By Brad Goetz
Colorado State University’s landscape architecture program launched its first education abroad program on May 17, 1995, when a group of 10 Colorado State students and 2 faculty members set their sights on England – students Wendi Birchler, Jim Birdsall, Marcie Harris, David Kasprzak, Monique Morissette, Mitch Petty, Kristen Powell, Andrew Richardson, Ken Rybkiewicz, Darcie White, and faculty Larry Frank and Brad Goetz charted the course (LAND 455).
The inaugural group spent time in England, France, Switzerland, Monaco and Italy visiting designed and vernacular landscapes and interacting with local cultures. After a month of 16 hour [on-site] days, the students returned home to reflect on the experience. Students may recall crossing the choppy English Channel, or camping in wet, nearly freezing conditions, on the slopes of Grindelwald. They might remember spending the night in a small park outside of Florence (after heavy rain and a flat tire). Or maybe they miss the two, sometimes three, hour detours as we tried to find places for the first time – with paper maps. One thing is certain, they reminisce with fondness about visits to Venice, Gamberaia, Bomarzo, Villa Lante, Rome, Versailles, Vaux le Vicomte, Paris, Mt. St. Michel, and Stonehenge, among many other places.
The landscape architecture program has been recognized numerous times for contributions to international academic opportunities. LAND 455 is now the longest continuously running education abroad short course at CSU – nearly 350 students have participated over the years.
During the summer of 2017, 16 students will embark on the 23rd year of Landscape Architecture Study Abroad, beginning the tour at an Italian villa in Arezzo with a home-cooked Italian meal and the company of the villa owners.