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Summer European Study Program
The School’s Summer European Study Program is a valuable and integral part of the architecture curriculum. This 5-week program is a rigorous and enjoyable academic program directed by the School’s faculty and crafted to complement students’ studies and travel in America. The home base of the program is in Rome, Italy but students travel to various venues across Europe each summer as part of the intensive architecture study experience. Starting for students entering the School of Architecture in the fall of 2016, a longer-term international architecture study experience will be a requirement for graduation.
The students are assigned analytical projects dealing with architecture, landscape design, and urban planning from a variety of periods; offered lectures and seminars by recognized European authorities on architecture; taken on guided study tours; and given instruction in architectural sketching and other techniques of architectural observation and analysis.
Coursework and Grades
As in other courses, students are expected to complete assignments which document their activities and achievements.
JOURNALS: Students are required to keep daily records of lectures, discussions, experiences, and observations of such things as buildings, gardens, architectural details, etc.. Since architects and engineers communicate primarily through annotated drawings, the journal is primarily a visual record of experiences (small, quick, “thumbnail” sketches) with supplementary notes. Former participants have indicated that the journal proved to be the most precious record of their stay in Europe.
SKETCHBOOKS: Whereas the journals are small-scale records of observations, the sketchbooks focus on the more artistic aspects of sketching. Subjects are chosen by students on the basis of aesthetic appeal and for their value in improving freehand drawing skills.
ANALYTICAL PROBLEMS: These are a series of projects with subjects chosen by the faculty. Typical subjects have been a comparison of the architectural character and urban function of selected city squares and the relation of buildings from various periods to landscaping.
INDEPENDENT PROJECTS: Students choose, with the assistance of faculty, a subject of particular interest to investigate during the periods of independent travel.
The grade for the course is a composite of the grades for these individual assignments and an evaluation of the quality of the student’s participation in the Program. A high level of performance is expected of participants. Students who wish to see Europe as tourists are encouraged to do so - on their own. To repeat, this is not a “tourism for credit” course.
Impact of the Program
Many past participants list the Summer in Europe Program as one of the most significant aspects of their education. Interviews with a few of these participants can be viewed at: