Architecture Schools and Programs in France
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Architecture Studies in FranceThe study of Architecture can lead to a countless number of career opportunities, but before entering one of these rewarding careers students must first earn a degree in the discipline of Architecture—a program offered at universities around the world, including in France, where it is offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
Officially known as the French Republic, France is a sovereign nation, located in Western Europe, which also includes several regions and territories overseas. France is the largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, and the third-largest in Europe as a whole. With a total population of roughly 66 million, it is the third most-populous European country. Mainland France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea; and from the Rhine River to the Atlantic Ocean. Besides Morocco and Spain, France is the only country in the world that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
France is organized as a unitary semi-presidential republic with the city of Paris serving as its capital. Paris is also the nation's largest city, its main cultural and commercial center and one of the most well-known cities throughout the world. The current Constitution of France, adopted in October of 1958, establishes the country as secular and democratic, with its sovereignty derived from the people. The nation's ideals are expressed in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, one of the world's earliest documents on human rights, which was formulated during the seminal French Revolution of the late 18th century.
France is one of Europe’s most advanced nations and a world leader both politically and economically. Much of this success can be attributed to the nation’s excellent system of education, particularly when it comes to higher education, as the country boasts some of the finest and most high-performing universities in the world.
Architecture Education in France
Architecture is a specialized field of study offered by the majority of French universities at both the undergraduate and graduate level, leading to Bachelor and Master’s Degrees, respectively. Most career positions in Architecture today demand that students possess at least a Master’s degree in the field. In France, this works out very well for students, as the country’s fairly new system of higher education is now designed to encourage students to continue their education at the graduate level.
The initial lower-level courses leading to a degree in Architecture focus mainly on science, mathematics and technology, providing students with a strong foundation from which to pursue upper-division courses. In addition to learning drafting skills and becoming familiar with the various technology used by architects, such as computer aided drafting (CAD) systems, students also learn the basics with regards to regional and urban planning and the history of architecture, including the various movements and styles that have guided architecture throughout the years.
The Architectural classes in urban and regional planning address large-scale planning, with a focus on contemporary methods and applications. Students discuss topics such as land-use and plan implementation, from the broader contexts of urbanism and urban history, and they learn about the relationship of structures to cultural patterns. To deepen their understanding of the relationship between architecture and sociology, students examine particular cities at critical moments in their development. Advanced architecture classes based on urban and regional planning may cover theories such as socio-architecture or environmental determinism.
The history of Architecture is also a major focus of these degree programs. Students analyze western traditions in art and architecture, from prehistoric times through the Middle Ages and to the present. Topics include Egyptian, Greek, Roman, early Christian, Romanesque and Gothic architecture, and styles such as baroque, neoclassical and contemporary. Examining historical art and architecture helps students to develop their skills and incorporate traditional styles into their designs.
Why Study Abroad in France
France is home to some of the most beautiful and historic architecture on the planet, so it only makes sense that an architectural student would choose this stunning country as their study abroad destination. With some of the most knowledgeable instructors in the world, students will gain a new perspective on education and academic life, and when they’re not too busy in the classroom, they’ll have countless opportunities for fun and exploration, visiting some of France’s most popular destinations, including:
An area of unequaled natural beauty, the Loire Valley is affectionately deemed the “Garden of France.” The area spans over 280 km and is situated in the beautiful middle stretch of the Loire River in central France. The valley is filled with culturally and historically significant architecture, earning the area its coveted status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known for its large collection of fairytale-like chateaus and mansions, exceptionally beautiful landscapes, and one of the most striking rivers in Europe, the Loire Valley is a gentle yet striking paradise that’s not to be missed.
Second only to the Eiffel Tower as France’s best-loved landmark, Mont St-Michel is a rocky, peaked island connected by a causeway to northwest France. An imposing World Heritage Site, it sits amid sandbanks and powerful tides, and is most celebrated for its Gothic-style Benedictine abbey. Directly below the grand monastery is a medieval village complete with winding streets, small houses and a number of souvenir shops. The island is accessible at all times of the year, except when the tide is very high. When visiting here, we also recommend you spend a few days exploring the rest of the Normandy region. Filled with history and lush green landscapes, you can expect to encounter a number of impressive sights here, including dry-stone farmhouses, chalk-white cliffs, half-timbered buildings and many other fine examples of picturesque architecture. The historically important site of the Normandy Landing beaches and the famous Bayeux tapestry are also located here.
The Côte d’Azur, otherwise known as the French Riviera, is the Mediterranean coastline of southeast France and a must-see site for all visitors to the region. Although expensive and overdeveloped to some, with its miles of gorgeous coastline and azure waters, it still remains one of the most beautiful places to visit in France. The sun-drenched area has attracted and transfixed many visitors over the years, including royalty, celebrities, writers and artists, including Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, among others. The Côte d’Azur is also famed for its stylish coastal cities such as Nice, Cannes and St-Tropez, which still remain exclusive holiday resorts even to this day.