Over Spring Break, March 13-17, Fairmont State University Architecture students traveled to England as a part of the Architecture Study + Travel course, which provided students the opportunity to explore one of the world’s great architectural cities – London – and explore one of the world’s oldest historic sites – Stonehenge.
Undergraduate and graduate students in the course spent the first half of the semester studying the art, architecture and history that have influenced London and the surrounding region. During the trip, students were able to apply this information to navigate the city, attend lectures and visit key architectural sites.
“The study abroad opportunity immerses students in a unique cultural experience and exposes them to a variety of factors that inform their understanding of the contribution of architecture to society,” said Philip Freeman, Associate Professor of Architecture, who helped teach and chaperone.
A highlight of the trip for both Freeman and the students was a visit to the office of Foster + Partners architects, the largest architecture firm in Europe. Students were able to discuss with the architects the similarities and differences between practicing architecture in the U.S. and in the U.K, the design process of influential architecture and how a firm that large operates.
While in London, students visited famous works of architecture, including Westminster Abbey, Tate Modern Museum and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The group also spent a day in Salisbury and Stonehenge, where they were given the rare opportunity to privately tour England’s tallest spire at the Salisbury Cathedral and roam around Stonehenge at sunset.
“It was really interesting to experience someone else’s culture, and not only their culture but their architecture and how they interact with the space,” Brandon Roach, a sophomore in the Architecture program, said about the experience on the trip. “I think you need a really open mind to travel, but you should definitely take the opportunity while you’re in school when it’s not that expensive, and you’ll be going with people who know what they’re talking about and what they’re doing. It’s not something I’d have been able to do on my own because I wouldn’t have been able to see or experience nearly as much as I did.”