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Been planning on going back to school (I'm 21, been out of school for a couple years) for architecture for a while now. Will have to start from scratch and get my undergrad, and I would like to get my masters after as well. I live in Canada (Ontario) and I am leaning toward going to Waterloo or Ryerson for my undergrad. Thinking I might like to do a semester of exchange in another country, definitely going to try to find some internships in the summers, blah blah blah. My question is if you could re-do your entire education how would you do it? Maybe go to another country for it where its cheaper or better quality of education or something? Hard to find info on this kind of stuff that isn't an advertisement so let me know, any insight you have will definitely be considered with an open mind. Thanks a lot.
Honestly, its pretty hard to beat Canada's education prices. Semester abroad is a great part of a program though, and certainly is a great line on your CV if you can get on one. Just a note - Canadian undergrad programs are notoriously competitive (much more so than in the US) simply based on the numbers, with ~11 schools across the country; Waterloo especially so.
Why start from scratch? I think a couple of the Canadian schools have M. Arch programs for students who have an undergraduate degree in a different discipline.
RyeArch Alumni here,
For me because I had a troubled undergrad experience, I would have probably wanted to do my Architecture education at UofT/Waterloo looking back. But one's experience in architecture school will vary and depend on if a school was transitioning/changing their curriculum, if you are highly favoured by the profs to get more opportunities. Clearly I was given the short end of the stick so i bring forth these issues i faced as a student.
I fell behind so for me it's about going to a grad school in a few years that will give me a clean slate. I kinda found it a mission to find work after graduation to work in a firm since I feel that a lot of Toronto leading design firms are headed by UofT & Waterloo alumni, but in a few years I'd like to think this will change.
What my newsfeed on facebook indicates by posts of students in the ryerson arch program, I'd like to think that Ryerson is now mastering their curriculum and are inching themselves out of the transition phase, but only time will tell. Waterloo & Ryerson do have intern/coop opportunities. Ryerson's a bit picky on which students should go for co-op, they select the top 15% of their class so entering their program does not mean you get a co-op opportunity just for joining their program - beware of being sold a bill of goods.
I'd say, if you have an undergrad degree already - do a M.Arch at UofT or UBC. But you're 21 and I assume that you're not completed an undergrad degree methinks.
In your position I would co-op in a civil engineering program and graduate with little or no debt and maybe even some savings. After working a few years you could come back and do a one year masters in architecture, if you are still interested. You might even be able to pick up the masters on-line while continuing your career.