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  • Locations: Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Program Terms: Winter Quarter
  • Budget Sheets: Winter Quarter
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Affiliated Department: Landscape Architecture Foreign Language Required: None
Primary Language(s) of Instruction: English UW Credits: 12
Estimated Program Fee: 6350 UW Program Director: Laura Durgerian, Nancy Rottle, Paul Olson
UW Study Abroad Program Manager: Mariah Rosman UW Program Staff Email:,,
Program Information:

Location Christchurch, New Zealand
Academic Term Winter Quarter
01/05/2020 - 03/07/2020
Estimated Program Fee $6,800
Credits 12
Prerequisites Students should be accepted into UW CBE programs (landscape architecture, architecture, urban design, real estate, CEP), POE or SEFS undergraduate or graduate programs. Students are recommended, but not required, to have design studio experience. Students must possess English proficiency.
Program Directors Nancy Rottle, RLA, FASLA |
Paul Olson |
Program Manager Ruby Shields |
Priority Application Deadline May 15, 2019
Application Deadline
June 10, 2019
Information Sessions May 15, 2019, 12:00pm
Gould 100
General This study abroad will take the basic format of a design studio for landscape architecture, architecture, urban design and environmental restoration students. In addition to learning on earthquake recovery and design response, coursework will feature drawing and media practice and may include capstone, thesis, and self-selected urban design and restoration studies.

Program Description

In its recovery from the devastating 2010/11 earthquake, Christchurch has undertaken an exemplary but still incomplete process to re-imagine and rebuild itself to a more resilient future. Originally established from aspirational city planning theory and more recently enhanced pre-earthquake with robust green infrastructure, the 170-year-old city was a model of liveable and ecological urban design practices. This study abroad experience will explore how these historic approaches fared in the 7.1/6.3 magnitude earthquake sequence, learn about the ongoing recovery and rebuilding processes, experience indigenous perspectives and expression, and deliver novel design thinking to public spaces that render physical, social, and ecological resilience. This study abroad will take the basic format of a design studio for landscape architecture, architecture, urban design and environmental restoration students. In addition to learning on earthquake recovery and design response, coursework will feature drawing and media practice and may include capstone, thesis, and self-selected urban design and restoration studies. While based in Christchurch for the design studio, a portion of the term will be spent visiting the New Zealand cities of Auckland and Wellington to experience and document their contrasting contextual ecological urban design projects and practices. Local lectures and field trips will also feature New Zealand flora and fauna and eco-cultural relationships. With its location in the Pacific Rim ring of fire, learning from Christchurch will be relevant to resilience and renewal planning and design for Seattle and many other cities and countries that are vulnerable to severe earthquakes.




Christchurch, New Zealand


We plan to stay in dormitories with single rooms at the University of Canterbury while in Christchurch, with proximate classroom space in the housing complex. The University of Canterbury is conveniently located near the city center, close to shopping, libraries, parks, museums and a farmers market. While in Auckland and Wellington we will also stay in university housing, or in hostels with meeting space available. In Christchurch bicycles will be provided for the duration, as the city has built an exemplary bicycle network which makes it easy to get around and experience its many available events and amenities.



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

Students should be accepted into UW CBE programs (landscape architecture, architecture, urban design, real estate, CEP), POE or SEFS undergraduate or graduate programs. Students are recommended, but not required, to have design studio experience. Students must possess English proficiency. The program will not require excessive amounts of hiking, though walking will be incorporated into tours and short hikes, and students may elect to use bicycle transport in Christchurch, which is rather flat. However, options for New Zealand "tramping" and other adventures are abundant and will be available for independent week-end excursions. Students should be comfortable with working outside preparing soil and planting shrubs and ground covers for the restoration component.


12 UW Quarter Credits


LArch: 402/403, 502/503, 700, 702: Landscape Architecture Studio (6 credits) This course satisfies Landscape Architecture and Urban Design Studio requirements. It may also satisfy Architecture Studio requirements.

The studio course incorporating a range of student proficiency levels will acquaint students with Christchurch's history, landscape and ecological context and conditions, cultural context, earthquake impacts, and human response to the catastrophic event. Students will select a portion of a given landscape architecture or urban design project for which they develop design options through the iterative process of working with instructors and peers. The studio process will build graphic, narrative and verbal presentation communication skills. Current anticipated possible projects are ecological design proposals for a portion of Christchurch's "Red Zone" where homes along the Avon River have been removed, and design development for a subspace of Christchurch's central Cathedral Square, incorporating currently proposed water features; both projects are currently being promoted by Regenerate Christchurch. For students who would be developing a group or independent capstone thesis/project (Larc 700, 702), the studio course would provide the foundation and guidance for a site-based design or research project.

Learning goals include:
Learning Goals for the course are to: • develop understanding of Christchurch's physical, biological, cultural and social contexts • become aware of earthquake impacts and responsive urban environmental practices • foster social and biological resilience • practice site investigation and analysis methods • develop generative conceptual and schematic design skills • learn to use problems as creative design opportunities • develop media and presentation skills • practice communicating with other disciplines and cultures

LArch 412, LArch 411: Landscape Representation II, Landscape Representation I (4-Feb credits) LArch 411 and LArch 412 satisfy Landscape Architecture requirements and electives.

Through field exercises and studies students will practice drawing skills and explore methods of expressing response to built and natural landscapes, to develop both perception and media skills. The curriculum will include diagramming as an analytical technique; field sketching; representation through plan, section and axonometric representation; expressive drawing techniques that will enhance and document the travel experience; and experimentation with a range of media. Students will consult with instructors as well as engage in peer review to gain feedback on their creative works.

Learning goals include:
Learning Goals for the course are: • learn diagrammatic analytical techniques • practice drawing and representation skills • practice foundational landscape architectural representation, especially applied to expression of urban ecological design practices • experiment with and practice diverse media • extend place-based learning through deep engagement via the drawing / painting process

LArch 440, LArch 441: Digital Media I, Digital Media II (offered as supervised independent study if students require it as part of their course sequencing) (3 credits) LArch 440 is a required landscape architecture course, and LArch 441 is an elective course.

These courses allow students to select and work on digital skills they most need in the practice of landscape architecture's interpretive, iterative design, production, and presentation processes. Larch 440 focuses on basic skills in 2D CAD, 3D visualization, graphic representation, and the integration of manual and digital techniques. Larch 441 further explores Computer Aided Design as a powerful tool in landscape design, analysis, and visualization and consists of four core units: 2D CAD drafting; digital terrain modeling; 3D solids and surface modeling; and visualization. Ability to offer these courses will depend on the skills of the selected Teaching Assistant.

Learning goals include:
Offered as self-paced, supervised independent study, course objectives are to further the development of digital representation and design development skills, according to individual students' needs. Digital programs include: 2D CAD drafting, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Rhino, Grasshopper, and video, depending upon student skill level.

LArch 499; LArch 600; LArch Thesis Research 700; and others as required: Undergraduate Independent Research, Graduate Independent Research, Independent Required Course fulfillment (6 credits) Areas of Knowledge satisfied will depend upon the independent research projects that students select.

Students will undertake independent research in areas of interest, in Christchurch / South Island, and during our field excursions to Wellington and Auckland. Students will present their research to their cohort, and meet individually with the instructors for guidance. A final creative visual and/or narrative project of the student's choosing will be completed either while in NZ or upon return, for potential exhibition. For students working on their theses, independent research will apply to the students' capstone or thesis projects. Independent studies are primarily envisioned as an opportunity for students to pursue individual interests that can be especially fulfilled through study in New Zealand.

Learning goals include:
Students will engage in independent learning, to acquire knowledge and develop independent research and presentation skills. Learning goals are for the students to: • Learn to define a question that can be researched through experience of case studies and archival sources • Apply investigative skills to further knowledge on a defined topic or question • Interpret experience and others' knowledge into a cohesive argument, report or creative expression • Practice development of an expressive project that can be shared with others



Nancy Rottle, RLA, FASLA
Professor, Landscape Architecture

Paul Olson
Lecturer, Landscape Architecture



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $6,800

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 - TBD)
  • Food (about TBD)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.64/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: January 24, 2020

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 Study Abroad 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.
  • To be considered for a UW Study Abroad Scholarship fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application.  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. Below 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 online orientation provided by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You will be able to access the online orientation through your study abroad application once you have been accepted to a program. 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 contacting the consular offices of those countries. You can read more about this topic on the Passports and Visas page of the UW Study Abroad 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 you have submitted a contract. 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 will be 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 application 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 withdrawal application to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.

Additional Info

Access to the video and documents produced by participants in the 2019 Post-Earthquake Resilience Studio in Christchurch, NZ, can be accessed here.