Is it your dream to study architecture abroad? If so, you likely have a lot of questions about how to make this goal a possibility. Architecture study abroad programs may be an awesome way to pursue your degree while also discovering what it’s like to live, learn, and play in a country of your choice. While program types and locations may vary, you just might find yourself surrounded by examples of ancient and modern architecture alike – like the Sistine Chapel, the Eiffel Tower, or Gaudí’s Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família!

Why study architecture abroad?

Working toward a degree in architecture abroad may be a memorable way to see the world while pursuing a future career path. After all, architectural history and theory are typically part of an architect bachelor’s degree program! Traveling could expose you to beautiful and inspiring structures. But just as important are the opportunities to experience a new culture. Imagine sampling exciting foods, meeting new people, and working on your foreign language skills. A study abroad program might also be a way to spread your wings and learn a bit about yourself and the world around you.

Can a study abroad architecture program be part of my degree program?

While every architecture degree program will be different, it may be possible to incorporate a short- or long-term study abroad program into your studies. It’s important to check with your college or university’s Study Abroad Office for more specific requirements. Not a college student yet? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most prospective architects pursue a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture degree. These programs typically involve courses in architectural history, theory, building design and computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), structures, construction methods, and more.i While not necessarily a requirement for architects, studying abroad may be an enriching way to earn some of these course credits while experiencing life in another country and seeing international architecture and design! Check with your particular program to determine if you can earn credits while studying abroad.

What financing options may be available for architecture study abroad programs?

It’s natural to wonder about financial aid for architecture study abroad programs. While funding opportunities depend on your eligibility, be sure to do your homework on possible financial aid, scholarships, and other options that may be available to qualified students. The Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1992 states that a qualified student may be able to receive financial aid for studying abroad if enrolled in a study-abroad program approved by his or her home college or university. Basically, if you are receiving financial aid for college, you may be able to use those funds for studying abroad if you qualify. Check with your school’s financial aid office to learn more. Financial aid is never a sure thing, but resources may be available to help you pursue your dreams if you qualify.

What should I know before studying architecture abroad?

Especially if you’ve never left the country before, studying abroad might seem like a big step. Living abroad could be the most exciting part of your college years…but, sometimes, not knowing what to expect can be stressful. Likely, you should know something about your host culture and language before heading overseas. That way, you’ll feel more comfortable meeting new people, engaging in conversation, and doing simple chores like shopping. That’s not to say you have to be fluent in another language, but learning basic vocabulary may be a smart first step. Also, it’s a good idea to consider health concerns before heading abroad. Do you need any vaccinations before you go? If you take a prescription medicine, will you be able to get it in your host country? Answering these and other logistical questions before packing your bags may reduce stress and contribute to a positive travel experience. Likely, the architectural study abroad program you choose may have other recommendations and requirements as well. Never hesitate to ask questions of your program coordinator if you’re unsure of something!

If you’re hoping to pursue a career as an architect, studying abroad might be a rewarding way to earn credits toward your degree and broaden your professional horizons. Here are a few architecture study abroad programs you may want to check out below:

[1] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/architects.htm#tab-4

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