Department of Geography and Planning

Department of Geography and Planning
Department of Geography and Planning

International Opportunities

Cusco, Peru.

A photograph taken by SURP student Danais Ponce while she was undertaking an International Experience Award in Cusco, Peru.


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 travelled 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.

International Project Course

Dr. Ajay Agarwal offered two international project courses in Auroville. 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 travelled 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.

This video produced by SURP students Vanessa Smith and Carling Fraser entitled "The Next Generation of Planning in Canada" won a CIP Centernary award.    Vanessa and Carling were part of a team of students who undertook the international project course to India in December 2018.

View videos created by the students while in Auroville, India

Student Summer Internships in Beijing

Angus Beaty with the China Academy of Land and Resources team 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

Students in Helsinki.
SURP student’s Nick Kuhl and Henna Hovi reunite in Helsinki, Finland. Henna studied at SURP from the University of Helsinki, and Nick visited her while he was undertaking an International Experience Award.


For 2019-2020, two awards of $1,500 each are available.

In 1999-2000, 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 also donated funds in support of these awards.  Up to three awards of $1,500 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 2013 winners were: Cassandra Caiger (’13) (Austria) (pdf, 162kB), Hossein Danesh Heidari (’13) (United Arab Emirates) (pdf, 193kB), Lindsey Gradeen ('13) (Sweden) (pdf, 622kB), and Shwaan Hutton ('14) (New Zealand) (pdf, 129kB).  The 2014 winners were: Nancy Cornish (’14) (Iceland) (pdf, 246kB), Arthur Grabowskis (’14) (Brazil) (pdf, 214kB)​, and Michael Rac (’14) (Norway) (pdf, 370kB).  The 2015 winners were: Jessica Jiang ('15) (Jordan) (407kB), Shazeen Tejani ('15) (New Zealand) (pdf 1.01MB), Andrew Misiak ('15) (Germany) (pdf 373 kB), Pegah Tootoonchian ('15) (Germany) (pdf, 7.85MB), and Miranda Spessot ('15) (South Africa) (pdf 15.25MB).  The 2016 winners were: Benjamin Goodge (Medellin, Colombia) (pdf, 708kB), Noorali Meghani (Masdar City, United Arab Emirates) (pdf, 603kB), Ben Morin (Oulu, Finland) (pdf, 7.93 MB), Caroline Morrow (Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico) (pdf, 9.64MB), and Matt Murray (pdf 1.57MB) (Rotterdam and Amsterdam, The Netherlands).  The 2017 winners were: Anna Geladi (Santiago, Chile) (pdf, 771kB)Nicholas Kuhl (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Brussels, Belgium; Luxembourg) (pdf, 778kB), and Danais Ponce (Cuzco, Peru) (pdf, 1.04MB).  The 2018 winners were: Stephanie Magnanelli (Medellin, Colombia), Gabrielle Snow (Dublin, Galway, and Cork, Ireland), and Leah Weiler (Madrid and Barcelona, Spain) (pdf, 1.7 MB).  The 2019 winners were: Hayley Nabuurs (Chester, England) pdf, 492kB),  Jennifer Sutton (Freetown, Sierra Leone) (pdf, 1MB), and Kyla Tanner (Vienna, Austria) (pdf, 6.7 MB).


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.