Earning your architecture degree abroad can be the first step on a lifelong adventure of designing and building your signature constructions all over the planet. Architecture is a highly unique field wherein the discipline itself may be universal, but the traditions and requirements of each given location can prove infinitely diverse and challenging. Where will you choose to begin your journey abroad?
Why Earn Your Degree Abroad
Architecture is different from other academic disciplines in that it requires many years of training and preparation before you become qualified to enter the professional sector. Before it is all over you may have to earn multiple degrees in order to become certified as an architect; why not venture abroad for at least part of this journey? As an architect you will have to follow wherever the work is, and this often expands into the international sphere. An architecture degree abroad is thus the perfect way to lay the adequate global groundwork for a very bright future.
While factors such as the language barrier may obviously affect what type of architecture degree programs are available, the good news is that most fundamentals of the trade translate fluidly across international boundaries. This means that wherever you travel to learn the art, you can bring that knowledge and skillset with you anywhere else down the line.
Many of the most prestigious architecture schools in the world are currently located in East Asia. For example countries such as Taiwan, China, and Thailand all boast a handful of the most prestigious academies where you can earn your architecture degree abroad. The greater continent of Asia is also a rapidly developing region, meaning that architects are widely needed for construction projects of all different types.
While architecture schools in Western countries such as Italy, England, and the Netherlands can be equally prestigious, finding work immediately after graduation in these areas is generally much more competitive because most countries are already industrialized and so there is less demand to build. While you can certainly earn a high quality architecture degree abroad in Europe then for example, you may simultaneously be missing out on valuable networking opportunities where the bulk of the global work is in less developed regions.
Academics & Degrees
As you may have already realized as a budding architect, the degree system can be a bit complicated, as you wade through a diversity of different program requirements, specializations, and frameworks for accreditation. This can also be heightened by international differences in certification requirements, so do your research very thoroughly about what types of degree programs you will be applying to.
As an undergraduate you can generally earn a B.A. or B.S. in architecture, but this can either be a professional degree or pre-professional degree based on the accreditation system of your host university. Most accredited professional degrees, which you will need to become licensed as an architect, take at least five years to complete (less however if you have already completed a pre-professional degree and are moving on to a Master’s).
Some specialized pre-professional architecture degrees abroad that many international students choose to pursue include degrees in civil engineering, environmental design, or otherwise specific architectural studies such as Islamic, Gothic, or Renaissance architecture. Earning a professional degree usually requires several years of academic enrollment between the graduate and postgraduate level, and gaining full licensure as an architect will also generally require an extensive period of internship on top of this.
Benefits & Challenges
Global Groundwork. Life as an architect can require a lot of movement, as you will often have to follow wherever the work is available. Developing a solid international network while earning your architecture degree abroad can be a hugely valuable base to work from.
Architect’s Choice. Is there any one place in the world that excites you because of its historical or modern architectural integrity? This is your chance to go anywhere on the planet that you find most fascinating or promising as a future architect.
Learn From Travel. Earning your architecture degree abroad is the perfect opportunity to travel the globe extensively and learn firsthand about a huge diversity of architectural styles and influences. Get ready for a grand world adventure!