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?
The good news is there are plenty of programs available that will allow you to study architecture all around the world. However, there are several things to consider before a student packs their bags. Here’s a look at how to study architecture abroad.
Why You Should Study Abroad
Chances are that when you decided to pursue a career in architecture or obtain your architecture degree, there were designs and architectural practices from all around the world that caught your eye. Whatever your favorite styles, time periods or buildings may be, studying abroad gives you the opportunity to see them in person and learn in their shadows. You’ll find great inspiration in seeing the historical architectural styles around the world as well as the more modern styles that are emerging today.
You’ll also see the impact different styles of architecture can have on a culture. This includes the aesthetics, safety and functionality of a building. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of the architectural field and perhaps even influence your own style that you can take back home with you.
Places To Consider When Studying Architecture Abroad
Once you have the “why,” one of the first things to consider when you’re planning to study abroad is where you would like to go. Start by making a list of the different places with environmental design and buildings or architectural styles that inspire you. After you have your list, you can search each destination to see if a local university offers a study abroad program. Checkout NewSchool’s study abroad programs in Italy, Portugal and Spain.
From here, you’ll need to get more specific. What particular focus do you want to study while you are abroad? Of course, studying abroad gives you access to historical architecture and a variety of architectural styles, but also many unique modern styles. Since these categories rarely overlap, you’ll have to choose one.
Popular Countries to Study Architecture
Popular historical cities in which to study abroad include:
- Rome, Italy. In Rome, you can gain inspiration from Rome’s remarkably well-preserved ancient relics. Italy is filled with iconic landmarks and diverse architectural achievements from the leaning Leaning Tower of Pisa to the modern-day skyscrapers in Florence.
- Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona is home to the unique style of renowned Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi, whose work bridges the gap between the old and new world, as one of his most famous – the Sagrada Familia – is still under construction today, nearly 100 years after his death.
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates. If a more modern style intrigues you, there are numerous opportunities in burgeoning modern architecture mecca, Dubia, in the United Arab Emirates, home to the current tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.
- Beijing, China. Beijing has many structures that showcase its history, but the city was given a makeover when it hosted the 2008 Olympic games, with buildings featuring eye-catching, asymmetric design.
- Australia. There are also several opportunities available in rapidly-growing Australian cities like Perth, Sydney and Canberra. (Australia also offers the added perk of being an English-speaking nation, eliminating the language barrier you may encounter with other international programs.)
- Japan. If it is indeed the rare hybrid program of old and new that you seek, there are some available. You could head to Japan to explore the old Eastern styles, and how they have developed to the earthquake-proof buildings popping up the last 30 or so years.
- Chile. In South America, Chile has a wide array of architectural programs that dive into how traditional Chilean style has grown into the modern architecture you will currently find in cities like Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. But these are mere suggestions and you can potentially study anywhere in the world as long as the program offerings match your academic needs.
When Should You Study Abroad?
Arguments can be made for studying abroad at any time during your college years, but since we can assume you have chosen architecture as your major and have presumably begun your coursework, your best bet is to go abroad during your last two years of study and focus on your major requirements. This will slim down your location wish list to your real candidates, as certain programs may only be available during Spring or Fall semesters. This will help you find a program that is best-suited to your needs and interests.
Another option is to study abroad during your summer or winter break, perfect for those who want to squeeze in a quick abroad experience in the midst of your studies. Wherever you choose to go, make sure the credits you earn will be accepted toward your degree, otherwise the “study” portion of your abroad experience will be a waste of time and money. And speaking of money…
How Are You Going To Pay For It?
This is often the deciding factor, as study abroad programs can be quite expensive. There are a multitude of scholarship opportunities, such as architecture and interior design scholarships, available to offer some financial assistance if needed. Do your homework to see if there are any additional financial aid or scholarship programs to help you finance your dream study abroad program.
NewSchool offers amazing study abroad programs for architecture and design. We believe that being exposed to a wide range of cultural design perspectives will make you a stronger and more adaptive designer and architect. Study abroad with NewSchool in Milan, Italy, Porto, Portugal, Compostela, Spain, or Rome, Italy and expand your architectural knowledge!