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The CIAO! Experience

ciao! Is a unique architectural immersion program offered by the international Center for Sustainable Urbanism, an education non-profit established in 2012.  Unlike other summer architecture programs offered in the States this program is international in approach.  The focus here is on sustainable and intelligent urban architecture and planning.  Rome makes a perfect living laboratory as it has survived several millenia.

The ciao! faculty are Harvard educated and have practiced for more than 30 years including international practice and education.  This faculty finds the proper balance between theory and practice, applying what is learned through immersion in the built environment to design projects that are actually reviewed by the Mayor and local citizens around Sant’Angelo in Pontano where our studio is based.  We have had many highly successful seasons with this unique program.  This year promises to be even better!  For more information on our program download our brochure.

Our 2012 alumni were  accepted to top architecture schools.  One was even given a $30,000 scholarship!  Ethan was accepted early admission to Syracuse, ranked in the top ten in the country for undergraduate architecture programs.  Here is what he said about his ciao!  experience:  The ciao! program was an amazing, once in a lifetime, opportunity.  I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to attend this program.  We delved into Roman architecture, exploring the ancient ruins of the Forum to the modern style of the MAXXI museum.  This intensive program taught us a wide variety of concepts.  Every day was a new experience, going to a different district of Rome, learning new concepts of design or unlocking new techniques in Google SketchUp.  I will never forget everything I learned and experienced in this program. (read more)

By 2013 the student body representation expanded abroad.  Our Scottish student, Silje, was one of our strongest students.  Her views on ciao! are expressed here:

The Centre for Introduction to Architecture Overseas (ciao!) combined two of my favourite things:  architecture and travel.  There is nowhere better to learn about architecture and the skills it takes to become an architect than in one of the most architecturally interesting cities in the world.  CIAO! utilized our surroundings in Rome and taught us how to incorporate that into our design project. (read more)

Silje and Ethan have both returned to ciao! as Teaching Assistants in the studio

Parents, too, have sent me their feedback.  From email:

He got accepted to every school he’s applied!  That is amazing. It was such a great experience for Brendan and I’m so glad [he] was able to participate.  It was an invaluable experience for him in so many ways.  -Debra

Thanks for your dedication.  It was truly an amazing experience for them! -Mary

Thank you for the opportunity of a lifetime. -Eric

 Thank you for taking such wonderful care of [my son] and for providing him with such an amazing experience.  He thoroughly enjoyed every part of it. -Aileen

To full length testimonials:  Robert wrote (read more)

Alums of ciao! have been accepted into the top architecture schools in America and abroad.  For example, the class of 2014 sent a ciao! alum to Yale.

CIAO! 2015 alum, Elvis, was tapped for Forbes 30 under 30 in Social Entrepreneurship for his non-profit startup to battle air pollution.  He was even featured on the cover of Forbes magazine!