If you thought Rensselaer students only learn in Troy, N.Y., think again! Amanda Alexander is one of the students who has taken full advantage of the opportunity to study abroad.

Amanda Alexander

Amanda Alexander

The School of Architecture offers a five-month cultural-based program in Italy for students with impressive portfolios. While in Turino, Alexander collaborated with Italian students at the Polytechnic University of Turino. In an effort to learn from others, she was placed in a group of Italian architecture students and she was challenged to communicate design through hand drawing and 3-D modeling.

While studying abroad, Alexander traveled throughout Italy, Switzerland, and Great Britain. One of her favorite sites to see was the Sagrada Familia Cathedral by Gaudi located in Barcelona, Spain.

“As architecture students, we study and learn about architecture of the past, and how we can improve it for the future, but I was able to see in person historical works of architecture that I had previously only seen in textbooks,” said Alexander.

With its multicolored stain glass windows and curvature of the columns, the project that began in 1882 makes for a very unique atmosphere despite its unfinished construction.

From fishing villages in Cambodia, to new skyscrapers in London, Alexander has witnessed the ever-growing development that is occurring in every part of the world.

Amanda Alexander, an architecture major, took her tennis rackets with her when she did a study abroad term in Italy.

Amanda Alexander, an architecture major, took her tennis rackets with her when she did a study abroad term in Italy.

Not only did she learn about ancient and futuristic architecture while abroad, but she was also able to sharpen her skills on the tennis court while doing so.

“I love that tennis is an international sport, so wherever I am I can find others who love the game. I always travel with my rackets!”

Alexander’s travels abroad have enabled her to come back to Rensselaer with a renewed sense of appreciation for her studies, classmates, and tennis team. To continue her international studies and interests, she will be spending this summer in London for an architecture internship.

With her strong desire to transform environments, Alexander is confident that architecture will directly provide positive change. Her studies abroad have solidified her belief that in order to be successful in any career, one must have an international experience, which will lead to an even better understanding of how the world is evolving. With eight countries and counting, Alexander’s path to success is great!