6 essential tips when deciding to study architecture abroad
By BAM Team
Nowadays, there are many destinations available to start or continue your postgraduate architecture studies in the world and deciding which option is the best is always a complicated task to do. There are several elements to take into consideration, and many students give up before evaluating what needs to be known.
We want to help you pursue your dreams and this is why the BAM team has summarized the most relevant issues to take into account when making such an important decision as going to study your postgraduate in architecture in a new city or country.
1.- Quality of Education
The first thing to take into consideration is the quality of education of the desired city. It is highly important to know if the available schools of architecture in the city have a good quality and they will provide the best education as possible. There are different ways to find out the quality of architecture schools, but the most recommended is to use the rankings available, such as the QS Ranking 2020 by Subjects, which has a specific section for architecture schools. If you are interested in studying in the UK, you can also check The Guardian Ranking or the Design Intelligence Ranking if you are interested in studying in the US.
We also recommend checking out all the websites of the schools of architecture that you have in mind. On these websites, you will find accurate information about the school, such as its infrastructure, its teachers, offered programs, admission processes, and even contact them directly in case you have questions. You can take a look to the most important architecture schools in the world in our section of Architecture Schools.
2.- Living costs
The next thing to consider is the cost of living in the city. It is essential to know how much the total investment of our studies will be to understand if we will be able to assume it, either through savings, with family aid or through a bank loan.
The most important thing to calculate the costs of living in a city is the housing rent, since it is normally the highest monthly amount that a student will have during their studies (assuming that the tuition has already been paid). To determine costs, we invite you to search for rental costs on the different platforms available on the internet like airbnb, taking into account that normally rental contracts are 6 – 12 months duration.
Other aspects to consider are the expenses for transportation, food, health insurance, leisure, and school supplies.
3.- Tuition costs and availability of scholarship
There are cities (and countries) where education is simply too expensive and it is impossible for most candidates to afford the tuition fees without a good scholarship. Countries like the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom have very high academic fees, but others like Germany, France, Sweden, or Italy, education is much cheaper and there are even universities with top programs for free.
If you need a scholarship to afford your studies, you can check out some of the most important scholarships for architects in our Scholarships section
4.- Public transport
One of the most important things to know when moving to a new city is the public transport system. An optimal transportation system means an optimal quality of life and significant cost savings that private transport does not allow.
This is generally quite easy to find out through a simple search on Google to find out what users say about the city’s public transport system. You will find the metro and bus maps of most cities in case you want detailed information. A good understanding of this will help you determine, among other things, where it is better to look for housing to rent. The recommendation is to find a place that is well-connected to the University, even if it is a little more expensive.
5.- Personal security
The city you are going to study must be safe both personally and for medical care. Living in a safe city allows you to focus on the important thing: your studies.
Determining if a city that you haven’t visited is safe may seem impossible, but there is a ranking called Safe Cities Index (SCI) developed by The Economist, which you can use as a guide.
6.- Quality of architecture in the city
It is always a plus to live in a city with a rich architecture that inspires us day after day. Sometimes, there are streets, corners, facades or plazas that just just fill you with new ideas for your projects at the university. Studying in cities like New York, Barcelona, London, or Tokyo will always be the dream of many, due to the amount of architecture available created by the best architects of all times.
Additionally, it is important to take into account that the profession of architects is more respected in cities with good architecture. However, this also means that there are greater competition and people interested in becoming the architects of the new generation.
We hope this information has been useful and will help you to decide your ideal city for your next Master’s degree in architecture.
We invite you to go through our Master and PhD Finder section in case you are thinking of doing a postgraduate degree in the near future. You will get information about the different academic programs offered by the best universities in the world.