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I recently got accepted into the Dessau Institute of Architecture in Dessau, Germany.
I was previously considering attending the Staedelschule Architecture Class in Frankfurt, but discovered that the Masters of Arts degree they offered was not considered a professional degree and wouldn't allow me to pursue my licensure when I return to Canada. DIA, on the other hand offers an accredited Masters of Architecture which I hope will be accredited in Canada as well (I don't see why not).
I have been really eager to live/study in Germany for quite some time now, and in my so far limited understanding of Dessau, the city seems infinitely more affordable and pleasant to live/study in than Frankfurt. However, I recently contacted a current student who has says that the school itself is in fact very international and does not offer much in terms of learning about German culture or engaging with locals....
I would love to hear from anyone who has attended or visited this school and has any insight on the calibre of education offered at DIA and the lifestyle in Dessau!
Thanks so much!
since you're canadian, dessaus basically cambridge, ontario..
at the Bauhaus bldg half the tour guides were american. i dont know any german student/ practicing architect who went there..
More affordable? Perhaps....But more "pleasant"?
Well, it's all in the eye of the beholder ,but there's a reason the students nick-name it "depressau".
Also, hallcien is correct. Germans don't study there. And none of the students really speak German or are interested in "integrating" in most senses of the word. You're a little island of international students in a sea of post-industrial Ossie waste-land. Sorry, but you can complain all you want about Frankfurt's blatant consumerism, bit it's still a far more urban, cosmopolitan, and ultimately livable city than Dessau will ever be.
Of course, all IMO.
Any thoughts on the calibre of education of the school itself?
I was accepted to the Dessau Institute of Architecture but still haven't made a decision...
I don't care so much about engaging with the german culture... I am much more interested in quality of the education, which from what I've researched seems very progressive and speculative which I think it's great...Some of the older studios seem really fun and I reallly like that program is very focused on the city..
What are your thoughts about it?
I'm not sure what my thoughts are about DIA just yet...which is why I've been trying to ask around to see what other people's experiences were of it. I have been corresponding with a current student who I got in touch with when I started to look for accomodation in Dessau, and the impression he gave me was that the school is very open-minded with respect to design approaches and ideology. He said there are up to 7 studios offered/semester each focusing of something different, (some are highly digital, others more traditional) and that the school itself does not seem to push any one type of theory or idea on its student and instead encourages its students to form their own. This I appreciate, as many school these days seem to focus on one idea or approach and can become very narrow-minded about it.
Other than that, I can't seem to find too much information or opinion on the school...so I'm not sure if that is because it's very obscure, or not highly reputed...i don't know which one!
What are your thoughts?
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find much about the school either.. Probably because it's fairly new and small.... But to be honest I'm also scared it might not be so highly reputed..
However, I'm very tempted to attend. It's much cheaper compared to other schools. It's close to big cities in Europe and it's very international which is always good.
I agree on both your counts Davidbr.
I'm leaning towards attending as well, it sounds like the students there are very happy there, the few disatisfactory remarks were that the place is a bit disorganised, and there is not a strong administrative support system, and of course mention of the small-town feel of the city. Aside from that, everyone seems to really enjoy their studio courses, most of the electives, they say that the professors are really diverse and open-minded, and very avant-garde, and that it's really great to meet so many people from all over the world, as the program is so international.
Where will you be coming from?
(I'm from Toronto, Canada)
why dont you both consider goto a regular german univeristy which is FREE??????
almost all the professors I've ever had speak fluent english. :) and they're more than willing to. all the students spoke good enough english as well.
I got accepted into the DIA for this winter semester too, and I'm having a bit of trouble finding info about its academic level. Did you guys find anything? Are you planning on going?
I'd really love to talk to someone that knows at least a bit more than me about this, so lemme know!
i have been emailing back and forth with Professor Jacoby and he has been really responsive to all my questions, and I have also been in touch with one of its current students (who i got in touch with quite coincidentally when I started briefly looking for accomodation in Dessau).
I've decided to attend this school for a number of reasons, both pragmatic and personal. The degree offered in the end if an accredited professional Masters of Architecture, which is important for me, and the education offered seems to be 'what you make of it' , there are around 8-10 studios offered for this semester which allows for a lot of different perspectives and ideologies, and a fairly broad range of electives as well. Most importantly the international nature of the school seems to imply a lot of broadening of perspectives both culturally and architecturally, which is sort of what i've been seeking.
If you decide to go we should talk, so we can figure out the logistics of everything together, as from what I've been hearing there isn't a strong support system at the school and students are left largely on their own to figure out things like accomodation, visas, health insurance, etc.
hello ,I'm thinking also about applying to The DIA master of architecture because 2 things.
1st the Famous BAUHAUS.....and 2nd just like EKLO said its an international degree as a professional master of architecture=))..but i also concern about the rank of the Institute and the education system there regardless the administration system which little weak!! ...alos the CIty of Dessau ...i got some folks germans they are saying that its a nice city and some are don't...beside the ability of finding a good job there.. so i think we have some common issues to search for....if any one found out something interested i wish he can share it=))
Eklo:Abt Canada..i'm planning to Immigrate to Toronto, Canada after i get the master degree from Germany so if you don't mind,can we have little chat about that ?!..Thanks
im a chinese student and im very interested in DIA too .but it seems that DIA is mch more easier to apply than some well known graduate schools.any way,i can learn a third language here~~
i don't think that its cuz that easier,i think i will go there cuz of BAUHAUS....
you got some info))??
I studied at DIA for one semester. Dessau is a great city. Typical East German city with a declining population. With that said, you will have ample time to immerse yourself in the culture. You can even live in the city on your own if you choose. You will also have to take a German language course while there.. it helps. I really felt fortunate to go to school there, as the people in Dessau were very open and accepting to Americans. There were only 5 of us at the time, possibly more now. The school is definately international, with people coming from nearly 15-20 different countries. The affordability: you can't beat it.. 700 Euro a semester.. and that is all you pay! This means you can take 5 classes or 10 classes and its the same price. The faculty are great. World known masters teachers that have worked with Zaha, OMA, etc...
The connections and contacts you will make there, plus the education and experimentation will be beyond anything Frankfurt can provide. Do it! It's a great opportunity for you!
Oh, and if you speak to Alfred again, tell him Josh Perez says hello. If anyone else has any questions about DIA don't hesitate to ask, I'll do what I can to fill you in on what DIA is all about and some helpful hints on living in Dessau.
My name is Daniel and I just finished the 2 year Master's program at DIA. What I can tell you that it is a good program in a small city. While I can't say that the program is perfect, very disorganized and unpredictable it was worth it for me. Also for those wanting a real German experience, I will tell you that Dessau is more German than Frankfurt. I've been to Frankfurt as I've had 3 studios there and I've gotten to know it and will say that Frankfurt is the most American city in Germany. While Dessau is small, a little empty and far from most cities, it is a perfect place to study. Also, making friends with the Germans is not hard. There are few in the program if any but there are plenty of opportunities to meet them. They are also very open to making international friends! As for living in Dessau, it is super cheap!!! I can't believe how cheap. Also is is 2 hours from Berlin and 1 hour from Leipzig, big cities with lots of things to do. Finally about the education. The school does not have one philosophy so you constanlty have teachers arguing about who is right. There are the pragmatic German professors to the more parametric professors who teach the newest computer generated form making processes. If you do come here be prepared for surprises everyday. The school will keep you on the tips of your feet constantly, in good ways and bad ways. I don't know what more to say. If anyone has more specific questions, I can answer them.
Does the program allow you to go on to get a license in Germany? How about if you intend to practice in the US?
Does the school connect you with firms and help you land a job after you graduate?
Hi my dear friends!
I am very happy to find your dialog here about DIA.
I've thought I did something wrong because I really couldn't find enough information about DIA. But now I can see I am not only the one). I am still not accepted but I have plans to enter this master course. I have several quastions and would be very happy if someone can ansver them.
1. the degree is Master of Architecture, but I see they have alot around urbanism. How close is the studiing to urban design and town planning?I have already degree in town planning and want to continue in the same fild. Will the course give me more knowledges in urban field?
2. Is it easy to be accepted or only genious people can? If it is not a secret, can anybody please show his portfolio??? I just want to estimate my potential. As soon as my portfolio is ready I promise to give you a link for mine.
3. I am writting now a Motivation Letter, hope to be awarded with a grand. I need very strong arguments why do I need to study in DIA ? Does anybody have really good ideas? why DIA? What are the advantages in DIA and its Diploma for urban planner?
4. and the last question about accreditation. what accreditation does it have? somebody have said that you can work in USA having this degree. Should I make exams for NAAB to can work in USA or DIA diploma is enough?
I would be very thankful for any word you'll wright!!!
Good luck for all!!!!!
p.s. I am really sorry for mistakes I do, I am not native English speaker, but will do my best to improve my language. ))))
Ok, first to dawnchorus,
The program DIA (Dessau Institute of Architecture) is done through Hochschule Anhalt (http://www.hs-anhalt.de/) which is a recognized school in Germany. I have a German friend who will graduate from here next month. Also there are others who are enrolled. So I am sure you can get licensed. (The thing for Germans is that their schools don't really offer Master degrees, mostly Diploma of Engineering and such) Only now are they starting to use this system.
As for practicing in the US, I will find out soon. I will go back and try to get this degree recognized. So I have no clear answer. I will just say that there are other American students at this school asking the same.
The school does not connect you with firms although there are plenty of professors here with offices, mostly small ones. So if you have a good personal connection with a professor you can get a job, usually internship.
Now to answer batuta,
I think you are confusing two programs. One is the DIA (http://lehre.afg.hs-anhalt.de/dia/) which is a Master of Architecture offered by Hochscule Anhalt and the other is the Bauhaus Kolleg (http://kolleg.bauhaus-dessau.de/) which is offered by the Bauhaus foundation Dessau. The DIA program is in the HS-Anhalt campus, next to the Bauhaus. The Bauhaus Kolleg is in the Bauhaus building. This is the 1 year Urbanism program.
I think that was the question, if not then what I can say about the DIA program and urbanism is that there are 2 manditory courses about Urbanism and that's it. If you are interested in Ubansim there are professors who teach studios more about this, if not there are others who do not. DIA is a mix-and-match program. If you are clever you can make it watever you want it to be.
As for acceptance, there are many smart people and some people who I can't understand how they were accepted, so kind of no aswere to that one.
The motivation letter is really something personal. I can't say that there is one thing that will get the attention. All I can say is that every year more and more students are accepted to the program. It is growing so I would assume it is not so hard to be accepted.
As for accediation. If you want to work in the USA, this degree is fine. The acceditation is imprtant for the license. To get the license, the degree has to be valid and that depends on NCARB.
So this is the blog, http://diadessau.tumblr.com/
actual student facebook
and something nice
hope you enjoy!
Than you for your such detailed answer, Daniel!!! Yes, I ment DIA, not Kolleg.
I have one more question, I thin to dali7114, but if anyone can answer it I would be glad.
"World known masters teachers that have worked with Zaha, OMA, etc..." - can I know more exact about the architects. I mean names. Who exactly works with Zaha? And if there are more famous names, please write it with the companies they work in. I wonder if there is anybody from HOK.
Thank you in advance,
Here is what I have found:
(Guest Professors at DIA )
Christos Passas - Associate Directors at Zaha Hadid Architects.
Daniel Dendra was working at various ofﬁces in London, Moscow, Duesseldorf and Rotterdam such as A.M.O. (Rem Koolhaas) and Zaha Hadid Architects.
Is there anybody else???
Umm.......ok Elena, to answer your question/statements. Think of the program as a cheap version of the AA in London. Christos Passas works for Zaha now and teaches at the AA. Dendra worked for Zaha but not anymore. (Passas is good..ther other guy ...not so good) Also there is Lars Lerup who was the director of Rice Architecture school that comes by once in a while. Also Matias del Campo and Sandra Manniger, they are from Vienna and they teach this blob architecture stuff too. Very good. There is also Gunnar Hartmann, my favorite. He is/was (not sure now) a guest professor from Chur, Switzerland. He teaches thesis with Lars. Otherwise we have lots of guest tectures such as Nial Leach and others. Peter Ruge is a German architect from berlin. The other professors are from the region, Saxony -Anhalt and Berlin.
So.....that's what I can say about that. DIA is not really so well know and does not really have so many well known architects. It has good connections with many schools throughout the world and Dessau is a nice , cheap place to study. Hope that explains better the program.
Dear Friends ,
really thank you so much for your great help..i really appreciate that all))
i have a problem..i'm an Egyptian architect ..work in a firm in Saudi Arabia..work contract..3 years ends September 2013...I can't cut the contract....but i can take 4 or 5 months as maximum as a none-paid vacation...the thing is i want to apply next Oct. 2012...i can fulfill the 1st Semester...but i will have to go back to Saudi Arabia to finish my Contract which will be done as i said in September 2013 so i can be bck to germnay at October!!!.. but in that case i will miss the second semester...So is there any Possibility to Postpone the 2nd semester ? and continue it in October...or what shall i do...?!!..
Thanks In advance for Consideration..))
The staff at DIA are very flexible. You only need to explain to them your situation and they will accomodate you. There are numerous students who are in the same position as you and they take longer than the prescribed 2 years to complete the course. Just talk to them.
I have a question, in the site of DIA said that I could survive with 700 €/month. Is it correct?
to begin with, if you are an architect already, then you would not need to apply to a profession program. why are you looking into joining a graduate professional course? why not go for post professional degree?
secondly, if you plan on immigrating to Canada, then why not attend a canadian university? it will boost your selection points if you're applying on the basis of a Skiller Worker (I assume that's how you will immigrate?) as well as making it more convenient for you to find a job in canada after graduation. if you're insisting on a professional degree (M.Arch) rather than a postprof, then it'll be far easier for you to gain your canadian licensure as a graduate of a canadian/US graduate.
hello, i dont know maybe transcripts of grades is very compulsory as a requirement for entry into the masters program in DIA. I have all other documents intact, also have my B.Arch certificate,
I am Astha Panchal a graduate in architecture from India.
I have a B. Arch. degree (2010) from a well-established and reputed program at Maharaja Sayajirao University (at Vadodara, India). I have been working professionally, on my own as well as with other professionals over the last one and half years. I am very keen now to pursue the graduate program of MA in Monumental heritage offered at Dessau Institute of Architecture,Dessau,Germany.
I have studied the link http://www.afg.hs-anhalt.de/architektur/studiengaenge/monumental-heritage-ma/ for portfolio requirement.But I have few questions as below answers for which I need to know before applying:
Is this Master' degree of Arts recognized by Council of Architects in India and other countries?
Can I serve as a conservationist architect after a pursuing this degree?
What is the student:teacher ratio ? how many students per batch?
Are students permitted to study an extra course (for example a course on living heritage... in case of a major in monumental heritage course )from other institute during long summer/winter breaks?
does DIA have an exchange programme ? If yes, with which country?
what shall be scope of work that is possible after pursuing this masters ? (eg : as a conservation architect, ???)
What is expected Total expense for an International student (academic fees 700 Euro , but living expense/cost of living for 2 years ?? how much to assume)
what is scope to work on weekends to support self-sustenance when present there and studying.
Please help me with these queries to get a clear(real and specific) picture before applying.
Awaiting a modest opinion shared here . :)
Thanking you for reading and involving your time-thought.
from Gujarat, India
I am sorry I just saw this post yesterday. is it too late or are you still interested to apply in Monumental Heritage for next Winter semester 2013? if yes in that case just to let you know I am 2nd year student of this course almost done currently writing my master thesis and also working as student tutor for the department and International office of Anhalt University of Applied Science.
@ Astha Panchal
Master of Arts in Monumental Heritage is a huge Scam course. It is in no way related to DIA and it accepts DIA rejected students. The course structure written in the website is totally different than the reality of that course.
If you have applied for DIA but rejected and then received an email from director or anybody who is related to Monumental Heritage, DO NOT reply to their email. their only intention is to fill up their pockets by the cash paid by poor motivated innocent students from Asian countries.
There is only one student who is encouraging others to take the course. simply because she is also involved in their scam and financially benefits from that. However we all feel sorry for her.
9 Students quit the course since 2011 in the middle of their studies. I quit the course and now I am studying in a Universität in Germany.
But DIA is a good course compared to a small city like Dessau. You can sometimes get to know some big names in Architecture world as teachers in the course.
long story short: If you want to learn something and add to your knowledge DO NOT go to Monumental Heritage. 'cause you will not get any knowledge about conservation in that course. You will only waste 2 years. Don't trap yourself.
Send me a message if you need more information. I will be glad to help you if I can.
Also some stats about Monumental Heritage course. I would rather call it National Chinese course as International course.
Student numbers for the past 2 years:
2011: Chinese (mainland) Students: 20 (or more)
Non-Chinese Asian Students: 6 ( remember 8 of them quit the course so far!)
Non-Asian students: NONE
2012: Chinese (mainland) Students: 35 (or more)
Non-Chinese Students: 4
And more stats and info about Monumental Heritage course:
Majority of students in that course doesn't have TOEFL, IELTS or Equivalent English Certificates despite the fact that according to their homepage, TOEFL, IELTS or equivalents are required to be accepted in the course.
Non of the chinese students in Monumental Heritage hold any kind of English certificate. this leads to lack of any basic social interaction and communication with you.
You should be careful about this one too since you will be the minority compared to the number of Chinese students in the course. So you want International Socializing? FORGET IT! :-))
In Monumental Heritage course you will be also provided with Arab teachers. so basically All I can say is the only German thing related to this course is its location of classes!
Dear "enlightenment" thank you for such enlightenment! I am an identified person with proper name and identity. Any one can find me in Social networks like "facebook" or professional networks like "Xing" or "Linkedin" and also in Anhalt University of Applied Sciences student database with the name "Tanzia Islam". I hope there will be no more question about who provides authentic information!
feel free to contact me ;) greetings from Dessau-city of Bauhaus!
I don't need to share my personal information, neither do I seek attention like you do on the web. I will share my personal identity whenever its needed.
What I wrote about Monumental Heritage course is more legit and clear than your full contact and personal information.
Apart from all of that, Reality shows the truth and not your full contact info famous girl ;-)
@Tanzia: ps: Nobody and nothing can stop us (Monumental Heritage Dropouts) students from sharing our experiences about a school or a specific course. This is called freedom of expression. Something that you and your businessman boss should still learn ;-)
Any updates on whether the MARCH program got recognized by the NCARB?
Hope I'm not too late. I'm very grateful for all the comment on DIA and their programs. I'm currently working on my portfolio for entries in June 2014. I had so many question but after reading through the comments above, I'm much more relaxed and a lot of my questions have been answered above. I also intent to spread my application to different other schools like Polytecnico di Milan, Tu delft, Royal Danish Academy of Art etc. Please do we have anybody applying for 2014 session. It would be good to know and it would aid in preparations.
@macchilo I'm the same as you and looking into applying for DIA in June of 2014
I also feel a little bit more confident in applying for this program after reading all the statements above. However I'm still concerned about my body of work so far and my grade point average that I have in school right now which is about a 3.2 on a 4.0 scale.
I currently go to Texas A&M and will in December graduate with a BED (pre-professional degree in architecture) with my major specifically being Environmental Design.
I do have some questions about applying requirements. It says in the website that you need to have 180 credits in your degree. Which for a USA degree is insane! You only get that many credits in your degree if you do a double major and I have been in school for 5 1/2 years so I have no clue if this will keep me from applying.
Other than the requirements I would love to see maybe a past submission to get an idea of what I'm going up against as my own portfolio needs a hell lot of work. DIA looks like an interesting school though and I'm looking abroad anyway to get a vastly different experience then my peers. I will also be applying to a couple architecture schools in Berlin and one in Potsdam.
If anyone else is looking to apply in June 2014 I would like some help or just help in general from anybody. Thanks!
Luminare, in Germany 30 ECTS (credits) is considered a normal work-load for one semester. So 180 isn't anything special. Just 3 years of course work, which is the norm for european bachelor degrees (unlike in North America where 4 years is standard).
@Luminare, with 3.2 GPA you are good to go. Though i am on a 3.42cgpa but i have a friend attending the school presently and he's on a 3.2cgpa. I would also advice that you do your best this last semester to improve on you GPA. And as for the portfolio works, we'll go through it together. I'm quiet confident that with hard work We'll get the admission. Although I'm also applying to Polytechnic Di Milan and another school in Denmark. Add me on Facebook and lets discuss more.
@macchilo my email is email@example.com Just send me a way to find you on fb and lets touch base. Great to find another on the same path :)
@IamGray Yeah it seemed like they were on a different credit scale then here in the states. If they just need a completed degree then thats cool.
Looks like you had a veeery bad experience with the Monumental Heritage program! I was accepted in the program for the winter semester 2013 and was extremely excited, but after reading your comments I started to have some doubts! I tried to contact you to ask you some questions but couldn't figure out how here in the forum! so it would be great if you can contact me on my e-mail " firstname.lastname@example.org " or via facebook ...what ever suits you!
Thanks in advance :)
@Luminare ok will do.
Macchilo and Luminare,
Am also looking forward to apply for master of architecture in Dia, it would be a great pleasure that we can discuss as we are on the same path.
Can anyone tell me when the acceptance letter for MA in DIA is sent to the candidates? If it's sent early for foreign applicants because the visa time gets short if it is delivered late sometime around August and I need to get to Dessau within September, it would be a little problematic....
@ayan, i've already got my letter because i've emailed the university asking for results. Apparently you should get your official letter through post in the next 2-3 weeks. Best of luck and let me know if you get accepted, we might be buddies then :D
Hello and first of all thanks for those who shared personal experience regarding DIA course. I got accepted few days ago at DIA, but also at some other courses i Germany but after careful consideration i think that im gonna go with DIA. For some time now i consider studying in Germany and maybe staying there for work and DIA seems good enough for me and i am looking forward to meet some of you maybe.
Now as i read that few people also applied for Politecico di Milano i have to worn them as i am a student of Polimi, i finished my BSc at Milano and i lived there for almost 5 years, even my brother is now studying BSs there. If you chose Politecico be prepared to suffer. Cost of living is enormous, singe room 450e, at dorms is 540e a month, and everything else is expensive as Milano is a big city. Living permits are extremely hard to get ( you will get it but you will suffer), so many papers, certificates, waiting period. professors are nice but they are italians and that means that they will do as they like, come not come, care dont care... so before going there consider all, and be prepared and best of luck.
Hi, I am also accepted few days ago to attend the master course at DIA. There is very limited info on DIA MA course, I would like to know more about their direction in architectural design but I couldn't find it online. I also would like to know the MA course accredited by any of the Architect's Board or Institute. Are we allowed to work while studying to earn some living expenses? Wondering where could I get those info.