Study Abroad

Landscape architecture increasingly requires cross-cultural knowledge and international perspectives. In an effort to foster cultural exchange and transnational flow of people and ideas, the Landscape Architecture Department offers a variety of study abroad opportunities as part of its curriculum for BLA and MLA students. Recent programs have brought students to locations across five continents for exploration, design-build studios, and more.

Upcoming Programs

Summer 2019

Sweden |Design/Build Dals Langed Sweden – Public Sculpture/Community Identity | Summer 2019

In this design-build program, we will collaborate to create a landmark sculptural observation tower as a feature that provides an identity and wayfinding mechanism for the community of Dals Langed. The Dals Langed environment is one of renowned natural beauty and is rural in character, with extensive lakes, canals and woodlands. It is heavily populated by refugees from Syria. The students will learn about issues of immigration, displacement and assimilation and the perspectives of the refugees and host Swedish populations. In addition, we will visit Stockholm, the largest city in Sweden with wonderful historic buildings, contemporary squares and plazas and world class museums, and Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden to tour the historic fabric, visit the re-known craft museums and sections of the city under-going urban revitalization.

For details, visit the program’s study abroad page.

Early Autumn 2019

Iquitos, Peru | Development and Human and Ecological Health in the Amazon Rainforest | Early Autumn 2019

Students will spend 2 weeks in the Amazon Rainforest and 2 weeks in the City of Iquitos, Peru to learn from landscape architects, ecologists and health professionals about the impact urbanization has on health and ecosystems in this region using interdisciplinary approaches. Students will also have the opportunity to engage with the InterACTION Labs program, a partnership between UW and Peruvian researchers and designers and an informal floating slum community in Iquitos.

For details, visit the program’s study abroad page.

Osaka & Tokyo, Japan | Asian Urbanism Exploration Seminar |Early Autumn 2019

Dense, populous, dynamic, and vibrant are words often used to characterize the urban landscapes of Asian cities. The fluid matrix of social life, urban spaces, and transportation networks along with proximity of activities and services clearly distinguishes the major Asian cities from their North American counterparts. This traveling seminar will engage in a close-up examination of the urban landscapes of Osaka and Tokyo, two largest and most iconic cities in Japan. Through site visits and on-site exercises, students will explore both the everyday landscapes of Tokyo and Osaka and their iconic structures and spaces. This seminar will enable students to better understand how cities of East Asia support the everyday life of millions of residents and visitors; how they embody and reflect their distinct urban cultures and subcultures; and how they function as complex spatial systems.

For details, visit the program’s study abroad page.

Autumn 2019

InterAction Nepal | Design, Development, Global Health | Autumn 2019

InterAction Nepal is an immersive, interdisciplinary study abroad program offered with the support of the UW Department of Landscape Architecture, the JSIS South Asia Center Nepal Studies Initiative, the Department of Global Health and Traction | Nepal. The program will challenge you to delve into contemporary issues surrounding urban development in the Kathmandu Valley and respond to them at a local scale through community-based human centered design, project implementation and assessment. You will work with local students and residents of an underserved community to design and build a small-scale intervention in community infrastructure and evaluate project impacts on human and environmental health. You will also have the opportunity to pursue your own research interests through independent study. Program activities include lectures and discussions, organizational site visits, field trips within and outside the Kathmandu Valley, community meetings/workshops and hands-on design/fabrication/construction.

For details, visit the program’s study abroad page.

Winter 2020

New Zealand | Post-Earthquake Resilience Design for Christchurch | Winter 2020

A Winter 2020 design studio will be offered in Christchurch, New Zealand, with accompanying urban design study tours to Wellington and Auckland led by Professor Nancy Rottle and Architect Paul Olson. The curriculum also incorporates place-based media studies and independent study investigations.  Please attend the information session on Wednesday, May 15, for a glimpse of this past winter’s NZ experience and to hear about plans for winter 2020!

Applications and additional information. Please submit by Monday, May 20, 5 pm.
Also please submit a brief representative portfolio to:  

Recurring Opportunities

Chiba University, Japan

The College of Built Environments has an ongoing exchange relationship with Faculty of Horticulture at Chiba University in Japan. Students also have the opportunity to participate in other foreign study programs through the University such as the Valle Scholarship and Exchange.

ScanDesign Programs

Supported by the ScanDesign Foundation, the College of Built Environments offers a series of programs that directly involve architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design students in the work of Gehl Architects, an internationally renowned leader in environmentally sensitive design, and use both Copenhagen and Seattle as sites for learning. These programs give students the opportunity to see and study examples of Denmark’s innovative approach to sustainability firsthand and then give them an opportunity to apply what they have learned in Seattle.

To find out more, visit:

Valle Scholarship and Exchange

Unparalleled in the United States, the Valle Scholarship and Scandinavian Exchange Program has a dual mission: (1) To promote and fund the exchange of graduate students between the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington and programs in the Nordic countries. (2) To support outstanding graduate students in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Built Environments.

To find out more, visit


Recent study abroad

Students draw from Canadian context

Students and faculty standing in a circle in Quebec

For one week in mid-June, students explored the similarities and differences between US and Canadian urban environments as they visited three Canadian cities: Montreal, Quebec City, and Ottawa. The field study was led by Fritz Wagner, Professor Emeritus in the departments of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design & Planning and Dr. Regent Cabana, an Affiliate Professor…

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Ōtākaro/Avon Cultural Trail

Interdisciplinary Graduate Studio
Study Abroad in Christchurch, New Zealand
Winter 2019
Instructor: Nancy Rottle

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What Seattle Can Learn from Denmark about Community-Owned Housing (The Urbanist)

MLA student Roxanne Glick went to Copenhagen, Denmark to study their community-owned housing model. She brought what she learned from her time living in Denmark and studying their housing system back to Seattle. Roxanne shared some of her discoveries with The Urbanist. Below is an excerpt from her article. Inspired by the community ownership movement,…

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For more examples of study abroad, check out the study abroad archive.