life. It sounds so basic and simple, but I truly do believe that traveling outside of the US makes me a happier human being. I am doing what my body and heart were created to do: explore, meet new people, and experience cultures like never before. – Miami University
Studying abroad in France is the best decision I have ever made. It is one thing to study about great architecture through a textbook, but it is entirely different to experience the buildings yourself. I have learned to not only see buildings, but to analyze and truly understand their purpose and meaning. Experiencing a new culture and working with architecture students from around the world has been eye opening and extremely rewarding. My design and sketching skills have vastly improved as well as my knowledge of architecture history. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Studying abroad in Italy was my most life changing experience. I never actually wanted to study abroad before college because I always afraid of being away from home for an extended amount of time. I was interested in participating in a study abroad program here because all of them were architecture programs, which meant I would be getting studio credit, and they were only five weeks long. – New York Institute of Technology
It was the BEST experience of my life. I chose the Danish Institute for Study (DIS) Abroad in Copenhagen because the program gave me the opportunity to explore sustainability from the Danish perspective, take a design studio with active architects and allowed me to widen my perspective on the role architecture plays in society. Through my explorations of Denmark and the other countries I adventured to during my semester abroad, I discovered many things about myself and my perspective on architecture. I returned to school in the US with a new sense of purpose and a new level of drive. The opportunity to spend time in so many wonderful and unique places like Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Iceland made me realize that they all have their own outlook on the world. I saw so many amazing things in the built world in so many different countries and this experience drove me to push myself even further. – Columbia University
Clearly, you should STUDY ABROAD.