Kelsey - IE University

B. Architecture
Semester 2, 2017

Academic experience

I studied the 6 compulsory 4th-year Architecture courses at IE University and I found the course set up and tutors absolutely fantastic. With 6 subjects it allows you to gain many skills in different areas over the semester. All of the tutors at IE university were incredibly highly qualified Spanish tutors and they all put so much attention and commitment to their classes. The classes are set up in a different way - instead of the traditional 2-hour lecture and then 1-hour tutorial, every class is set up as a workshop style of teaching that normally lasts 3-4.5hours per workshop. This works perfectly as the classes are quite small and allow you to have lots of one on one time asking your tutor questions and asking questions as the workshop occurs. The thing that I most enjoyed from my academic experience was having the well known Spanish Architect, Isazkun Chinchilla, as my design tutor. With her guidance, I was able to receive a mark of 10/10 for my final design project and receive the 'Matricular de Honor' which was a great way to finish off my study abroad

Personal experience

Living in the small town of Segovia in Spain meant that during my exchange I was able to meet many new international connections and make lasting friendships. The community feeling was incredible in the actual town and also within the university - with a small number of students compared to UQ, by the end of my exchange I knew so many people and felt very sad to leave all my new friends behind.

Accommodation

I lived off campus in an apartment close to the University. I did not have the opportunity to live in on-campus accommodation. The apartment was a studio in an apartment block that only houses other architecture students. This was a great living arrangement as it meant I had my own space but was also closely connected to my friends in the building.

Budget

Living in Segovia was fairly expensive as the town has a fairly high tourist rate as well as the fact that many students are happy to pay higher prices for accommodation. In Segovia the rent varied from 150 Euro per month up to over 1000 Euro per month - the international students were usually paying higher prices due to not knowing how much to expect to pay. The food in the local Carrefour was quite high, but a cheap bus trip could take you to the cheaper and larger supermarkets outside the town. Transport was fairly expensive - even though Segovia was only 1hour from Madrid, you could easily spend over 50 Euro per trip to get to and from Madrid depending on the train schedule. Eating out/drinks were very cheap though - the local bar sold beer for 1 Euro than included a whole plate of food!

Professional development and employability

Design Class with our tutor
Design Class with our tutor

Other personal skills that I gained were learning Spanish/Latin dancing which was lots of fun - I learnt how to dance Flamenco, Salsa, Bachata and other types of dances through a series of professional and friend-run classes throughout the semester. I also found that I picked up a small amount of Spanish while I was studying there which I am aiming to continue learning.

Highlight

The highlight of my exchange experience was being able to meet so many incredible people that come from all around the world. There were many exchange students at IE university which meant that I now have so many connections around the world as well as many connections from the local students from Spain. I also really enjoyed that once meeting all these people, we were able to make last-minute travel plans on the weekends and travel around Europe.

Top tips

  • My best advice would be to make sure you say yes to all the events and activities that the university holds - IE had so many events and sports clubs that were great to be apart of and helped me to meet so many more people.
Kelsey - IE University