- 18 years of age or above
- Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
- 2.5 cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
- Senior standing or above at the start of the program
- Applicants must be in the Department of Landscape Architecture and have received departmental approval to participate in this program
This program is facilitated by the Academy for international Education (AiB) in Bonn, Germany. At the core of the semester is a design project in which students create a culturally sensitive, sustainable design for one or more sites in the city of Bonn or neighboring Cologne. Within that context, great emphasis is placed on embedding design work in the teaching and reflection of relevant local, German and European culture and (design) history, as well as German and European approaches to sustainability and social inclusivity in the landscape. This program offers Penn State Landscape Architecture students the opportunity to explore and study sustainable urban design and landscape architecture in Bonn, the modern and progressive environment of Germany’s former capital and NGO/United Nations hub. The program is enriched by several study tours in Germany and nearby countries as well as collaborative local and regional workshops. Students are encouraged to explore Europe on their own during weekends and the semester break. Collectively, these activities strengthen students’ design insights and skills and broaden their understanding of professional and cultural practices in socially diverse European contexts.
Special Projects & Highlights
Under the guidance of their studio instructor and a photographer, students creatively engage with their design project by taking photos onsite that accentuate critical qualities of their space, and create an installation which they will then present to the community.
Students work with German (Architecture or Landscape Architecture) university students on design challenges in Bonn or Cologne. Emphasis is placed on interdisciplinary and/or intercultural collaboration and communication of a variety of approaches to design.
Service-Learning & Community Involvement
Whenever possible, the design project is provided and supported by the City of Bonn’s Departments of Urban Planning and Open Spaces. Interaction with relevant local citizen groups, landscape architecture firms and other experts is built into the design process.
Once every year, students are asked to engage with the local community on AiB’s “Community Service Day” by providing support along their expertise of landscaping/gardening/designing.
Several study tours allow students to explore European landscape architecture and urban design practices and representations of sustainable design practices.
Netherlands: multi-day study tour to Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Utrecht and the coastline on sustainable contemporary urban design and coastal management.
Denmark: multi-day study tour exploring urban design, sustainable communities, and emerging design practices in the context of Danish history and contemporary culture.
Multiple Regional Study Tours, e.g. to: Major-specific or culture-focused study tours to Landschaftspark Nord, Zeche Zollverein, Düsseldorf, Aachen, the Ruhrgebiet, Cologne, etc., illustrating design practices and cultural/historic aspects of Germany and western Europe.
Fall: late August - mid December
Spring: mid January - early May
Refer to the program website for the specific dates, if available.
The dynamic city of Bonn with its baroque buildings and century-old history is also a modern metropolis with a diverse international community. Bonn is also a college town, home to over 35,000 students from all over the world. Given the welcoming student atmosphere and the city’s international flair, it does not take long to feel right at home in Bonn and become acquainted with the city. AiB’s studios are perfectly situated: the historic core is less than 2 blocks away, the cherry-tree lined Altstadt neighborhood and its numerous cafés are just around the corner, and both the train station and the Rhine River promenade are within a short walk. Bonn is known for its very high quality of living and low crime rate: the richness of music, culture, science, business and nature as well as its location along the Rhine River make Bonn a hidden gem and a unique city in the heart of Europe. Bonn’s central location makes traveling especially convenient: an airport right outside of the city and two additional major airports within 2 hours, as well as Germany’s ultra-modern rail system, open doors to all of Europe.
Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation
In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Penn State Global website.