Coming from the United States, undergraduate courses (bachelor level) are separate from graduate level course (master’s level). Usually the only people who are able to take graduate level courses are people who are at the senior level in their studies. Part of me assumed my class would be made up of only those who were admitted into my program. Not only that, but people in one program stay with people in that program, with little crossover.
Sitting down for the first time with the people in my class, I learned otherwise. The people admitted into the program, are what is considered the “core” people that would continue through the entire program. However, joining us would also be architecture students who were on the 5 year track that would lead them to a master’s of architecture, 2-year architecture master student track people, and exchange students, who were still in their bachelor’s program.
Between having over 20 different nationalities, different backgrounds that extend beyond just architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning we were quite a diverse group of people. Not going to lie, there were definitely times when it was very obvious what someone’s background is. Yes, it was also a challenge from time to time when working groups with people that come from a completely different perspective, but I also consider myself very fortunate for the opportunity.
Every class is going to be different, yet I can say with certainty that even the exchange students that were only at Lund University for one semester are going to be missed, not just by me but by my other classmates. We were very lucky to have a class where everyone was open and helpful. Obviously, with a class of 47 people, you are closer with some people than others, but there were no cliques. People weren’t excluded if we were going out on the weekends, or after class. It truly helped shaped the learning environment.
This was especially true when it came to various skills, such as computer skills in programs like Autocad, Revit, InDesign, etc and background knowledge in particular areas. It was never an issue to just ask someone how to do something. There wasn’t an atmosphere of competitiveness. It was more of do the best you can. Of course there are times when everyone says “Aww – I wish I had thought of that.” or “I wish my project was more like such and such’s project.” But that is about where it stops.