Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type:: Cal Poly Global Program Minimum GPA:: 2.5
Language of Instruction:: English Areas of Study:: Architecture
Program Description:


Cal Poly Global Programs offer Cal Poly courses taught by Cal Poly faculty. 

Spend the Fall quarter living and traveling in Japan, studying Architecture and Urbanism in the exciting metropolis of Tokyo! 



Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's unique historical buildings and thriving contemporary architecture culture make it an ideal site for this Cal Poly Global Program.  This program is based in Tokyo, and also includes two one-week excursions to other locations in Japan to illustrate various aspects of architecture and urban design in Japan.



Students take three Architecture courses, including two major requirements and one professional elective.
You will earn Cal Poly credit on this program.  All courses are taught in English. 

Courses (12 credits)
- ARCH 420 Seminar in Architectural History, Theory, and Criticism (4)
- ARCH 445 Urban Design in Architecture (3)
- ARCH 451 Architectural Design 4.3 (5)

Meet the Faculty Leader
Olsen headshotClare Olsen ( is an assistant professor of architecture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. A dedicated educator, Olsen has also taught at Tulane University, Cornell University, and Syracuse University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Brown University and a Masters of Architecture with distinction from the University of California Los Angeles. She is a licensed architect and has pursued installation and furniture design projects through her practice, C.O.CO. Her installations, PROJECTions and Reflection, are installed on the Syracuse University and Cal Poly campuses. Olsen’s recent research has focused on interdisciplinarity, technological limits, materials and design pedagogy. Her book, Collaborations in Architecture and Engineering, co-authored with engineer Sinead Mac Namara (Routledge, 2014) has received international acclaim.


This program is open to 4th year students in Architecture. 

NOTE: Only students who have been pre-approved by Architecture faculty may apply to this program. 

- Minimum 2.5 GPA
- Not actively on academic probation
- Good disciplinary standing
- Approval from the Architecture department and the Faculty Leader

Minimum Enrollment
18 students

Maximum Enrollment
22 students

How to Apply
First, attend an Architecture Away 101 Workshop and complete the Architecture Away Advising Module.  
If selected for participation in this program, you will be prompted to complete the online Cal Poly Abroad Application in March 2017.  

Program Details

Housing & Meals
Students will be housed in single rooms in student residences, and will have shared kitchen facilities.  Aside from some group meals (including a Welcome Dinner, some meals during the Excursions, and a Farewell Dinner), students will be responsible for their own daily meals.  Students can prepare meals in the shared kitchen facilities in their residences, or eat out at local restaurants or eateries.  Tokyo has abundant options for experiencing local and international cuisine.  Student residences are located in the Shibuya area of Tokyo, and are a short metro ride away from the classroom facilities.  

Fall 2017   
Sept 19 Arrive in Tokyo.  Program Starts. Transportation from airport and check in to student accommodations.  
Sept 20 ISA Orientation & city walking tour 
Welcome Dinner
Sept 21-22  Cal Poly classes in Tokyo (week 1) 
Faculty-led Ginza District walking tour
Sept 23
Saturday ~ free time 
Sept 24-30 Excursion 1 (week 3)
Sunday: Naoshima.  Hotel check-in and time to explore the island.  
Monday: Day trip to Teshima, with visits to Yokoo House and Art Museum.
Tuesday: Naoshima.  Stay at the Benesse House.  
Wednesday: Travel to Takayama.  Visit Takayama Ryokan.  
Thursday: Visit heritage houses.  Continue on to Ainokura.
Friday: Travel to Kanazawa.  Visit the 21st Century Museum and Kenrokuen. 
Saturday: Return to Tokyo via train 
Oct 1
Sunday ~ free time
Oct 2-6  Cal Poly classes in Tokyo (week 4) 
Faculty-led field trip to Omotesando (Thursday)
Oct 7-8
Weekend ~ free time
Oct 9-13 Cal Poly classes in Tokyo (week 5) 
Health Day / sports activities (Monday)
Oct 14-15  Weekend ~ free time 
Oct 16-20 Cal Poly classes in Tokyo (week 6) 
Faculty-led field trip to Atelier Bow Wow (Thursday) 
Oct 21-22
Weekend ~ free time
Oct 23-27 Cal Poly classes in Tokyo (week 7) 
Faculty-led field trip to Junya Ishigami (Thursday)
Oct 28-29
Weekend ~ free time 
Oct 30-Nov 3 Cal Poly classes in Tokyo (week 8)
Faculty-led field trip to Yokohama (Thursday)
Nov 4-5
Weekend ~ free time 
Nov 6-12 Excursion 2 (week 9)
Monday: Travel to Miyajima via train.  Visit to Itsukushima Shrine.  
Tuesday: Travel to Himeji to visit Himeji Castle.  Continue on to Kyoto. 
Wednesday: Visit Ryoanji Temple and Daitokuji in Kyoto. 
Thursday: Visit Nanzenji, Philosopher's Path, and Kyoto Univ. of Art & Design. 
Friday: Day trip to Osaka.  Visit Sayamike Museum and Dotombori. 
Saturday: Day trip to Nara to visit Kofukuji, Todai-ji, and Nara Deer Park.  
Sunday: Visit Church of Light.  Return to Tokyo via train.  
Nov 13-17
Cal Poly classes in Tokyo (week 10) 
Nov 18-19
Weekend ~ free time
Nov 20-24  Thanksgiving week ~ no class (week 11) 
Nov 25-26
Weekend ~ free time 
Nov 27-Dec 1 Cal Poly classes in Tokyo
Finals (Thursday & Friday) 
Farewell Dinner (Friday) 
Dec 2 
Program ends ~ airport transfers ~ depart for the U.S. 

This program will include two week-long excursions to other parts of Japan outside of Tokyo. 


Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall Quarter 2018 03/10/2018 03/30/2018 TBA TBA