Architecture is one of the most distinctive parts of any city, and for many people a major factor in the decision of where to travel abroad. Through architecture internships abroad, you will get a first hand look at some of the world’s most famous buildings and an education that extends beyond the walls of a classroom. The experience of walking through a structure and learning about the history and design in person is something entirely different than seeing two-dimensional photos and reading about architecture in a textbook. Architectural internships abroad will allow you to gain experience in the field while deepening your understanding of various cultural approaches to design.
Why Intern Abroad
Participating in architecture internships abroad will give you specific knowledge about the variety of opportunities available for architecture graduates in different companies and organizations. Your architecture internship may place you as an apprentice to an architect who utilizes alternative techniques or with a company that has a unique perspective on architectural design, which will provide you with new tools to draw from in the future. Architecture influences the feeling of a neighborhood and city, and learning about the mindset behind the design and structure will give you a new frame of reference.
After earning a degree in architecture many graduates do not have the practical experience they need to land a job as an architect. By interning abroad, you will be able to build your portfolio to include international projects and work experience. You will also be able to develop your professional network and build new connections which may become your key to a full time job as an architect in the future.
The type of internship and specific style of architecture you’ll be working in will largely be determined by the location of your architecture internship.
China: The field of architecture has seen significant growth in China since the creation of the famous “Bird’s Nest” stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. With an increasing amount of businesses and money put towards construction projects, architecture in China has an energy and excitement that’s unlike other places in the world. Architecture firms in China are always keeping their eyes out for new talent, and China is one place where creative design and big scale projects can come together with some incredible results. China is also an excellent place to build your language skills - add on a language course and give another boost to your resume.
Australia: With some of the world’s most famous buildings, it’s no wonder that architectural internships in Australia are a great option for aspiring architects. Since there’s no language barrier, you’ll be able to hit the ground running and be involved with projects from day one. Australia is widely known for sustainable and environmentally-focused design and has been for some time, so you might consider interning in Australia if these styles interest you. You can also build your professional network through friendships with other local architects - Australians are laid back and friendly, and oftentimes work and fun overlap naturally.
The United Arab Emirates: If you’ve been paying attention to conversations about architecture over the past few years, the UAE will come as no surprise. Dubai has been making headlines for their luxury 7-star hotel, the world’s tallest skyscraper, and man-made islands in crazy shapes. In terms of extravagant, creative, and insanely modern design, the UAE does not have any competition. If you’re interested in pushing the boundaries of innovation and development, architecture internships in the UAE are for you.
India: India is an up and coming destination for architecture internships abroad. With a growing focus on development and urban renewal, there are internship opportunities for young architects to find creative freedom and make connections with important local players. Sustainability and green design are big focuses in India, as well as new technologies. Many regions are adding skyscrapers and other urban centers to their cities, and increased capital means some firms are getting the types of projects that can quickly become famous. India is a great choice for architectural students and new graduates interested in a somewhat new location that values environmentalism.
International architecture internships can be quite varied - no matter what your interest area or background, there’s something out there for you! There are internship opportunities in the field of architecture with public works organizations, non-profit cooperatives, private firms, and even governmental divisions focusing on basic infrastructure.
Previous academic coursework or experience working in architecture will make you eligible for a larger range of architectural internship placements, but even if you do not have any experience you may still be able to find an internship that works for you.
The day-to-day tasks of architecture internships abroad might include administrative support, research, and building logistics. You could also be working on presentations for a project, examining equipment, and working on making models or drafts. Expect to learn from your experienced colleagues - everything from how to start a project to communication within the team are valuable things to take note of.
The summer time is an excellent time to find an architecture internship abroad, although you’ll be able to find placements throughout the year. Have a clear idea of your specific interests within the field of architecture and apply for internships in countries that can support those. Some basic types of architecture include:
Commercial Architecture: Most architectural internship placements will be in commercial design, working with architecture firms or other organizations on buildings for private or public projects. There are a wide variety of tasks associated with this type of architecture, including coordinating building construction, researching methods and logistics, and analyzing structural layouts and testing for possible deficiencies.
Sustainable or Green Construction: By focusing on environmentally sustainable design, this type of architectural design ensures that projects and buildings will be a lasting part of the neighborhood or city. As the entire world becomes more aware of conservation and the need to protect resources, green design will only grow in importance. One unique element of sustainable design is the need to balance aesthetic appeal with creative material choices and efficient layout.
Historical Preservation: Many culturally important buildings that were constructed long ago would not be standing without the help of architects. Historical preservation focuses on reinforcing or renovating existing structures to leave the beauty intact while making the building up to today’s codes and needs.
Landscape Design: This type of architecture focuses on using nature and man-made formations to create an artistic, beautiful spaces. Many landscape design projects might be in public areas around buildings or even parks within the city. Rather than creating actual structures, landscape designers use the environment and make alterations to shape the space in a way that is pleasing to onlookers and visitors.
By learning about different geographical elements, weather and climate pressures, as well as traditions in design, you can expand your knowledge base and more easily think outside the box when you are working in architecture back home. Many architects around the world are pushing the boundaries of design and construction, and getting to work with them for a short period of time is an invaluable experience.
By taking the time to get complete an architecture internships abroad and being able to talk about how it influenced your understanding of architecture, will make you stand out in the competitive job market.
An international internship in architecture will give you a look at company dynamics and cultural focuses of different countries. While courses and school work are important ways to learn about architecture, being able to understand the operation of an office and company in the field will give you a boost on your resume and in interviews.
Your international architecture internship might lead to a full-time position or at least a job recommendation from someone in your new network too!