The College of Architecture and Planning runs extensive study abroad programs, and has partnerships with international universities including Dar Al-Hekma University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Tongji University in Shanghai, and Southeast University in Nanjing.
Hands-on experience. In Italy. Or China. Immersed in a culture that offers unique locals and customs, while broadening your view of the world, and putting your own hometown into perspective.
Great opportunities like this don’t come around often. If at all. So take advantage of an international experience while you can.
Study Abroad programs led by respected faculty members from the College of Architecture and Planning take place every year, sometimes during Winterim and Maymester. The courses and continents vary, offering serious studies on location, for recognized credit hours.
Sample programs have included:
- Sustainable Tourism in the Slow City: Seferihisar, Turkey
The curriculum emphasis highlights the city’s historical layers, the Roman heritage, the Byzantian and Ottoman, in terms of urbanization in Turkey’s first certified “slow city. The slow city movement features locally grown food, sustainable living, and decisions made within a local community context. Students learn about urban planning and design policies and their effects.
- Architecture and Urban Context of Rome, Italy
Lessons from the culture and city frame a specific understanding of historical buildings and architectural design styles. Classes take advantage of Rome as a contemporary city where historical settings and modern life form an integrated whole.
- Architecture in Cultures: Thailand
Studies provide a broad introduction to the cultural and architectural traditions from the vernacular to urbanism, from temples and palaces to the hectic pace of urban Bangkok. Many of the most significant accomplishments in the history of global architecture are represented in this location, where cultural and architectural history spans thousands of years. Students investigate the process of globalization and urbanization and the impact of the built environment.
- Design Build Construction in Guatemala
Mayan architects have been wrestling with volcanoes, earthquakes and mudslides for millennia. Similarly, CU Denver students face these challenges as they conduct research and build a school using locally owned, sustainable materials and techniques. They explore all phases necessary to modern design builds: design phase implementation, estimating, scheduling and project management skills required in traditional construction.
Through an innovative educational program, Gensler, a premier worldwide design firm, in partnership with Tongji University in Shanghai and the University of Colorado Denver, offers internships in the host country for graduate students in architecture, planning, landscape architecture and urban design. Learning experiences in Denver and China extend to projects with large-scale global impact, including Shanghai Tower, which, when completed, will be the second tallest building in the world.
Jun Xia, Design Director of the Shanghai office, is one of the main visionaries behind the successful partnership and is an alumnus of CAP’s graduate architecture program. He knows that coming to school in America is a big step for any international student—and he can’t say enough good things about his experience.
“From my studies at the College of Architecture and Planning, I learned that the school has a passion for helping international students—I was very warmly accepted,” says Xia. He sees the internship program as giving students from both countries opportunities to become more adaptive and creative, based on the expanded knowledge about an area’s culture, history and people. Graduates of the program are well-prepared to enter today’s competitive global market.
TONGJI UNIVERSITY, SHANGHAI, CHINA
A dual degree program is offered by Tongji University and CAP that enables students to focus on landscape architecture in a variety of public and private environments. CU Denver faculty are well recognized for developing partnerships with entities such as the Denver Public Schools system, with the result of transforming almost 100 public elementary schoolyards into attractive, safe, multi-use parks tailored to the needs the communities.
SOUTHEAST UNIVERSITY OF ARCHITECTURE, NANJING, CHINA
CAP’s Master of Urban Design program and Southeast University of Architecture (SEU), Nanjing, one of the oldest urban planning departments in China, collaborate on joint urban design studios. In China, designs for a complex urban site along the famous city walls of Nanjing are underway. Students visiting Denver learn about the Denver Performing Arts Center, which is the nation’s second largest performing arts center (Denver citizens contribute more public funding for the arts per capita than any other U.S. city), Denver’s Civic Center Park, the Colorado Convention Center, and the rapidly expanded multi-modal transit hub downtown.
DAR AL-HEKMA UNIVERSITY, KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA
When it comes to sustainability, students and faculty in cities seven thousand miles and an ocean apart—Jeddah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Denver, Colorado—share remarkably similar goals. At Dar Al-Hekma University and CAP, students and faculty must develop design solutions for their neighborhoods and cities located in high desert climates, addressing issues of urban sprawl, population growth, water usage, and the protection of fragile eco-systems.
Together, they are finding those solutions through a shared design studio and the attention of Zuhair Fayez, alumnus of CAP and president of the largest architecture/engineering/management firm in Saudi Arabia. Fayez noted that he appreciates the top-quality education that he received from the University of Colorado, and he enjoys giving back to the world of education.
In the projects between CAP and DAH, students design affordable housing for underserved populations in the partnering country. Communication technologies now connect ideas at the speed of satellite, allowing for unprecedented creative ventures between design schools and research centers internationally. Powerful new digital visualization applications can precisely model and specify three-dimensional constructions of buildings and landscapes in virtual time and space. Rapid prototyping systems linked to fabricating machines can test design concepts and create cross-continental transactions of design to actual built environments.
Educational partnerships offer connections between cultures and answers for creating healthier, more sustainable, and more meaningful environments for this century. The next generation of designers and planners at CU Denver and Dar Al-Hekma University are designing better futures for themselves and for a shared world.