Interested in coming to IE University in Segovia, Spain for GEXP? I hope this will help you in figuring out if this is the exchange for you. I took third year classes, Design Studio 6: The Existing, The Design Entrepreneurship Workshop, Construction Systems and Applications 3, as well as Spanish Language.
Design Studio this semester was based on reviving a historical site given by the professors to suit the needs of refugees that would be entering Spain. The site would then not only need to enhance the residential experience of the refugees but also aid in integrating them into the Spanish community.
The leap from a second year to third year in expectations is immense and so it was definitely a struggle to keep up with the class, coming up with concepts, ideas as well as drawings to supplement your explanations. But this allowed me to grow immensely as well, understanding my shortcomings and where I needed to improve.
The Design Entrepreneurship Workshop was a fun one week intense crash course that focused on the ideas of creative drawings to convey your ideas. The recording of history through different lenses and artistic expressions allows you to step outside of the box and focus on exploring different methodologies in expression. It also taught me how to break free of the barriers of technical drawings, imagining myself in the shoes of the people in the past and visualising them through sketches.
Construction Systems and Applications focused on materiality and the methodologies of construction. It is often difficult to understand the complexities of an entire structure, yet so much of it is essential underneath the façade of a beautiful building in order for it to become reality. This module taught me about the history of traditional architecture as well as how modern day architects are looking to advance architecture whilst still paying homage to the history of the sites, how they marry the old with the new.
Lastly I also undertook Spanish language classes as I wanted to fully immerse myself in the culture and learn how to communicate with the locals. Though my skills in conversations is still suspect, I am proud that I am able to read a few commonly used words and understand the gist of conversations, as well as fend for myself when trying to order food in a Spanish restaurant.
Learning new skills and experiencing new environments can be overwhelming and difficult, but I do believe that it is well worth the struggle, for it allowed me to grow as a person. I will definitely miss my time here and I look forward to coming back again in the future.