Urban planning abroad?

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#1
Hey everyone thanks for the input last time I posted on where to get started. After some research I have decided that if I stay in the US I would like to study in the Southern California area and I am working on picking out my top 4 schools for application later this year. I do have another question and I hope somebody can help. I have also researched going to school abroad for my Masters in Urban planning emphasis on transportation. The schools I have looked at are accredited by their respective national planning boards. I want to know how a degree overseas would translate into the job market here in the US. If their is a positive response what schools would you recommend I look into. Its a handful I know but any response will be appreciated.

David
 

njm

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#2
If you want to work in academic teaching/research, an international school is fine. However, for getting a job in the public or private sectors, a lot of people's eyes glaze over when trying to comprehend an applied degree (i.e. palnning, engineering, architechture)from outside the US, especially if you're not from a foreign country. I know this because I went to a school overseas (KTH in Stockholm, Sweden) and found that people (specifically, private consulting firms) really didn't care at all about my Masters and treated me as if I only had my Bachelors (from University of Minnesota.)

It's a wonderful experience, though...
 
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#3
yep

thats really what i was afraid of but I hoped that it wouldn't be the case. I will have to settle for the international expereince during the summer bridge program most local schools seem to offer...china, brazil, mexico...hell its travel who cares where
 

njm

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#4
In reading my entry, I did realize one thing: I planned to move someplace new once finished with my program, and I also wanted to use it as a segue to move from pure engineering to the gray area in civil engineering/site planning. My BS was in engineering, and my Masters in Env. Eng. and Sustainable Development.

If you will be returning to the same geographic area (where you can take advantage of existing social capital to vouch for your employability), will be continuing on more or less the same path as your Bachelors degree, or will have some relevant work experience before completing (or starting, even) the Masters Program overseas, you just might have a very different experience.

A note if you do decide to pursue this option: be wary of programs not taught in the native language of the land. Mine was a nightmare. It was a revenue vehicle for the school because it attracted a ton of international students who added to the attendance rolls (in Sweden, more students = more government funds. However, a large portion of the students were poorly prepared and thus the academic rigor left something to be desired. I know that some programs were better than others; just make sure you do some good research and talk to some former students from English-speaking countries before you jump.
 
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#5
I know for a fact that a large proportion of the Urban Planning program (and other urban related programs) at the London School of Economics and University College London contain a large number of Americans, and many former graduates from previous years have ended up back home in great positions, particularly in the private sector. In addition, UK programs are 1 year intensive rather than drawn out for 2, saving a year of your life and income. Good luck.
 
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#7
same with Canada... 2 schools are accredited by the APA (UBC in Vancouver and Universite de Montreal) but from what i understand, a masters here is the same as a US masters... i'm at univ. of toronto now and it doesn't seem like employers (for internships) are bashing on me for going to school outside the us.

but if you're from california, why not go to ucb or ucla where you get an awesome education for much less?
 
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#8
I am looking at UCLA and USC as my top priorities with cal poly pomona close behind but I would really like to go abroad, I wanted to during my bachelors but never did it and I figure it migh tbe better to go abroad and study then to try to take a leave form work in the future or in the present to stay aborad for a while...Southern California has good options in the planning area and for now i'm just contemplating what it would be like to go abroad....
 
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#9
Why don't you look into the study abroad programs of various US schools? Then you'll have the broadest experience.

Examples:
http://www.uwm.edu/SARUP/trips/japan.html
http://www.spa.ucla.edu/dept.cfm?d=up&s=students&f=fellowDetails.cfm&id=161
http://studyabroad.wayne.edu/programs/southafrica.htm
http://studyabroad.msu.edu/programs/urbanredevelop.html
http://www.nyu.edu/fas/summer/urban/

A quick tour of google finds you a lot of examples of urban planning programs with lots of summer and semester-long study abroad opportunities.
 
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#10
Where did you end up going?

Colombianokid -

I noticed that someone mentioned University College London in their reply to your thread. I was wondering if you actually applied, and where you ultimately ended up?

I was recently accepted into Columbia and am waiting to hear back from University College London. I'm been searching through these forums over and over again to see what people have to say about obtaining a Master's degree abroad - and I'm STILL very conflicted.

I'm thinking of pursuing the MSc in Sustainable Urbanism + MSc in International Planning at UCL. I'm not sure how these will translate. Although I am open to working in the U.K. for a year or two after graduate school, I still intend to return to the U.S. eventually.

What do you think?? or What does ANYONE THINK?
 

EVT

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#11
Graduate Programs in The Netherlands

Hi Everybdoy!
Perhaps I am writing a little late in this discussion.
However, I would like to add that graduate programs in The Netherlands provide also a good level and international perspectives. Just to mention few: IHS, Erasmus University of Rotterdam www.ihs.nl (there are two kind of Master Programs, at IHS is focused on the developing world, while the EURICUR at the Erasmus University offers the Master on Urban Management covering urban issues in high income countries http://www.memr.eu/)
The TU DELFT Master on Urbanism Programme might be good for those interested in urban design rather than planning and social development issues.
If you need more info about The Netherlands you should also take a look at www.nuffic.nl
Best
 
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#12
Hey EVT-
I checked out those programs online but most seem to be designed for people who already had a solid Urban Planning or Design background, whereas the American programs I'm looking at usually start at the basics of Statistics, Econ, etc and then get more in-depth.

Do you know if any of these programs are for people who may have come from an entirely different background (Media Studies/Soc for me)? I studied abroad a semester in undergrad at UvA and I loved Amsterdam so am trying to find a way to study there (and potentially work there).
 
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#13
Interesting thread.
I am originally from Europe and I had a bachelor's from over there. When I wanted to further my studies in the US my degree was not accepted because I studied for 3 years not 4, so for them it was not a 4-year degree. They didn't understand my argument that it was a much much intensive than the US universities. I ended up doing another bachelor's here in the US (in a different area) that took me 3 years.

Now I am in the opposite situation: I am going to study urban planning (graduate level) in the US, but then I am planning to move back to Europe. I hope now this won't be a disadvantage in Europe...:h:

If anyone has experiences concerning cross continental study I would love to read them!
 
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#14
David,

Are you in a urban planning program now? If so where, and what were the factors, significant or not, that helped you make your decision? I've been racking my brain trying to figure out where to apply, and what to consider so I'm curious what's happened. McGill is my first preference, then it all falls apart after that.

After discussing with several family friends, and friends alike I came to the conclusion studying in North America would prove to be the best option as that old cliche goes, 'it's not what you know, but who you know'. Also, going to an institution that's accredited would go along way; have you seen the ACSP? Europe and Canada tend to be far less expensive than the U.S., but if you're from Cali it's probably not that big of a difference. That's the gist of it my guiding principles.

Kotkoda,

I did my bachelors in Australia, also 3 years, and upon returning to North America, although somewhat anticipate, I've had issues getting into masters programs. It is more intensive, but universities in NA don't seem to care. What has worked for me is the submission of my final research project, and that I did the equivalent of two years (transfer degree) at a community college in the U.S.
 
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#15
I hope this isn't too late, but...

I'm looking at graduate programs abroad in the nexus of Urban & Regional Planning with Transportation thrown in there, too.
I've learned a lot about different programs, but njm's comments hit hardest... Mainly because I was looking at KTH among others in Scandinavia (and Europe). Is the translation of a foreign graduate degree in the US really that poor? I'd imagine it is pertinent to pass the AICP exam in the US for a job. So, its seems the end goal of the degree/career path is something to keep in mind during the grad experience... I am curious if njm was AICP certified?

Clifferson, we are definitely in the same boat. McGill seems totally solid for a US applicant looking for a degree 'abroad'. Despite the fact that it is no longer accredited by the PAB, it is still CIP certified. The university is known well enough in North America and I couldn't imagine it would be a poor choice. Montréal in my opinion is modern and would be an excellent lab. U de M would obviously be great, too; mais, qui parle français?

I guess my main contribution is Certification. If you want to work in the US with a foreign Planning Masters AND you are AICP certified - shouldn't you meet the absolute basic requirements for a job application (holding academic performance, projects, and work experience aside)?

If not, I'm scared.
 
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#16
American Looking for Feedback and advice on U.K. Planning Related Degrees

For my intro and background, please see this thread:

http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=49038

Basically, I'm looking to learn more about 1 year MSc degrees in planning related fields at U.K. Universities.

Right now, I'm looking closely at various programs at LSE and UCL, but I don't know very much about studying in the U.K. and would love to hear more from current students or alumni of these programs. UCL in particular seems to have a wide range of highly specialized programs that are very interesting, but I need to narrow their list down to 3-4 programs that I can submit strong applications for.

My ideal program would be one that has a strong economic development component and a decent mix of theory and practice. I don't mind technical components such as GIS, Excel work (like real estate pro formas), Stats, etc. - in fact, I'd like to get a good bit of this out of the program if possible.
 
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#17
hi @Truth&Rights

Wondering which program you ended up choosing? I'm currently holding offers from UCL urban regeneration and LSE city design and social science. Having a hard time deciding. If you could tell me about your experiences, that would be great! thank you
 

Tay-j

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#18
Queens University Belfast

I did my graduate planning work at Queen's University Belfast, and I feel that having studied abroad only helped to separate me from the pack when I was looking for work. We did a lot of design work in addition to the theory and ethics and I graduated with a portfolio of work, and a number of references from planners we worked with during the course of study.

At the end of the day I took on less debt than if I had gone to the Local State School, and I got the chance to spend two years in Europe.

If you come home and you have a good attitude and work ethic I say go for it, having studied abroad hasn't limited my opportunities at all.
 
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#19
I'm looking at graduate programs abroad in the nexus of Urban & Regional Planning with Transportation thrown in there, too.
I've learned a lot about different programs, but njm's comments hit hardest... Mainly because I was looking at KTH among others in Scandinavia (and Europe). Is the translation of a foreign graduate degree in the US really that poor? I'd imagine it is pertinent to pass the AICP exam in the US for a job. So, its seems the end goal of the degree/career path is something to keep in mind during the grad experience... I am curious if njm was AICP certified?

Clifferson, we are definitely in the same boat. McGill seems totally solid for a US applicant looking for a degree 'abroad'. Despite the fact that it is no longer accredited by the PAB, it is still CIP certified. The university is known well enough in North America and I couldn't imagine it would be a poor choice. Montréal in my opinion is modern and would be an excellent lab. U de M would obviously be great, too; mais, qui parle français?

I guess my main contribution is Certification. If you want to work in the US with a foreign Planning Masters AND you are AICP certified - shouldn't you meet the absolute basic requirements for a job application (holding academic performance, projects, and work experience aside)?

If not, I'm scared.
Moé, je parles la langue Québécoise comme c'est parlé ICITTE!

I did my Bachelors at Concordia and took courses in French at UdeM. It was very rigorous and a high quality learning emviornment.

Currently in Montréal taking a break from my grad program in NYC. I love it here but avoid Concordia at all costs for a Masters in anything urban related! McGill is harder to get into than NYU and Columbia, but it is worth a shot!
 

glutton

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#20
Fulbright?

Has anyone here ever applied to or gone on a Fulbright for urban planning (or something related)? I know they are super competitive, and I was wondering if anyone who has ever applied had any advice.
 
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