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Travel has long been considered an integral part of a robust and comprehensive architectural and design education. Through experiencing, analyzing, and documenting buildings, cities, and artifacts designed within distinct cultural contexts, we come to better understand how design at all scales shapes lives around the world. 

Group of students and faculty on study abroad trip sitting at table

Undergraduate Study Abroad

The School of Architecture and Design offers several semester-long study-abroad options for students in the Bachelor of Science programs in Architecture, Interior Design, and Industrial Design. Sites for study abroad include Berlin, Germany; Girona, Spain; and Urbino, Italy. All programs are led by Wentworth faculty members and taught in collaboration with resident architects, designers, and scholars with expertise in the city and region. All semester-abroad curricula are fully aligned with required courses in Boston, allowing students to remain on track as they progress toward graduation.

In addition to semester-abroad programs, the SoAD offers shorter-duration international experiences for academic credit. These travel-based courses are typically offered during Spring Break and/or between spring and summer semesters.  They vary year to year, taking advantage of faculty experience, expertise, and ongoing research initiatives.

Undergraduate study-abroad programs accept a limited number of students by application. Accepted students are responsible for program fees (in addition to semester tuition), which vary by program and cover airfare, accommodation, and other on-the-ground travel expenses.

Graduate Study Abroad

One-week-long international travel with Global Research Studio instructors is an integral part of the Master of Architecture program 

Berlin, Germany

Berlin Germany at night with the building illuminated

Offered in: Fall term (Architecture, senior year)
Offered in: Summer term (Industrial + Interior Design, junior year)
Program Fee: $11,500* (cost in fall 2024)

As an epicenter of European culture, Berlin offers students a rich diversity of historic architecture, layered urbanism, and innovative design as background and inspiration for their design studies. Contemporary Berlin is a thriving, multicultural metropolis that balances care for the past—through museums, memorials, and adaptive reuse—with exuberance for the future. Once a city torn in two by Cold War ideological divides, Berlin now embraces multiplicity as a core component of its identity.  

Students in the semester-abroad program have studio space in the Berlin International University campus and live in apartments nearby, experiencing Berlin as a walkable city served by robust public transportation. Studio and seminar courses parallel those taught in Boston and are adapted to take advantage of Berlin’s rich cultural context.  As part of the Berlin Program, students and faculty travel to other European cities for comparative study. Recent cities visited include Paris, Strasbourg, and Basel. 

*Program fee is in addition to tuition, and includes airfare, accomodation, travel within the experience, museum and cultural site entrance fees, and transportation.

Girona, Spain

Girona, Spain

Offered in: Fall term (Architecture, senior year)
Program Fee: $10,000* (cost in fall 2024)

Located 45 minutes northeast of Barcelona, Girona is a vibrant Catalonian city dating back to Roman times. The old quarter of Girona, or the Barri Vell, is remarkably well preserved, allowing students to experience urbanism and architecture dating back to the medieval period.

The University of Girona, where Wentworth students have their studios and seminars, is one of the oldest in Spain and has a wealth of historic and contemporary buildings for students to explore. Classes are held in collaboration with the university’s faculty and students, offering Wentworth students an authentic and well-rounded European university experience. Students explore Barcelona’s architectural and urbanistic riches through weekly seminars and walking tours of the city. Multi-day excursions to other Spanish cities (Madrid, Bilbao, Granada, Cordoba, Seville) enrich the program.

*Program fee is in addition to tuition, and includes airfare, accomodation, travel within the experience, museum and cultural site entrance fees, and transportation.

Urbino, Italy

Urbino, Italy

Offered in: Spring term (Architecture, senior year)
Program Fee: $13,500* (cost in spring 2025, meal plan included)

Nestled among the foothills of the Apennine mountains in the Marche region of central Italy, the walled city of Urbino is among Italy’s most cherished sites. As one of the primary centers of the Italian Renaissance, Urbino offers students a window into the past while revealing contemporary strategies for engaging with historic contexts. Students live in the city center, a UNESCO-designated area, and their classes are held in the hillside complex of the Collegi Universitari, a short walk from the city gates. This city-campus designed by architect Giancarlo de Carlo offers sweeping views of the countryside and a spatially dynamic context for studying architectural design. Many more works of de Carlo in the area are found woven throughout Urbino and serve as powerful examples of design that deeply and thoughtfully engage with context.   

As part of studio, architecture students contend with contemporary challenges related to the historic city and the greater Marche region. Design seminars reinforce students’ understanding of Italian architecture, urbanism, and design through analysis and documentation. These seminars take advantage of Urbino, as well as other notable Italian cities, as both classroom and as sites of study. As part of this program, students are guided through weekly excursions to famous sites and cities including Rome, Florence, Siena, and Venice. All travel is contextualized through a lecture-based course centered around Italian history and culture.  

Students are housed in historic hotels in the center of Urbino and provided with a meal plan for the semester. 

*Program fee is in addition to tuition, and includes airfare, accomodation, meal plan, travel within the experience, museum and cultural site entrance fees, and transportation.

Short-Term Travel Elective

Architecture and Design students pointing to architectural details in a ruin abroad.

Milan, Italy; Basel, Switzerland; Copenhagen, Denmark

Summer Travel Elective (3 credit hours)
Offered in: Spring-Summer Interim (Industrial + Interior Design, junior year)
Program Fee:  $3,000* (cost in April 2024)

Graduate Global Research Studios

A group of students pose outside a historic site in Shanghai, China

During the fall of their program's final year, all Master of Architecture students pursue design research based on their experience of architectural culture in different regions of the world.  The semester begins with a ten-day, faculty-led study tour to different cities or regions, immersing students in contemporary urban and architectural challenges and establishing the learning goals of the semester's design projects.

Countries visited by recent Global Research Studio groups have included Kenya (Nairobi), Morocco (Marrakesh and rural villages), Japan (Tokyo and Kamakura), Türkiye (Istanbul), Scotland (Edinburgh and the Highlands), Greece (Athens and others), China (Shanghai and surroundings), Italy (Rome, Venice), and the US (Chicago, New England).

Frequently Asked Questions