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Architecture & Arts

Us Partner Institution Texas A & M University
Faculty German Faculty
On-Site Coordinator Mara Teresa Minkler
Level 3rd year undergraduates
Sequence Spring semester


The Visualization Semester Program invites students to create visual experiences by exploring the interplay between art and science in a studio-based learning environment at the Academy for International Education in Bonn. Students acquire artistic, scientific and technical abilities within the realm of film making, animation, gaming and interactive graphics.

The program is structured to provide a specialized skill set based on a synthesis of interdisciplinary knowledge. This includes video technology, architecture, art, illustration, politics, philosophy and culture.

Students have access to up-to-date hard- and software, such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Maya and Avid. The hardware includes professional video equipment, editing devices, light and sound tools, all of which are at students’ disposal upon request.


All courses are delivered in collaboration with the “Institute for Education and Social Innovation (IBUGI)” at Alanus University 




CARC 301: Field Studies in Design Innovation

This course focuses on coming up with innovative, visual design solutions in the context of animation, gaming and interactive graphic design. A semester-long project will focus on a specific socially relevant topic while also drawing upon the cultural, social, economic, geographical, climatic and technological factors influencing design solutions while being in an international environment. Additionally, the application of known and existing design techniques and principles to areas that are not classical fields of application are also an important aspect of the course. Hence, innovative design solutions are created locally which then can also be applied globally.

CARC 311: Field Studies in Design Communication

Students are introduced to a variety of different animation techniques, methods and tools. Special emphasis is placed on different variations of animation (e.g. realistic animation, cartooning, restricted animation, stop-motion techniques, but also VR and AR techniques), as well as on overarching techniques such as narration and storytelling.  A wide variety of outstanding European and international artwork and animations is examined and analyzed in detail to provide students with a solid understanding of the history of animation as art.  
Subject-related excursions and workshops enable students to directly apply the newly learned techniques and methods in small animation projects.    
Company visits enable students to interact with industry professionals, provide networking opportunities and help gain valuable insights into relevant fields and standard practices.   
The course complements, supplements and deepens the design and technical skills required for CARC 301 - Field Studies in Design Innovation. It requires basic knowledge of the principles of design, color theory and the drawing of two-dimensional as well as three-dimensional objects.  

CARC 331: Field Studies in Design Philosophy – German Language and Culture 

This course is intended for students who have not taken German before. The goal of the course is to provide students with the ability to speak, understand, read and write basic German, with the emphasis being placed on communicative skills in practical everyday situations. Students will speak German as much as possible in class. Students will learn the necessary basic vocabulary, common expressions and elementary grammatical structures, which will enable them to express ideas and ask  for/communicate necessary things in everyday situations.  
Special emphasis is also placed on embedding verbal exercises in authentic linguistic contexts, which are selected according to the immediate needs of the students, if possible.  
Secondly, the course addresses relevant questions, concepts and strategies from the field of intercultural communication, tailored to the specific challenges and conditions of the study abroad sojourn context. Students are introduced to fundamental strategies that help them improve their intercultural communication and cultural adaptation skills. Various exercises, simulations, independent research assignments and the study of fundamental intercultural concepts and terminology make up the contents of the related class sessions.  
The course also includes activities designed to help students gain an understanding of the geography, history and culture of Germany.   

CARC 485: Directed Studies - Videography 

In this course students go through all the steps of a successful video production. The course is split into two parts – videography and editing. A special focus is placed on the practical application of the theories and concepts learned. The video material obtained in the first part of the course is the basis for the editing and cutting techniques in the second part of the course. In this way, students learn to structure and plan their final video product with regard to intention, effect and narration from the very beginning.    

This part of the course gives an insight into the techniques of cinematography with all its creative possibilities and difficulties in dealing with all technical aspects and the social environment. Here, the focus is on the process of capturing moving images on electronic media.  Students are encouraged to train their skills in framing and lighting an image for video and to develop an eye for light, shadow, color and their influences on human emotions in composition. In this way, students gain practical experience in using the tools of cinematography, such as breaking a scene down into shots to create a logical narrative sequence and generating documentary and structured material on a specific topic.   

This part of the course provides insights into the most important different historical editing methods and film concepts, from expressive montage, the continuity concept, cinéma-vérité to single frame cinema. By gaining a basic understanding of established styles and methods, students will be given new opportunities to get the best out of the previously acquired raw material and, in addition, to find an individual approach and expression for editing their own material. Theoretical explanations with visual examples and practical demonstrations lay a foundation for working with the raw material. Rhythm, flow and composition are the focus of the work and give the student the freedom to put different styles into practice.  



Due to the Coronovirus Pandemic, AIB is implementing a special program of course-related, academic workshops, study retreats, study tours and interactions with professionals from the field of visualization that are in line with existing Corona Protection Ordinances. For more information, please contact Mara Minkler at minkler@aib-studyabroad.org



Gastfamilien & Housing


Mara Teresa Minkler