Exchange semester in Ghent by Vera Doris Hodel
Last autumn we had the great chance to study interior architecture at the KU Leuven for one semester. Both of us were very excited and curious for the stay. We hoped that through this international experience we are challenged in our thinking, are able to sharpen our perspective on interior architecture and of course to meet new inspiring people.
Form the very first moment after we arrived in Ghent we felt very much at home in the city. The beautiful old town combined with the contemporary architecture created a great environment for us to collect international experiences. Even though the city itself felt soon familiar we had to get used to the way the university is organised. A great way to deal with that was to learn from fellow students. Through the studio class we had the opportunity to get to know many Belgian students that in the end have become great friends. They were all very welcoming and the group work at the beginning was very nice to get to know them better. Since we had the assignment to redesign our school building at the Sint-Niklaasstraat we had very interesting discussions and experienced a friction between different points of view.
That class that has probably been the most exciting and inspiring was “Interiors: This is Belgium”. We had the awesome priviledge to visit extraordinary interior architecture and architecture projects in and around Ghent. We visited spaces designed for example by 51N4E, Juliaan Lampens or Doorzon. To meet the inhabitants or even the architects was truly impressive and enriching. All in all it also lead us to visit more architectural projects in Belgium and reminded us how much we can learn from it.
Beside that it was also a lot of fun to discover the city of Ghent, its nice events, cafés and museums. More over we had a great time enjoying delicious Swiss Raclette or Belgian Stoovless with our new friends. We even tried to learn a bit of Flemish and in the end sung a song in Dutch at karaoke. But since we miss having a sea in Switzerland we also had to travel to the coast. So it was definitely a highlight for us when we jumped into the sea in the middle of January!
Danke je wel Ghent for having us and for all the amazing experiences.
Us in front of the Graslei
Us with friends having raclette
Vera during the visit of the PC Caritas project by De Vylder Vinck Tailleu
Michelle before her studio presentation
Us and the Turkish exchange students