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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.
Explore facets of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in the historic city of San Miguel de Allende through this faculty-led studio course, which includes cultural activities and field study components.  In addition to several day trips within the San Miguel area, the itinerary includes overnight excursions to Guanajuato and Mexico City.   


San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Mexico has the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Americas - a total of 33 - several of which are in proximity to the program's hub.  San Miguel de Allende is a city located in the far eastern state of Guanajuato, and boasts a thriving historical center.  This program features excursions to Guanajuato and Mexico City, with day trips in the San Miguel de Allende area, as well as to Tula and the pyramids of Teotihuacan.  

Classes will be held at "Los Arcos," the Cal Poly Study Center in San Miguel de Allende. 



The academic focus of this program is Architecture, which will be approached through a combination of studio coursework and field visits.  Students have unlimited studio access, and their work will be celebrated in a display at the end of the course.  This program is an excellent opportunity to develop a broader understanding of global issues, and to meet international artists and professionals.  All classes are taught in English; however, students will have several informal opportunities to improve their Spanish language skills.  
You will earn Cal Poly credit on this program (12 credits). 
- LA-483 Special Studies in Landscape Architecture (5)
- ARCH-445 Urban Design in Architecture (3)
- ARCH-470 Selected Advanced Topics (4)

Meet the Faculty Leader

Barry Williams
Barry Williams

Barry Williams has traveled extensively throughout Mexico, primarily with his family.  On several occasions, he has visited and stayed in San Miguel de Allende.  In September 2015, he visited the location in conjunction with other Cal Poly Architecture faculty who collaborated in setting up two workshops: urban spatial analysis and digital fabrication.  In fall 2016, he led the first quarter-long program in San Miguel de Allende with a group of Cal Poly students.  As an undergraduate student, he spent a year abroad in Spain.  He has conversational-level Spanish language skills, and experience living in Spanish speaking countries. Contact him at



This program is open to upper-division Architecture (ARCH) students, upper-division City and Regional Planning (CRP) students, and upper-division Landscape Architecture (LA) students. 

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 Faculty Leaders
- Completion of course pre-requisite: ENGL-134

Minimum Enrollment 

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

Program Details

Students will be housed in dormitory-style low-rise student apartments in a residential neighborhood within walking distance of the classroom and studio facilities.  The housing complex is gated, and staffed by a security guard 24/7.  There is a resident caretaker on the property.  Students have many local options for meals, and there are several affordable local eateries within one block of Los Arcos.  


Fall 2017 (10 weeks) 
Sept 11
Program Starts
Arrive in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Orientation at Los Arcos (Cal Poly Study Center) 
Sept 12-15
Week 1
Cal Poly classes at Los Arcos 
Friday, Sept 15: Dia de la Independencia
Sept 16-17
Weekend ~ free time in San Miguel de Allende
Sept 18-22
Week 2 
Cal Poly classes at Los Arcos
Day Trip 1 - Charco del Ingenio Botanical Gardens (Friday) 
Sept 23-24 
Weekend ~ free time in San Miguel de Allende
Sept 25-29
Week 3 
Cal Poly classes at Los Arcos
Day Trip 2 - Sanctuary of Atotonilco (Friday) 
Sept 30 - Oct 1
Weekend ~ free time in San Miguel de Allende
Oct 2-6
Week 4 
Cal Poly classes at Los Arcos
Day Trip 3: La Fabrica La Aurora 
Oct 7-8
Weekend ~ free time in San Miguel de Allende
Oct 9-12
Week 5
Cal Poly classes at Los Arcos 
Oct 13-16 
Excursion 1: Guanajuato 
Enjoy the Festival Internacional Cervantino 
Oct 17-20
Week 6
Cal Poly classes at Los Arcos 
Oct 21-22
Weekend ~ free time in San Miguel de Allende
Oct 23-27 
Week 7 
Cal Poly classes at Los Arcos 
Oct 28-29
Weekend ~ free time in San Miguel de Allende 
Oct 30 - Nov 3
Week 8 
Cal Poly classes at Los Arcos 
Nov 4-5 
Weekend ~ free time in San Miguel de Allende
Nov 6-10 
Week 9 
Cal Poly classes at Los Arcos 
Final Displays / Show / Party (Friday) 
Nov 11
Clean up / Prepare to depart from Los Arcos 
Nov 12-17
Week 10
Excursion 2: Mexico City 
Visit the Toltec Ruins in Tula
Day trip to the pyramids of Teotihuacan
Explore museums and historical sites in Mexico City 
Nov 18 
Program Ends ~ Depart Mexico City for the U.S. 

Excursions to sites of historical and cultural interest, as well as field visits to historical sites in and around San Miguel de Allende, are incorporated into the curriculum of this program. 



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