A Day in the Life: Student in Landscape Architecture and Planning
If you’re interested in any of the master programmes at WUR, you are probably also wondering what your regular day as a student will look like. What time do classes start? Is there time for social lunch breaks? What time are you off and what can you do in the evenings? I will give you an insight into my typical day in period 2 (November-December) as a student in Landscape Architecture and Planning. But I’m also sure that many students from other programmes can agree that besides the topics they’re studying, their days are perhaps not that much different than mine.
7.00 AM – Wake Up
Time to wake up, perhaps after 1 or 2 snoozes.. It’s early and it’s still dark outside, but it surely offers a pretty view from my 9th floor window. I have about an hour to get ready for class – shower, dress, have breakfast, etc.
I’m ready to leave. Living on the edge of campus (Dijkgraaf) is very handy as it only takes me five minutes to bike to Forum and get to my lecture on time. Sometimes I also walk, how very un-Dutch, and have to admit that I’m one of the only one walking.
8.30 AM – Morning Course
I’m up on the 6th floor in Forum (that’s where most of your lectures take place in this programme), and ready for my morning lecture in Landscape Theory and Analysis. This is a compulsory course for both landscape architects and planners, so a decent group of about 50 students. In this course it’s all about various ways of analysing a landscape. You can check the course overview for more information. We have loads of various assignments, concerning statistics, interviews, observations and even going for walks, and all that is done in pairs, individually or in groups. It’s definitely a very diverse course and there are pits you love and pits you don’t really care for.
First break – a perfect timing for a cup of coffee from the cafe downstairs and just to stretch your legs a bit.
The lecture continues. This particular morning we are talking about photo comparison methods and what people generally like to see in a landscape – what makes it attractive or not, and is showing photos to people even a good way for carrying out scientific research?
Second break. Chatting away with classmates and time to fill up my water bottle.
In the final part of the lecture we’re given instructions for our assignment for the day after. It does seem quite exiting.. We have to get out with our group into our study area (the nature area between Ede and Wageningen), and take 10 comparable photos on the two different routes given to us. How difficult can that be? And we are given a secret assignment that we can only open in the field. Now is also the time to get together with the group and make arrangements – where and when we meet?
12.15 PM – Lunch Break
Lunch break. For the next 1h and 15min, there are so many options. Sometimes I meet up with a friend and grab a bite at one of the many food places. Most of you can definitely find something that you fancy. I also often take lunch with me or even bike home, cook lunch and arrive back just on time for my afternoon course. Today is perhaps less fun since I still have to finish a written assignment, so I’ll do that while having the lunch I packed with me.
1.30 PM – Afternoon Course
The afternoon course in the second period is a restricted optional from the choice of four courses. I chose for Climate Responsive Planning and Design. The course focuses on climate in the city – how can people be comfortable on a hot day? – and the transition towards renewable energy. So our assignment is to come up with a solution for a neighbourhood in a Dutch city that obviously needs improvements, don’t you think? The fun part is that we can think of crazy solutions without thinking of the budget or possible implementation constraints. Here it’s all about a fancy design.
In this course it’s really all about group work. We are in our studio space, and play around with our spatial model, brainstorm ideas, make visualisations and calculate how many solar panels we need for producing enough energy for the whole neighbourhood. The teachers are also present to check in on our process and helps to bring us a step further in our ideas. Of course we are also free to take breaks whenever we feel hungry or in need for a coffee.
17.15 PM – Done at Uni and I’m ready for a fun evening
Finally done. I must say that this period is quite intense, I spend on average 8h a day at the university. But it’s definitely a good preparation for the professional career ahead. And this way there’s mostly also no assignments left to be done at home, which gives me a full free evening.
First, I bike home and just relax a bit and clear my head from all the school-work. After an hour or so, I walk to the closest grocery store to prepare dinner for my boyfriend and I. After dinner, we are ready to meet friends from my AID group for Emma’s comedy night in the centre. I am super happy to have participated in the Annual Introduction Days (AID), since I definitely made good friends for the two years, and hopefully for longer!
So, that was my day in a nutshell. Busy, but definitely interesting and fun as well. Of course every period and every study programme is a little bit different, yet do expect something similar from whichever study you will follow. Studying in Wageningen is a lot of work, but it surely will pay off afterwards.
Do leave a comment below if you have any questions about my day or more specifically about the courses in Landscape Architecture and Planning!