Going on exchange is an amazing, life changing experience, forcing you to become independent and self-reliant. It makes you humble, open and curious.
Above are lines, that you have probably heard variations of, via the veterans and current goers of studying abroad. Yes they are true, but, the approach and your own personal mindset are great factors in this.
Meeting and learning from so many different and interesting people and places is a real gift, but to create a true connection and sense of understanding can also be a challenge and test of self. To be open, selfless and take the initiative.
Pep talk over. Now on to Denmark and Architecture! Reading over the previous blog posts about Aarhus I felt as if I would want to add my chip in the wood, it would be more about the specific. Hint, hint- architecture. Being passionate about architecture, means that doesn’t end an ocean away, basically. This means a lot of time and brain space may be dedicated to studying architecture at the school. This school being Arkitektskolen Aarhus.
The main lessons I’ve learnt from this school is about experiencing and learning. Our unit had the amazing opportunity of traveling to Japan, yes the world seems considerably smaller after travelling back and thro. Other units had the opportunity go to Spain or stay in Aarhus to study a local site. Unlike UTS Architecture, we were able to experience so many precedents first hand, and after being used to reading and “viewing” architecture filtered through the interweb, it is incredibly refreshing. To be so closely connected to different cities and countries for me is definitely one of the main highlights of exchange in Europe. This openness to experiences is also adapted into the people who live here, finding that unlike Sydney, people in Aarhus are more willing to be active and “do stuff”.
The studio here also encourages people to stay from 9am-3pm, replicating the standard working hours. Meaning that everybody is actively working around you 5 days a week and few students having a casual job on the side. Eliminating the always awkward group meeting scheduling and strategic navigation around work schedules. Arkitektskolen Aarhus is also famous for their amazing workshop and access to robots, cnc routers, band saws and any useful/dangerous equipment you can think of. Definitely encouraging people to be more physical in their approach to architecture. The approach here is also more honest and straightforward to the digital and conceptual approach at UTS.
The abundance of architect students in Aarhus (or Denmark in general) means that you are exposed to the broadness and scape of practicing architecture. “I study architecture” no longer summaries what you do, instead you will be asked “but what are you interested in (architecture)?” good question!
Arkitektskolen Aarhus and Denmark is definitely a refreshing and eye-opener for me. But experiences are key. Break through that filter of the interweb and just do it!
But of course… answers and encouragements are always helpful. So feel free to shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂