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Magdalena Stefanowicz

Name: Magdalena Stefanoqicz
From: Poland
Master's programme: Energy-efficient and Environmental Building Design

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Why did you choose Lund University for your Master’s?

I was working as an architect in Copenhagen, and was looking for a programme in environmental design. I found the Master’s programme in Energy-efficient and Environmental Building Design and it sounded like the perfect combination for me. I liked that it had an engineering component – and that I was able to apply for the programme without having an engineering background.

What do you like best about the programme?

The best thing is that the students come from a real mix of backgrounds, both in engineering and architecture. Whenever we do a group project, there is a mix of backgrounds in the group, which really works well. I also like that how the programme is structured. We always start with a course and then follow it up with a project. When I did my architecture degree we had many courses and projects at the same time, which meant it was difficult to focus on any one thing. That’s much better here.

What is the learning environment like?

It’s generally very good. The teachers are always eager to help and answer questions. They don’t always have all the answers – but that usually leads to an interesting discussion instead. And we have a lot of free self-study time that we use to delve deeper into subjects we’re interested in.

In Poland the learning environment is very formal, and it’s the complete opposite here. Our relationship with our teachers is very natural and informal. That really helps motivate me to ask more questions. And we are all encouraged to ask questions of each other, especially in project presentations. In fact, I feel really bad if I don’t have a question to ask at the end of a presentation, which means I make more of an effort to think of questions to ask. That atmosphere helps ensure plenty of interaction when we’re doing our presentations, which is great.

If I lived closer to Lund I would like to have taken some of the many short courses on offer, for example the three-day course in 3D printing. But it’s a bit out of the way for me as I still live in Copenhagen, and all our classes are in Helsingborg.

You’re just about to graduate – what’s next?

I’ve finished my thesis and have a few job interviews lined up here in Sweden. When I’ve spoken with employers they are all very interested in the programme, which feels great. I’m interviewing with a Swedish architecture firm in Malmö, and if I get a job there I might consider moving over to Sweden. I’m excited to see where I end up!