Master of Architecture, 5th year
Master of Architecture, 5th year

Academic experiences

I studied a Masters of architecture package specialising in heritage and restoration.
This includes courses to do with understanding the methods and technology behind the conservation of buildings, and working on a major design project from context to details.

Side courses included seminars for history and design of the region and studying the evolution of modern architecture in relation to the European context.

Delft - Old town gate

Personal experiences

I made many new friends, some living locally but also many international students from different countries, both English and non-English speaking.

Travelling to other countries within Europe alone as well as with these new friends has enriched my understanding of the different European cultures, history, art and, of course, architecture ranging from the ancient to the newly built.

An awareness of how people from the other side of the world live their day-to-day life, what they enjoy doing, and how they approach design projects has also been a valuable experience for me.

Kinderdijk - Pretending to be windmills

Accommodation

I lived off-campus in an apartment arranged by DUWO (student accommodation association).
I loved riding my bicycle to and from the campus.
I would advise to live closer to the university campus though, as doing a trip back and forth every day can become very time-consuming.

It may also be cheaper to find housing on your own without relying on DUWO.
Depending on personal preference, there are options to live in your own apartment, but it is also nice to live with other people "so that life isn't so lonely".

Amsterdam- 'a' of 'iamsterdam'

Budget

Rent was not too expensive - typical of student accommodation.
Price of food and groceries were similar to those of Australia - but obviously products are slightly different!

Transport almost always involves a bike - many choose the buying and selling option - prices ranging from 80 to 110 euros.
I chose to hire mine and it was 100 euros for 5 months (including all repairs).
Budget around 10, 000-12,000 for the semester - this should allow you to travel to quite a few places outside of the Netherlands as well.

Dordrecht - bridge and canal

Academic development and employability

In terms of my studies, the exchange has made a big difference.
Australia has fewer heritage buildings compared with Europe.
Studying in the Netherlands allowed me to see a huge range of buildings, but more importantly, having tutors who work in countries dealing with old buildings needing redevelopment has given me a deeper insight into what is happening in the field of restoration architecture.
Seeing their perspective on projects has inspired the way I think and has stressed to me the importance of context and designing for the future.

Den Haag (The Hague) - Volleyball on the beach

Highlight

Seeing all the buildings that I have previously only been studying in text books in real life!
It was amazing seeing them at full scale and in their respective locations.

Top tips

Save some time and money for travelling to other countries.
Don't waste a single minute of free time!

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