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Thread: International urban planning program

  1. #1
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    International urban planning program

    hey everyone, im new to cyburbia and have been poking around some threads tonight but couldnt quite find an answer to this question. sorry if it has already been discussed!
    i have been interested in radical urban planning for a while, but just recently started looking into grad school prospects. it seems most programs have at least some bit of an environmental aspect built into them, but i really want to focus on environmental issues and planning internationally.
    in my dream world, for instance, i would work in central and south america, helping create sustainable areas that really foster the idea of community, tradition, etc. i am open to attending grad school abroad, as well, but unfortunately am not fluent enough in any other language to be studying at that level.
    i would really appreciate any feedback on schools with good international specialization programs, or any instructors with knowledge in that field with whom i could put together an independent study.
    also, as i have no background or experience with planning (ba in anthropology), i have been thinking this spring and summer would be a good time for an internship. that is something i would REALLY like to be able to do abroad, if possible/affordable. does anyone know of a good place to look for an opportunity like that? or have experience with something similar through americorps? (im thinking the grad school stipend will come in handy)
    thanks!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    It sounds like your dream world is a lot like mine. I got a little diverted off the path to my dream world and wound up in Kansas, but that's a bit of a story...

    When I was considering going straight to grad school after undergrad, I was looking for programs similar to what you are looking for. In the U.S., there are several graduate planning programs that offer a dual degree program in City/Urban Planning and Latin American Studies: University of Texas (Austin), University of New Mexico, and University of Arizona. If you have interest in working/living in the Carribbean, the University of Puerto Rico has an Urban Planning program. If your Spanish language skills are strong, there are a few schools in Mexico that have Urban Planning programs - Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), Colegio de Mexico (urban studies, not planning), and El Technologico de Monterrey (more architecture based, but they focus on New Urbanism).

    The likelihood of you getting a summer internship overseas is probably narrow unless you have family living abroad or your college has a program already set up. Americorps usually requires at least a 9 month committment. Your best bet is to try and get an internship at your local city or county planning office.
    Last edited by anf; 20 Oct 2008 at 7:30 AM. Reason: My grammar is bad at 5:30 a.m.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    UF's Urban Planning Program also has something similar with a Latin American Studies and a summer program in Brazil. Instate tuition in Florida is not too bad!
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    MIT, Berkeley, Columbia, Cornell, and UCLA all have great reputations for international planning. You should consider getting in touch with some of the graduate advisers and planning faculty at these schools to talk about how their programs would match up with your interests.

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    awesome guys thanks heaps for all the feedback.
    i have been checking out the UT program and it looks just right for me. has anyone been through the duel masters crp/la there? id love to hear how it was, and anyone who would be good to contact there. i have a sister in austin so i may go visit soon and thought it would be good to set up a meeting with someone in the program, see what my chances of getting in might be, if i should do an internship before applying, etc.
    thanks again

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    These boards are really harsh on Columbia's program (as in it's a near worthless money pit), but here it's regarded for it's international program. If one wanted to practice in the U.S. Columbia would be a bad pick, but if one had international goals, Columbia would be a good school to look at? I'd like to work abroad (mainly in Europe), so I'm quite interested in good international programs as well.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Victory View post
    These boards are really harsh on Columbia's program (as in it's a near worthless money pit), but here it's regarded for it's international program. If one wanted to practice in the U.S. Columbia would be a bad pick, but if one had international goals, Columbia would be a good school to look at? I'd like to work abroad (mainly in Europe), so I'm quite interested in good international programs as well.
    In regards to international planning and working in Europe, what are your career goals? Do you want do work on urban design and revitalization plans, but just do it in Europe? Or are you looking to work for an organization like the World Bank or UN doing international development planning?

    These are two very different types of planning. If you are looking to do the former you should consider going to school in Europe at place like the Bartlett (UCL). This will make it easier to learn the ins and outs of European planning and will provide you with professional connections on that side of the pond.

    The latter will likely require at least a masters in planning or international economics from a school highly regarded for international studies like the schools I listed in my previous post; however, I'm sure there are others on this board who can provide you with better insight on this type of planning than I.

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    Any update?

    Beka.anne,

    Your interests are quite aligned with mine as I am also looking for grad programs abroad (with free tuition) with a focus on environmental planning. I'm just now discovering this site... Aside from what's been suggested in this thread, can you share any info you've found so far? Good luck!

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