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  • Locations: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Program Terms: Winter Quarter
  • Budget Sheets: Winter Quarter
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:

Location Mexico City, Mexico
Academic Term Winter Quarter
January 7- March 15, 2019
Estimated Program Fee $6,500
Credits 15 UW credits
Prerequisites The program is open to 4th year (ARCH401) undergraduate students and ARCH504 (Studio Options) graduate students in architecture. The program will also consider upper level graduate students from the departments of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design and Planning on a case by case basis.
Program Directors Richard Mohler  |
Robert Hutchison |
Program Manager Ruby Machado |
Priority Application Deadline May 15th, 2018
Information Sessions TBD. Contact Program Director for more information.
General The program will focus on architectural and urban design in Mexico City with an emphasis on social housing and transportation. Excursions to several sites outside Mexico City will also be included.

Program Description

The UW Department of Architecture is offering a study program in Mexico for Winter quarter of 2019. This will be the fifth such program, previous programs being offered in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. The program will address urban and architectural issues in Mexico City with a particular focus on social housing and mobility. Mexico City offers a unique opportunity for students to be immersed in a complex and vivid context of urban challenges and opportunities that are just beginning to confront successful U.S. cities and Seattle in particular. Mexico City has experienced phenomenal growth over the past century leading to problems of extreme income inequality, massive housing shortages, lagging transportation and utility infrastructure, environmental degradation and livability. At the same time, the city boasts a strong tradition of social housing and transit oriented development strategies to address problems of housing affordability, urban mobility and inequity. Students will have the opportunity to tour projects, engage with local architects, academics and city officials working to address these problems and explore these issues through case study analysis and urban and architectural design.



Mexico City, Mexico


Teotihuacan/Acolman, Xochicalco/Tepotzian, Oaxaca


Students will stay in two or three bedroom apartments in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City. The student apartments will be within walking distance of each other, as well as within walking/biking distance of our studio workshop. Program staff will stay in an apartment located in the Roma neighborhood, also within walking distance of student apartments and the studio workshop.



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

The program is open to 4th year (ARCH 401) undergraduate students and Arch 504 (Studio Options) graduate students in architecture. The program will also consider upper level graduate students from the departments of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design and Planning on a case by case basis.
Physical Components: The program will entail extensive walking throughout the city as well as trekking on field trips outside the city. The program will also use public transportation and the city bike share program to travel from housing to the studio (educational home base) as well as accessing sites throughout the city.


15 UW Credits


ARCH 401 / ARCH 504: Architectural Design Studio (6 Credits)

The design studio will investigate environmental and infrastructural issues of Mexico City, and will translate this investigation to address urban and architectural issues through the design of social housing located in a specific neighborhood of Mexico City. Students will first work in groups to evaluate the neighborhood and surrounding urban context, and to consider potential sites for intervention. Students will then work individually on a design intervention for the selected site(s).

Learning goals include:
• To understand the environmental and infrastructural issues facing Mexico City
• To evaluate and interpret a specific neighborhood context
•To translate this interpretation and understanding into urban and architectural design
• To learn about social housing through architectural design
• To develop collaborative skills through group work
• To advance individual architectural design skills

ARCH 491: Documentation: Ideas in Representation (5 Credits)

This course will focus on methods of documentation. Students will work with the instructor to select a specific building or infrastructure typology within Mexico City. The student will then seek out and visit specific examples of their selected typology, and will document the examples using multiple documentation techniques. Primary emphasis will be placed on the integration of drawing, writing, photography, video, and sound. Several readings will accompany the course. Completion requirements will include assembling all of the documentation work into a quality bound publication.

Learning goals include:
• To identify and interpret specific conditions within the urban realm
• To learn various methods of urban documentation
• To learn to integrate drawing, writing, photography, video and sound in preparing an analysis of urban conditions and experiences
• To learn how to assemble a quality bound publication


ARCH 496: Architectural Studies Abroad: Urban Fieldwork (4 Credits)

The Urban Fieldwork course will involve a group investigation of the urban fabric and an analysis of the climate and site resources, providing the background for the primary studio problem. These groups will be required to produce maps, drawings and other analytical representations of different areas of the city to develop an understanding of Mexico City’s rich urban history. The course also will also consist of lectures, walking tours, architecture firm office visits, and visits to significant sites in Mexico City, as well as two major fieldtrips. Several readings will accompany the course. Completion requirements will include an individual research project of a building or site in Mexico City using a combination of library work and on-site observation.

Learning goals include:
• To learn how to investigate the urban fabric from a physical, social and historical perspective
• To learn how to analyze a specific site with respect to local climate
• To learn of Mexico City's history physical and social history
• To complete an individual research project focused on a specific building or site within Mexico City



Richard Mohler, Department of Architecture, Program Director

Robert Hutchison, Department of Architecture, Instructor



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $6,500

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $600)
  • Food (about $20/day)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: January 25th, 2019

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Financial Aid

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans.  To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • For UW Study Abroad Scholarships fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application to be considered.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Here are some ways to find additional support:

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.



Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


To be eligible to study abroad, you must complete the mandatory pre-departure orientation facilitated by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You must register for the UW Study Abroad orientation. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current schedule and to register for an orientation session.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once a contract has been submitted. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal form is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

  1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.
  2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.