Study Abroad Overview

A global perspective

italySpend a semester in Warsaw, Poland or a summer in Tuscany.

An international perspective will give you the ability to compete in an increasingly global profession.  International programs are considered life altering to the students and help fulfill the mission of the school including creating "socially responsible world citizens," engaging the "urban context" and being "learner-centered."  Our programs in Poland and Volterra, Italy have been operating successfully for over 25 years.

UDM's School of Architecture program offers several international programs that allow students to study first-hand the buildings and cities they encounter in your architectural history and theory classes.  They can spend a term of summer study in Volterra, Italy at our own private facility, or a term at the Warsaw Institute of Technology in Poland. Following the students' return from abroad, their creative work is presented in special exhibits for public viewing at the School.

Our international studies programs provide first-hand experience of architecture and its relationship to the needs of a global society. For more information contact the SOA Main Office.


Volterra Summer Program

The Volterra/Detroit program also provides students with a global perspective of architecture. Although it is a more typical summer study program, it operates with the support of the Regional Government of Tuscany. The full semester of study in the hill-town of Volterra permits extensive interaction with the residents and provides a unique insight into their social, economic and political situation. Students live and work in our own private facility in Volterra, which makes the program very affordable. 

volterra_locationVolterra is one of the finest hilltop towns tucked away in the heart of Tuscany, and is only a short distance from Florence 72 km (43 miles), Siena 50 km (30 miles), Pisa 64 km (38 miles), S.Gimignano 29 km (17 miles) and the Tyrrhenian cost. Volterra, 545 metres above sea level, dominates and divides the Cecina and Era valleys. The hill upon which the city stands has been continuously inhabited for more than 3000 years. The city has significant architectural monuments dating from the fourth century BC, onward. The current image of the city is still defined by the medieval layout, with winding streets, and well preserved defensive walls. The walls offer dramatic views of the surrounding landscape, on a clear day reaching as far as Pisa, or even the island of Corsica (70 miles away).

Students take full academic load of 17 credits during the program: Design Studio, Alabaster Sculpture, Architectural Analysis, Intro to Italian Language, and History of Italian Art and Architecture. Alabaster sculpture class is taught by Veglio Grandoli at the local Art School. Students typically travel throughout Europe for about two weeks before or after the program, and three additional trips are organized during their stay in Volterra to Florence, Siena and Rome.

Find out more about the Volterra program

SOA Alabaster

Warsaw exchange program

polandThe academic exchange program with the Technical University of Warsaw in Poland involves the annual exchange of ten-twelve students from each school for a term of study; classes are taken with professors from the visited school.

The professor who is also exchanged teaches a design or visual communication studio to students from the host institution, as well as lectures about architectural issues in his or her home country.

The program was designed to ensure the maximum impact in both schools, not only for the participants but for the student body at large. Since its initiation in 1980, more than 300 students from each school have participated in the exchange.

Find out more about the Warsaw program

Warsaw exhibit