Adriana Ochoa Rodríguez, Mexico
1. Why did you decide to study the master’s programme Architecture and Environment?
This programme caught my attention because of the urban design specialisation, I liked the idea of visiting a different city each semester and being able to work while studying.
2. What are the benefits you experienced during the study, professionally and personally?
Professionally, I found a job that allows me to work with people that share my ideas on sustainable urban design, where I am involved in projects that have a real impact on the city and the environment . Personally, it helped me make changes in my lifestyle that improve my relationship with the environment, it also gave me bases to reach other people with these eco-friendly concepts
to change their lifestyles as well.
3. What makes this study programme unique?
Choosing your speciality for the final semesters, the professors have a very deep understanding and experience on their areas of knowledge and they give their best when transmitting it to us, visiting important cities of Germany and the efforts the country is doing to improve their cities, getting to know people from different countries that share your interests and ideas.
4. How do you like the study concept, self-directed study combined with on campus seminars (workshop weeks, excursions)?
This concept is very helpful when you combine work and study, it permitted me to learn at my own pace. But at the same time, it is very difficult to find time to work and to do it without any pressure from teachers. The workshops and excursions are the best part of the semesters, I enjoyed and learned a lot these weeks. Being able to work directly with the teachers is great. Also looking at the theory you learned coming to life, and seeing how people use it and live it, how it really works is the best way to learn. They were very demanding and intense, but the experiences you get are worth the effort.
5. How do you deal with the exchange and cooperation with your study colleagues and lecturers?
The cooperation with my colleagues was hard. It is difficult to work with people living in different time zones and different work schedules, specially for design assignments. I am very used to working in teams but in a normal situation we can talk directly and sketch together, these is very important for me in the design process and was something we could not do in long distance calls. It was the biggest challenge in my case. In the theoretic parts of our assignments cooperation was a lot easier.
With the lecturers it was also difficult, specially in the first semesters. We had two or three meetings during the semester and I felt I was on my own when doing the projects. I would have liked to have more meetings, not only to talk about the assignments, but also to discuss theory or
examples of what we were studying. Maybe it would have also been helpful to have shirt assignments, reading some chapters of the books we received and discussing them together or searching a certain topic on line and talking about it together, these sort of things would have improved the results of our projects. In my opinion, the last semester worked a lot better because we had more meetings and closer contact with the lecturers.