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"Prepare yourself for an exciting and interesting education, which is demanding, but also really rewarding."

[2016-10-31] Waldemar Hessel from Stockholm is on his second year at the Architecture Programme in Umeå in Northern Sweden. He worked for two years after having finished school all the while interested in studying a different and creative subject, which made him decide to become an architect.

Waldemar also applied to the other Swedish architectural programmes at Lund University, Chalmers University and KTH. He was accepted at Umeå University, which he thinks suits him the best as he found the artistic profile most interesting.

Does the education differ from upper-secondary school?

“University studies differ greatly from Swedish upper-secondary school studies! I had prepared myself, but it was still a big change. A large part of the education consists of project work, and it's up to you to convey your ideas in an oral presentation. Being able to justify your ideas and embrace criticism is crucial.”

Are you interested in any particular field of architecture?

“What attracts me about the architectural profession is how wide a subject it is, with the opportunity to make an impact and work with social issues. We work on various projects and are encouraged to experiment with different techniques, and I try to do so as much as I can. This early in the programme we haven’t chosen a particular subject orientation.

The students often work together in projects. Photo: Per Melander

What do you think of the teachers at the School?

“I'm impressed by all the teachers and their knowledge. Both so-called course coordinators I’ve had so far, who also teach, have shown an incredible commitment.”

What is the best about the School?

“I find the School premises very nice, although the studio easily becomes noisy. The School's workshop and equipment is also very good.”

What do you think of life in Umeå and how is Umeå as a student city?

“I like Umeå very much. When I moved up here, I was looking forward to experiencing a student city. However, our Arts Campus is not situated on the main campus, which has meant that I’ve not been so active in the student union or taking part of student life there. Umeå Arts Campus is like its own little world, for better or for worse.”

What are your plans for the future?

“After my Bachelor's degree, I’m eager to take a placement at an architect’s office. Preferably abroad.”

Do you have any advice to give young people who dream of becoming an architect?

“Prepare yourself for an exciting and interesting education, which is demanding, but also really rewarding.”

Name: Waldemar Hessel
Comes from: Stockholm
Age: 22
Interests: Music
Unsuspected talent: Fast swimmer
Favourite architect: Imhotep
Likes: Friday feeling

Editor: Ingrid Söderbergh