International Spotlight: Wesley Shamlian

February 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

Wesley Shamlian, a [4th] year student, studied abroad last spring [2011] in Strathclyde, Scotland. After her rewarding experience, she urges others to seek studying abroad, saying that “It was great to learn about other cultures . . . your own culture through these other cultures, and . . .about yourself in many ways”.

Wesley originally sought studies in Denmark, but could not attend because of the program’s unavailability. However, her second choice, the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, came to fruition. Two reasons why she chose Scotland included speaking the English language (although the dialect turned out challenging), and feeding her passion for Scottish culture and design. Wesley enrolled in the architecture program, which she found a bit frustrating compared to her experience back in the states. “It was harder to get help from my professors in my studio. I really grew an appreciation for the program at UNCG due to their dedicated staff “, she said. Wesley didn’t see this as an obstacle, but embraced the dialect and cultural barrier, growing fond of the added work challenge.

Life in Strathclyde was truly an experience for Wesley. The school assisted her with finding a ‘flat’ (apartment), and made the whole study abroad process virtually problem free. She lived within walking distance from a variety of restaurants, clubs, and shopping areas. When summing up her home away from home, she simply stated, “The city was wonderful”.

One of her favorite places to visit, Edinburgh, was an easy forty-five minute train ride from her flat. When I asked her why she admired it so much she said, “It reminded me of Hogwarts!” Her influential trip to Poland changed her outlook on design. “The way they recycled both building and materials . . .was truly gorgeous and extremely effective”, Wesley said. From that experience, she gained a completely different perspective on building preservation and adaptive re-use, which she can now incorporate into her own design philosophy and practice back in the states.

Contributed by Kelsey Rhode [4th] year, Photos by Wesley Shamlian

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