Andrew from Australia
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your educational background?
"I’m Andy, 28 years old, and I previously studied Architecture in my home city of Perth, Western Australia. I came to Sweden originally in 2017 to undertake a 12-month exchange period in the Architecture programme. After falling in love with the country and a Swede, I had to return home to Australia to complete my studies. However, I decided to eventually return to Sweden to undertake a Master’s programme in Sustainable Urban Design here. After being accepted, I moved back here in July 2020. It has been the best decision of my life!"
Why did you choose Lund University and why did this particular programme appeal to you?
"A Scandinavian university was my first choice during my initial exchange programme. After enjoying it so much, being impressed with the quality of education and facilities, I decided Lund was by far the best option for me!
Sustainable Urban Design addresses what I think is one of the most pressing issues we face – improving the built environment to be better to live in for everyone, and helping build resilience in the face of climate change. It engages a lot of different interests – architecture, ecology, transit, to name a few – to work together and improve cities."
What do you think of the teaching style and the way of studying here?
"My teachers in this programme have been nothing short of fantastic. They provide a laid-back teaching method that encourages you to work to your interests, and challenge you to push yourself further and think about the design challenges in different ways. They’re approachable, friendly, welcoming, and always contactable.
The guest lecturers we receive are consistently interesting, and come from a range of backgrounds, both professional and academic. I believe this provides a diverse range of perspectives and prepares us to pursue a career that is relevant to us."
What it is like to be an international student at Lund University and how international is your programme?
"Lund is a wonderful place to be an international student. There are many opportunities for meeting new people from all kinds of different places, and there is so much to explore nearby.
Our programme is incredibly diverse. Out of a class size of 20, 17 different countries are represented. It’s an amazing way to learn about different cultures, languages and the kinds of places people come from. I’ve now got friends from every part of the world!"
What is studying in Sweden like compared to studying in other countries you studied in?
"Studying in the Architecture school is much more relaxed than Australia. This is mostly due to the absence of grades, and only having pass/fail. I believe that this relieves a lot of the pressure that we put on ourselves, and instead gives us the opportunity to explore things that we find interesting, and develop our project in potentially more interesting ways. The resources at the faculty are fantastic, and having our own permanent desk to work at is particularly great."
How do you like living in Sweden? What surprised you most about Sweden?
"I love it here. I’ve been made to feel very welcome since arriving. Swedes are incredibly accommodating with their flexibility to switch to English. The hardest part is being away from home, but being made to feel like you’re welcomed in a country is a huge help in making it easier to settle in. My favourite thing is the beautiful, long days in summer and the beautiful nature, as well as how easy it is to get around everywhere by bike. Also – the emphasis on work-life balance is remarkable. I know that a lot of countries could learn a thing or two by placing more importance on finding this balance!"
What are you planning to do after your studies?
"I’m planning on staying in the Öresund region for a number of years after finishing. Currently, I have an internship lined up in Copenhagen for next year, which I hope will pave the way for me to stay in this part of the world. I believe there are fantastic opportunities here, and with Scandinavian cities typically leading the way in terms of sustainability and high quality design, there is a fantastic chance to learn important lessons here that will last through my whole career."