Incoming Experiences - Alex N.

Name: Alex N.
Program: Interior Design Bachelors Degree
Cities Visited: Barcelona, Toulouse & Paris
Duration: 3 Weeks

What was a typical school day was like?
One of the great things about the trip was that each day was so different than the last. The variety of outings, guest lectures, and lab work made the trip continuously new and exciting from start to finish.

What did you do to have fun?
I spent much of my free time visiting museums, taking photos, and sketching the sights I saw throughout my trip. I made sure to visit other French and Spanish cities during my free time as well - the two highlights being Montserrat and Carcassonne.

Why would you recommend summer field school to others?
Summer field school provides an incredible learning experience that you cannot necessarily acquire here on campus. I learned an incredible amount, not only in the classroom, but during outings and free time as well. The "group learning” process you go through with the other students on the trip is fantastic. The relationships I developed were certainly a highlight too. As a design student, I gained valuable experience and knowledge through working with individuals in different fields. This gave me an opportunity to think critically about my approach and the approach of others and I feel that we all certainly influenced each other in that aspect. A great feature of this style of learning is that you are being educated even when you don’t know it. The free time and exploration time provided adventure and excitement, while also giving me the opportunity to learn more about myself. I came back from this trip inspired and excited to apply what I learned in the following semester.

What is your favourite memory or story involving your summer field school?
My favourite memory was exploring Barcelona with a close friend I made on the trip. On a particular day, we ended up completely lost in the city. When trying to find our bearings, we came across a beautiful stationary shop where I bought my pocket sized travel sketchbook which I used frequently each day throughout the rest of the trip. Afterwards, we found a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that didn’t look like much at first glance - in fact, it only had three tables - but ended up being our best meal on the entire trip. For me, this experience definitely re-enforced the statement “don’t judge a book by its cover."

What one tip would you give to students preparing for summer field school?
Step out of your comfort zone. Do things you wouldn’t normally do. Be a sponge and take it all in - any opportunity for new experience is an opportunity that should be taken.