International Spotlight: Meghan Kaufmann

April 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

This past fall semester IARc student Meghan Kaufmann [4th year] traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland to study at Ulster University. There were many factors that influenced her choice in picking Ulster which included: easy travel to other European countries, the program was in English, the school was already affiliated with UNCG, and she has Irish heritage. After getting there she realized she made the perfect choice and couldn’t imagine going anywhere else. Although her school was located in Belfast, Meghan lived fifteen minutes away in Jordanstown. When she had spare time from doing work she really enjoyed exploring Belfast and discovering its rich history and culture. “Belfast and Northern Ireland have a long and intense history due to the troubles, so there are lots of murals around the city” states Meghan. She found it astonishing to get the accounts of the residents about both the political history as well as the art and architecture that it shaped. Belfast was also full of shopping and nightlife that Meghan frequented.[1]

Meghan was enrolled in the spatial design program, which she found to be “Extremely similar to the IARc program with the amount of projects and process development.”. She felt they really pushed her to think outside the box and more be more abstract in her designs. One main difference from our program however was that the professors gave limited feedback and made the student be more contemplative about their own work. She says, “It made me appreciate the professors here more and how valuable it is to work and get help from them”. Although it was a big change, it also offered her the chance to be more disciplined with her work. “I did have to learn t rely on myself more and find out more about what my process works, which is the flip side to not having them around so much”, Meghan stated.  In addition to her schooling, she found it beneficial and an amazing experience to be exposed to  architecture that she has only studied about in books.[2]

Outside of school Meghan had the opportunity to visit a plethora of countries and iconic architecture.Her favorite place that she visited was France.While there she visited her friends from school at their homes in Bordeaux. There she was spoiled with homemade food and french wine while she stayed on a friends granddad’s winery. In Paris, she enjoyed seeing the art and architecture of the city that she had always had a passion for.[3]

When asked why other students should study Meghan stated, “Friends, the best part of the experience were all the amazing friends I made all over the world. It was an incredible bonding experience because you are with people in the same situation as you. I made so many lifelong friends and cherish the entire experience so much”.[4]

[1] Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland    [2]Florence, Italy    [3]Chateau Bordeaux    [4]Paris Opera House, France

Photos taken by: Meghan Kaufmann

Contributed by: Kelsey Rhode [4th] year

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