Student Travel Funding

Adorina Beit-Tchoutcheca in Chicago

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, students who may not otherwise be able to afford class-related field trips or other school-related travel opportunities now have the possibility to apply for funding assistance through the Architecture Department.

In AY 2021-22, funds may be used to:

  • aid students at all year levels in overcoming financial barriers that would otherwise preclude their participation in class field trips or off-campus experiences;
  • support individual students or student teams needing financial assistance who would not otherwise be able to participate fully in travel opportunities such as competitions, conferences, or project sites.
  • Summer 2022 applications will be considered after all current academic year funding requests have been satisfied.

How to Apply

Faculty or trip leaders are required to submit a COMPLETE funding application packet on behalf of the student(s). The application must include the purpose of the student travel opportunity, the list of students seeking funding, and each student’s individual statement of need as outlined below.


Completed application packets INCLUDING FACULTY FORMS and STUDENT TRAVEL REQUESTS are due from Faculty Trip Leaders:

  • For Winter 2022 trips (now through 2/14/22), completed packets will be evaluated on an on-going basis. Approvals will be granted within 5 business days from the time when the complete packet is received.
  • For mid-Winter and Spring 2022 trips (from 2/14/22 to end of Spring quarter), completed packets are DUE by MONDAY, 2/14/22 at 1 PM PT. Reviews will be completed and notifications sent by FRIDAY, 2/25/22. Applications after this date will be evaluated on a first-come/first-served basis until all funds have been expended.

Note: Students do not need to be on financial aid to apply for this support; however, there must be a genuine need for financial assistance that would prevent travel participation. Funding is limited to pre-approved university travel.



    To apply, the INSTRUCTOR (or trip leader) must:

    Prepare the funding application packet which includes an itinerary, student travel budget (estimated expenses), a brief description of the destination including lodging and travel arrangements, and the statement from the students self-nominated for funding. The application must also include a PDF of the Concur travel request or, if there are no faculty reimbursements, a Travel 1a. If greater than 1/3 of the students in a class require financial assistance to participate in travel, the proposed trip is too expensive and a lower cost trip alternative should be sought. 

    As part of the application, EACH STUDENT must also:

    Write a brief statement describing any special and compelling circumstances justifying the funding request and the dollar amount of assistance sought.  There are many applications each quarter, so consider asking only for the amount you really need to participate in the trip.  Turn your statement in to your instructor or trip leader. Faculty or trip leaders will submit all requests in one packet at the same time to the department; late add-on requests may not be considered.  Incomplete packets will be returned to the instructor.

    Submitting the Completed Application:

    To be complete, applications must include the (1) instructor/trip leader's funding application packet plus (2) student funding request statements for all students listed on the cover sheet. The packet should be emailed to (w/cc to

    How Funds Are Paid

    Student travel will be paid by the Architecture Department in one or more of the following ways:

    • (preferred method) as an award credited to the Student Account for approved travel expenses (if there is a zero balance on the Cal Poly student account, the student will receive a check mailed to the permanent home address or via direct deposit, if set up in advance);
    • as direct payment in advance by the Architecture Department (paid directly to a travel agent, hotel, or vendor on the student's behalf); or,
    • as a reimbursement after travel is completed for approved travel expenses paid by (or on behalf of) the student.


    Images and quotes from past student travelers


    Caleb Couch in Japan“In Tokyo, our class was able to see many buildings designed by Tadao Ando, Herzog and de Meuron, Kenzo Tange and other renown architects. In Kyoto, we were able to experience many of the temples and gardens. While these buildings helped inspire my design process, I also found that experiencing other cultures is just as important to maintain a global thinking.” Caleb Couch




    “It was because of your generosity that I was able to travel with my studio and take part in an unforgettable experience. We made our time worth it and were able to grasp a wide spectrum of research and experiences. From visiting the 911 Memorial to the Highline and then being able to visit Harvard, Yale, and MIT we as a studio were able to create many opportunities for the future as well as become a very connected unit; a second family.” Seth Good


    “My whole life I have always wanted to visit Japan to experience the culture and architecture. The experience was absolutely life changing and amazing. With my husband becoming a pilot for the Marine Corps, we now know that we want to try and be stationed in Japan in the future. Being my first time out of the country, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.” Makai Johnson



    “With your assistance, I was able to attend my studio’s field trip to Seattle, where I explored an unfamiliar urban landscape and learned more than I thought I would. The chance to travel and absorb different atmospheres is the ultimate gift.” Feng Chun Lin


    Lucas Melo in Chicago

    “Without your help I would not be able to go to Chicago and I would miss this incredible opportunity to see the city and its architecture, also visiting all the architecture firms really helped me see what I want to do in the future in my professional career." 
    Lucas Melo




    “Over our ten-day trip, we had the opportunity to see and experience so many wonderful buildings and projects that we have only seen in images or heard about in the lecture halls. It was immensely inspiring to actually be able to stand within the realm of Exeter Library, explore MIT's Design Labs, and immerse the spectacular Yale Rare Books Library. These, as well as so many others, were experiences I may never be able to have again. These experiences have already influenced my thesis projects; and furthermore, the memories within these places will continue to remind me why I aspire to become a professional architect.” Tara Rajan


    Treya Yano in Chicago

    “Without your help, I would not have been able to go to the great city of Chicago! My experience there was something that I will cherish for lifetime. It not only brought me closer to my peers, but it gave me a perspective that is that is forever changed and that much more valuable. Chicago does not only have so much rich history to learn from but it also has so many new and inspiring ideas bursting out of every street and corner!” Treya Yano





    “This trip was not only an educational one, but also a great bonding experience as well. I am a third year student who transferred to Cal Poly Fall quarter of 2014. A big part of studio culture is based on relationships which most students have been forming since freshman year, and transfers are often considered “new kids.” This trip served as a great bonding experience with my studio mates, as well as my professor. I feel so much closer to everyone and have formed friendships which will continue to strengthen and enrich my educational career at Cal Poly.” Ramon Robles


    Vana Kiork in Chicago

    “Being able to travel to Chicago with my class was a fun and insightful trip! Now that I am back at school and studying about the buildings that I was able to experience firsthand, I understand how important of a trip this was to my future education. I was given an opportunity to walk through many well-known firms and meet passionate architects that I now reflect on when I envision my future. Walking through the world’s first skyscrapers is truly a moment that and architecture student cannot forget, I thank you again and hope to give back to those in need when I reach my future goal.” Vana Kiork



    “With graduation soon approaching, it really meant a lot to me to get the exposure to both cities and participate in our scheduled firm visits, museums, and architectural site-visiting that has greatly benefited me in the development of my final thesis research and in my employment plans post-graduation as well. Traveling with my studio and professor, Tom Di Santo, has provided me an invaluable insight and understanding of the unique architecture, history, and culture manifested in NYC and Seattle, two cities I admire greatly for their architectural endeavors.” Diana Rodriguez


    Megan Hanck in Seattle

    “This educational travel experience informed me of what software programs the majority of medium to larger architectural firms require and I was given advice on what we should focus on now during school in order to succeed later during our careers in the real world. I will absolutely take this experience with me for the rest of my life and I cannot thank you enough for affording me this wonderful experience.” Megan Hanck





    “Because of this trip, my understanding of the American Southeast has become stronger, and I gained a lot of exposure to different vernacular ways of making architecture. Travel is in inherently educational experience, and I am so glad that I was able to travel with my peers and professor this year.” Nick Schwaller





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