Professor Wins Award for Developing Rome/Istanbul Study Abroad Program

Categories: News Tags: Architecture

The UNC Charlotte Office of Education Abroad (OEA) has awarded Associate Professor of Architecture Jeff Balmer the inaugural Curriculum Design Award for his development of the School of Architecture’s Rome/Istanbul study abroad program. The Curriculum Design Award is a new initiative from OEA that recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to promoting global engagement and enriching education abroad experiences for Niner Nation.

Balmer was chosen for this award because of his “innovation in implementing a low-cost and impactful education abroad program that fits within the rigorous curriculum followed by architecture students,” the OEA announced.

The School of Architecture program is offered annually to eligible fourth-year undergraduate architecture students for a spring semester based in Rome and Istanbul, two of the most architecturally significant cities in the world. Students begin their program in Rome for three months, immersing themselves in the culture and history of the city and traveling the region, while completing curricular assignments and projects. This semester 39 students and three faculty are in Rome.

students in Italy in front of a villa

Balmer with students this spring in the town of Caprarola, outside Rome.

At the end of the semester in Rome, students can choose to spend three weeks in Istanbul working in teams together with Turkish architecture students on a weeklong design workshop, with a focus on characteristic urbanistic and cultural topics specific to Istanbul.

students in Istanbul in front of mosque

Students from the spring 2023 program in Istanbul.

OEA will be hosting a special ceremony on April 11 to celebrate the achievements of Balmer and Jane Houston, the inaugural recipient of the International Excellence Award, where they will be formally recognized for their outstanding contributions to the campus community.

To learn more about this program and hear from students who have attended in the past, visit the study abroad program page.