Join us in celebrating Directed Studies Abroad (DSA) for Giving Tuesday — November 30

November 5, 2021

The Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism has a rich reputation for design excellence, unrestrained experimentation, and strong studio culture. The Directed Studies Abroad (DSA) program has been an essential component of a student’s education at the school for decades. It is among the strongest memories alumni have of their educational experience.


Previous DSA trips have included Bolivia, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, France, and Zambia, to name a few.


We want to eliminate barriers for students in financial need who otherwise might not have the opportunity to take part in this incredible program. 


Giving TuesdayNovember 30 – is an opportunity to bring our community together to help achieve this goal. Gifts made through Future Funder on Giving Tuesday will be matched dollar-for-dollar on a first-come, first-served basis. All donations will receive a charitable tax receipt.

By offering unique opportunities to supplement their studio experience with travel to diverse destinations around the world, students will have the opportunity to be exposed to different geopolitical contexts, tackle real-world issues, and develop cultural awareness.


On November 30, please visit Future Funder to make a gift. Together, we will nurture innovative thinkers, passionate problem-solvers, and truly global citizens.


During the winter term, faculty members and students travel to places around the world. The two to six-week itineraries span multiple cities, where students observe and engage in urban situations outside of Canada, engage with local communities, and visit the offices of internationally renowned architects, and document specific sites that serve as the context for their design project during the semester.

For example, Associate Professor Mariana Esponda took 17 undergraduate students to Mexico in 2019 to study the risks posed to heritage buildings in seismic zones.


The students documented two modern structures on the main campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They also received hands-on restoration experience at the Ruta de los Conventos in Morelos and Puebla, a world heritage site with 16th-century monasteries.

As a result, the students gained skills in documenting structures affected by earthquakes and learned about historical construction techniques, building materials, and evaluation of heritage attributes. They also learned about challenges protecting world heritage sites and the practice and principles that guide the conservation of heritage buildings at risk.


The students recorded their adventures in a booklet

Plans are underway to resume travel within the Canadian North during the Winter Term 2022.


The Architecture Directed Studies Abroad Award was originally endowed in 2006 by the class of 1986 in honour of their 20th reunion.


Donor support will ensure even more beyond-the-classroom learning opportunities are available to students, particularly those requiring financial assistance.