The Department of Urban Planning offers a variety of international study opportunities, including summer programs, internships, international/comparative planning workshops, and international exchange agreements.
Schoolwide, the Global Public Affairs at UCLA Luskin program introduces students to an increasingly interconnected world, where global challenges require global solutions. Students in the International Practice Pathway program often seek out individual abroad opportunities, with the help of program faculty. For firsthand accounts of abroad experiences, visit the UCLA Luskin Abroad blog site.
Applications for the China and India internships are typically available in February. See the department graduate advisor for details.
Since 2001 students have organized international/comparative planning workshops. These workshops usually take place during the summer or spring break. Students may receive academic credit for these workshops through course 212. The courses have a faculty sponsor and generally meet for half a quarter of instruction with a syllabus, assigned readings and assignments prior to the field trip. Students are required to submit a term paper and do a presentation.
Spring Break 2014
MEXICO CITY UP 212 Comparative Transportation Policy
Professor Brian Taylor
The Mexico City trip crossed disciplinary lines to understand transportation access in the context of a global metropolis. With many similarities in structure and environment as Los Angeles, 28 students from all three UCLA Luskin departments used the Mexican capital as a source for new ideas in social justice, equity and community empowerment. The sessions packed into the five-day schedule, spanning such topics as bikesharing, parking management, women's needs, sustainable development and public space programming, will be distilled into a post-trip event at UCLA Luskin. The group posted updates to a dedicated website during the trip.
June 30 - July 31, 2008
TOKYO, JAPAN: UP 212 International/Comparative Planning Workshop
Professor Evelyn Blumenberg
With a population of 12.58 million, Tokyo is the most populous city in the world and one of the most densely developed. During spring break 2008, students from the Department of Urban Planning traveled to Tokyo as part of UP212 International and Comparative Planning Workshop. The purpose of the course was to help students develop a comparative understanding of transportation and urban development issues in global cities. Specifically, the students focused on the relationship between density and myriad planning issues including transit and port planning, sustainable development, disaster planning, and transit-oriented development. Based on the course readings as well as interviews with Tokyo-based planners, students developed presentations highlighting the lessons that can be learned from Tokyo and their potential application to Los Angeles.
To complete the course, students were required to (a) read background literature on each of the topics (b) set up two appointments with professional planners in Tokyo (c) complete the trip and attend each of the scheduled meetings and (d) during spring quarter, develop and present a polished PowerPoint presentation.
The legacy of colonialism has left an indelible mark throughout most of the world -- probably most pronounced in Latin America. Urban Planning graduate students visited Brazil and Cuba in Spring 2007 to explore how two Latin American countries have sought to achieve stability through different means: Brazil through capitalism and Cuba through Communism. The students witnessed first hand the issues and the individuals that shape policy in these diverse economies.
In Brazil groups of students looked at Urban Design and the Built Environment (transportation, infrastructure and the public transportation system) and Spatial Justice and Participatory Planning (the landless workers movement, the roofless workers movement, participatory budgeting, development of the Rio de Janeiro Favela and Favela youth and hip hop).
In Cuba they looked at housing policies and practice; environmentalism under socialist policy; energy consumption and Havana's urban agriculture.
CAIRO: International and Comparative Planning: Sustainability and Development in Cairo, Egypt
Professor Randall Crane
This course will helped students develop a critical and comparative understanding of urban development issues in a global context. It focused on how sustainable development practices, in housing, environmental management, economic development and transportation impact access and livelihoods of low-income people.
Mexico City, Mexico
Professor Leo Estrada
In Spring 2005, Professor Leo Estrada led a student-organized field learning trip to Mexico City, Mexico. Students met with nearly ten organizations representing social services, government planning, transportation, community development and the environment. In addition, students experienced cultural sites, bonded with classmates, made professional contacts, and built greater confidence around speaking Spanish and maneuvering in one of the world’s largest cities.
INDIA: Housing, Land Use and Transportation in Bombay
Professor Vinit Mukhija
This field-based course examined the structure, implementation, and impact of various urban development strategies on access opportunities in international cities. Topics covered included urban governance, land use planning, transportation and infrastructure planning, housing development, and industrial location policy. The course focused on how physical planning strategies impact access opportunities for low-income groups.
In Mumbai, the class spent a week meeting planners and policymakers, activists and nonprofits' representatives, researchers and academics to develop a grounded understanding of urban development and planning issues in the city. Workshop participants wrote a term paper on the basis of their field-study and independent research.
Professor Brian Taylor and a group of Urban Planning students spent spring break in Berlin meeting with planners, activists, and transportation officials as part of a comparative urban transportation policy course. The course which compared and contrasted transportation policy and planning issues in two world cities: Berlin and Los Angeles, focused on the role of transportation policy and planning in facilitating access to such things as employment, housing and culture. Students teams planned the trip and took the lead in arranging each day's field activities.
BRAZIL: Community Development in Brazil
Professor Abel Valenzuela
Professor Abel Valenzuela and a group of students went to Brazil during the spring break to study community development and built environment strategies in Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro. Students met with planning officials, community economic development scholars, practitioners and activists to learn first-hand about community development issues facing Brazilians. They also examined housing, the role of community based organizations, transportation, and environmental and sustainable development strategies.
Professor Brian Taylor and a group of Urban Planning students spent spring break in London meeting with planners, activists, and transportation officials as part of a comparative urban transportation policy course. The course which compared and contrasted transportation policy and planning issues in two world cities: London and Los Angeles, focused on the role of transportation policy and planning in facilitating access to such things as employment, housing and culture. Students teams planned the trip and took the lead in arranging each day's field activities.
Sciences Po is the most prestigious French university in social sciences and public policy, Almost all French presidents, political leaders and business leaders have been trained there. "Sciences Po" is slang for "Political Science" in French, and its full name is the Institute of Political Studies. Sciences Po is highly-ranked internationally in social science, and its student population is 40% non-French, drawn from all over the world, and many of its courses are given in English. The Urban School of Sciences Po has recently been formed by putting together its different master and PhD programs that deal with cities, urban politics and urban policy, with a world-class faculty drawn from many disciplines. The exchange is with the Sciences Po home campus in the historical heart of Paris, the Left Bank. In this urbane and cosmopolitan city center, students will have a once-in-a-lifetime academic and urban experience. But Paris is more than its beautiful core: it is a diverse world city, with populations drawn from every continent, and it is as much an urban laboratory as any great city, with all the opportunities, problems and challenges.
Exchange students will learn about the common problems that world cities face today, but see in Paris a very different context for urban politics and policies, providing an opportunity for comparative and international learning between Los Angeles and Paris. The Urban School of Science Po has many international projects, across the continents, also providing students an opportunity to work with the Sciences Po students and to build a new network of friends and colleagues.
Interested students can apply for this program in the Winter Quarter of their first year. Selected applicants will spend the Fall Quarter of their second year studying at SciencesPo. For more details please see the department graduate advisor.
Initiated in 2011, this reciprocal exchange program allows the exchange of up to three graduate students from each institution per year. The exchange students pay required tuition at their home institution. Exchange students must be proficient in the language of instruction in the host institution. The period of exchange is normally one quarter or semester. Exchange students under this agreement are accorded normal student privileges.
June 29 - July 30, 2012
Directed by Professor Leobardo Estrada, Dr. Babak Hedjazi and Dr. Maria Pineda and associated with the Collaborative Agreement program between the UCLA School of Public Affairs and the Institute for the Study of the Environment at the University of Geneva, this summer program offered since 2009, is designed for both graduate and undergraduate students. It enables study of global change in the context of international governance in Geneva.
– Summer 2010 testimonial from Florentina Craciun, M.A. ’11