Honestly, I wasn't that excited about the idea of staying in a city as small as Segovia, Spain, for four months, but I went with an open mind. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised, and I have been able to experience a side of Spain that many people probably never will.
IE University was founded in 1997. The one thing I realised straight away was that the class sizes here are much smaller than we're used to in Hong Kong. The teachers pay attention to every student in the class, too.
Unlike a lot of universities, attendance is really important at IE.
The campus used to be a 13th century Romanesque structure. It looks and feels a bit like Hogwarts.
Before I went, I thought there would only be a few foreign students at the university and they would stick together. But I soon found out that most of the students here are from abroad.
In my class, for example, there are students from Canada, the US, and many countries in Europe, besides those from other parts of Spain. It is a truly international learning environment. I love getting to know people from different places and their stories.
As an architecture student, the difference between here and home is remarkable.
In Hong Kong, I spend hours in a studio and not much time anywhere else.
Here, students are encouraged to work at their own pace. We are also allowed to develop our own thesis and choose our own design space.
For the first time since taking up my studies, I feel like I have time to think about my ideas and understand what I am doing.
I also have spare time to do a bit of travelling. It's really cool to be able to actually see the buildings I have studied in textbooks. I also love trying the local food wherever I go!