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Architecture Travel Studies

Architecture Travel Study Policy

Architecture defines travel study as trips to significant architectural, urban and building industry sites, where the primary activities are research, experiential observation and analysis of place. 

Travel is an important, under-cultivated skill used in architectural study, and necessary for a self-reflective architectural career. Being curious about the built environment and experiencing different cultures, histories and places are essential for personal and professional growth. 

In addition, traveling alongside colleagues and faculty has extraordinary value. The observation and recording of sites is sometimes only recognized and valued in a group context. During travel study, faculty are challenged to direct the on-site experience, like a docent or sherpa, with collaborative coaching and curation. Faculty, however, are not concierges, den-mothers or chaperones. They will shape and scaffold the experience, allowing students the initial and independent discovery. The goal is to educate travelers as opposed to tourists.

SDSU architecture strongly encourages extracurricular travel opportunities. Spring break has offered a recurring, national travel location for students and faculty in the past and is likely to continue. Weekend trips during the fall semester have also provided opportunities for regional travel.

Students wishing to pursue a study abroad program or national/international internships should discuss potential independent study credit with the department head prior to travel. In previous years, Architecture students have studied and practiced in places as diverse as Uruguay, Portugal, Australia, Great Britain and the Czech Republic.

Many courses within the architecture curriculum will encourage travel. This Travel Study Policy is not, however, connected to any single architecture course in particular. This policy provides an overview of the academic and practical expectations of students traveling away from campus.