Visiting students, such as Angus Robertson and Bridge Ford, graduate students from the University of Otago, New Zealand, bring international perspective to many of the classes at the School. SURP students may exchange to Otago in their final term.
Profile of Claire Lindsay (Otago), who exchanged to SURP during the second year of her planning program.
In the Winter 2013, Shwaan Hutton, Jack Huffman, and Jeremy Johnston traveled to Perth, Australia. They were studying at the University of Western Australia’s Urban Design Research Centre. SURP students may also exchange to UWA in their final term: following the experiences of Kevin House and Sarah Bingham.
Photo at right: Otago planning students Angus Robertson and Bridge Ford in Montreal on a SURP field trip. Photo courtesy of Bridge Ford.
International Project Course
Dr. Ajay Agarwal offered two international project courses in Auroville (www.auroville.org). Auroville is located near Pondicherry in southern India. The client for the course was Auroville Integral Sustainability Institute and the assignment was to recommend guidelines for developing a network of social spaces along “The Crown,” a major arterial street in the city. Ten SURP students and Dr. Agarwal traveled to Auroville for two weeks during December 2012 to work on the project. Prior to departure, the students did substantial background research on Auroville, and also studied best practices related to the planning of social spaces. Students had several Skype meetings with the client. The class was very successful. Both the client and the students have given very positive feedback to SURP and the course was repeated with a new project in December 2013.
Student Summer Internships in Beijing
During the spring/summer semester students Angus Beaty and Isaac Shirokoff completed their China Internship program sponsored by China's Ministry of Land and Resources. Angus spent his semester at the China Academy of Land and Resources Economics, while Isaac interned with the China Land and Surveying and Planning Institute in Beijing.
International Experience Awards
Twelve years ago, the International Experience Awards (IEA) program was created with revenues generated by our China Projects in order to provide students with a unique international experience. The OPPI Eastern Ontario District recently made a donation to increase the awards. Normally, three to five awards of $1,700 each are given out every year. Proposals on planning-related topics are submitted for adjudication by a selection panel comprised of first- and second-year students. The proposals are judged on their feasibility, practicality and innovation. The award recipients give a presentation to the student body and faculty before and after returning from their trips. The 2012 award winners were Mladen Kukic (’13) for travel to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Jonathan Pradinuk for travel to Helsinki, Finland, and Marisa Talarico (’13) for travel to Bogota, Colombia. See the last pages of the newsletter for more information on their exciting travels! The 2013 winners are Cassandra Caiger (’13) (Austria), Hossein Danesh Heidari (’13) (United Arab Emirates), Lindsey Gradeen (Sweden), and Shwaan Hutton (New Zealand).
Queen's - BVDU MOU
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in 2012 between Queen’s University and Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University for promoting scholarly collaboration between the College of Architecture at BVDU and SURP. The two programs will likely offer a joint international project course in the future and explore possibilities of starting a student exchange. Dr. Ajay Agarwal has been instrumental in spearheading this partnership.
China Visiting Scholar to SURP
In 2012 there was a steady stream of scholars from China visiting SURP. The visiting scholars’ stays at SURP ranged from 3 to 12 months. They added a great deal to SURP’s intellectual diversity and enriched the program for our faculty and students.