Architecture Schools and Programs in Cape Verde

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Architecture Studies in Cape Verde

Ponta Temerosa Lighthouse, Praia, Cape Verde Are you thinking about taking advantage of one of the many wonderful opportunities now available for students who wish to earn part or all of their degree while studying abroad in a foreign country?  Would you prefer a destination that’s a little off the beaten path and a bit less mainstream?  If so, you should seriously consider Cape Verde for your study abroad adventure.  Officially called the Republic of Cape Verde, this island country spans an archipelago of 10 islands in the central Atlantic Ocean, approximately 350 miles (570km) off the coast of Western Africa.  Cape Verde has an estimated population of about 500,000, mostly people of Creole ethnicity, about a quarter of who live in the capital city of Praia.  Compared to some of its neighbors in Africa, the country has a very stable democracy, with notable economic growth in recent years and major improvements in the living conditions, despite its lack of natural resources.  The literacy rate is roughly 85 percent and climbing, and because the country has been internationally recognized, both by other developed countries and international organizations, it continues to receive foreign aid used wisely to improve living conditions and advance its educational system.
Architecture Education in Cape Verde
There are two large universities in Cape Verde:  the recently-opened University of Cape Verde, which opened in 2007; and Jean Piaget University of Cape Verde, the oldest university in the country and home to Cape Verde’s largest architecture program.  Jean Piaget University is located in the capital city of Praia on the island of Santiago, with a smaller location in the town of Mindelo on Sao Vicente Island.  It is named after the Swiss theorist Jean Piaget, and although it primarily serves the residents of Cape Verde, it also accepts international students from around the world.
The architecture course at Jean Piaget University of Cape Verde is structured in a multidisciplinary framework comprising areas that are scientific, technical and artistic in nature. Architectural drafting and the process of creation is just a portion of what students will learn while studying at the university.  Other important areas of knowledge include art history, the theory of architecture, urban planning, construction and communication technologies, as well as the social and environmental sciences.  
The degree program was designed based on the recommendations of the UNESCO-UIA Charter for the training of architects. The course typically spans five years in duration, culminating with an examination, whose main content is individual achievement and the defense of an architectural project—a project which demonstrates the student’s knowledge and level of expertise.
Why Study Abroad in Cape Verde
As a foreign student in the very scenic country of Cape Verde, your educational experience will in no way be limited to the classroom.  Living here will allow you to learn the social and cultural patterns of this exotic island nation, patterns that are somewhat similar to those of rural Africa and Portugal, of which Cape Verde was a colony until the summer of 1975.  Football (Futebol) games and church activities are typical sources of social interaction and entertainment, and the traditional walk around the praca (town square) will afford you many opportunities to meet people and make new friends.
You will also have the unique opportunity to learn a new language.  Portuguese, the official language of the country, is spoken by most of the residents and used for all official purposes, including education.  Classes are offered in which you can learn the basics of the Portuguese language, and during your free time you’ll be constantly immersed in it, with countless chances to practice what you learn.  You can also learn and master the other language frequently heard throughout the country, a type of Cape Verdean Creole, giving you the chance to even further broaden your linguistic understanding.
After a long day in the classroom there will numerous opportunities for fun and enrichment. While the capital city of Praia is known as the economic and political hub of Cape Verde, it is also a very lively city, with plenty of sights, attractions and amenities to keep students busy when they’re not in the classroom.  As the home of the large Jean Piaget University, Praia is bustling with student activity.  The cafes, shops and libraries are all popular attractions by day, but come nightfall you’ll find a good majority of the student body relaxing and partying in the bars and nightclubs that line the streets, all blaring upbeat Cape Verdean  music like morna, a genre that incorporates Portuguese, Caribbean, African and Brazilian influences.  With the music comes plenty of dancing, ranging from the soft dance style of morna to the extremely sensual form of dance called coladeira, which now includes a modernized and extra-sexy version called Cabo Love.
Finally, there is the cuisine.  Meals in Cape Verde are based mostly on fish and staple foods such as rice and corn.  Many vegetables are available at various times of the year, including potatoes, onions, tomatoes and cabbage; and fruits, such as bananas and papayas are available year-round.  While you’re there, you simply must try the dish known as Cachupa, a delicious Cape Verdean stew made of corn (hominy), beans, fish or meat, and a mouthwatering blend of local spices.

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