What Marcin says about the Master’s in Sustainable Urban Design
Marcin from Poland
Why did you decide to study at Lund University?
I decided to study at Lund University because of my prior studies in Sweden. I did my Erasmus exchange at Blekinge Tekniska Högskola in Karlskrona and I loved the study system in Sweden. It offers great support to students. Teachers are there for the students, not the other way around.
When I went back to Poland, I knew I wanted to continue with my Master’s studies in Sweden. Lund was the natural choice as it is one of the biggest student towns and the second oldest university in Sweden.
What is your programme about?
The Sustainable Urban Design programme is a mix of architecture, urbanism, social studies and planning. It is about designing sustainable spaces for people in cities worldwide.
How did you like your programme and its course content? Did you have any favourite courses?
I loved the courses I took so far. I learned a lot. Even a single semester is enough to gain an enormous amount of new information. The courses helped me develop my knowledge and skills in designing and better communicate my thoughts and ideas. So far, my favourite courses are Sustainable Urban Recycling and Sustainable Urban Landscape. These courses focus on a design studio project and we work on a single design project for the whole semester.
What is studying and teaching at Lund University like – are there any differences when you compare it to your home university?
The academic environment supports students in improving their skills and professional development. During all the courses, we have our own studio where we can spend as much time as we want or need. I was really surprised when I found out that I have access to everything I need to study and create my projects on campus. If I want to buy some materials, I just go down the stairs to the wood workshop, where I can work wood as well. There, we also have the laser cutter for building models as well as painting rooms with special tools.
Our teachers and lecturers have a deep knowledge of the subject matters they teach and they share it with us every day. Some of them are professionals and practitioners working in the field, so they pass on the newest trends, issues and ideas that we can explore further. What is more, we have a lot of guest lecturers from all over the world – from Scandinavia to the USA – coming from famous architecture studios, universities or companies.
The teaching style is very different from what I have been used to in my home country. Here, I have more freedom in the learning process and in shaping the course's focus. We do not have a lot of tests or exams where we need to learn everything by rote and typically forget about it afterwards. The most important thing is that we understand what we study and that we dig into it. The teachers are like partners who get you interested in the programme. I am also a Student Advisory Board member, which means that I meet the teachers and the programme coordinators to give a feedback from us students on the courses and discuss with them what could be changed or improved. Such a high level of dialogue and openness is amazing. I feel more responsible for myself and my future here.
Will the things you’ve learned at Lund be useful to your future work/studies?
I will definitely use the knowledge and skills I acquired at Lund in my future studies and work. The amount of knowledge I learned here is priceless, especially in terms of design and presentation skills. Both of these qualities are extremely necessary in the field of urban design/architecture in Scandinavia, but also in other parts of the world.
Since I am considering working in Sweden, the input I got here is extremely helpful. We have the opportunity to get to know the Scandinavian context and, what is more, practitioners from Swedish studios.
What is the social life in Lund like? Did you feel welcome?
I felt really welcome in Lund thanks to the support from the International Office and the welcome days. They really help make you feel less lost during the first days in a new city and country.
Thanks to the guilds and study groups, the environment is really friendly and it is easy to meet new people. When the weather is nice – which is not always the case in Sweden – there are many barbecues and outdoor games where students can socialise. Apart from spending time with other students from the programme, who often become your closest friends, you can go to the nations' parties to have dinner and have fun with other LU students. A great and way cheaper alternative to typical clubs or pubs in Sweden!