Expanding Horizons While Exploring the Rich Cultures of Europe

Doris Zhang, a third-year Interior Design student, spent three weeks last July exploring the streets and canals of Venice, Italy with classmates from the School of Architecture, and in the process gaining a deeper appreciation of the architecture of one of Europe’s most historic cities.

Originally from China, Doris transferred to Woodbury from Santa Monica College. She took the summer trip, organized by the School of Architecture, with nearly 20 of her peer — from both the Interior Design and Architecture programs — included faculty members Paulette Singley and Eric Olsen.

Each morning while in Venice the students would take part in a faculty-led lecture or workshop, or they would receive critiques on projects that they were working on while in Europe. The students were divided into several groups, with each group responsible for providing their fellow students with a tour of a specific region of Venice.

“The experience was amazing,” Doris said. “Not only was I able to immerse myself in the rich culture of Italy, I was also able to appreciate the beauty of Venice through the perspective of an architectural student which really made the experience even more unique.”

In the afternoons, the students had free time where they were able to work on projects or explore Venice further. On weekends, they had the opportunity to go beyond La Serenissima.

“On one of the weekends we took a trip to Rotterdam, Amsterdam,” Doris explained. “I visited the Rotterdam Museum and saw some incredible architecture that really provided inspiration for my future projects.”

Having recently transferred, the trip provided Doris with an exceptional opportunity to meet and bond with many of her peers within the School of Architecture.

“This trip also taught me the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone and challenging myself to learn new things each day,” she said. “I’m extremely thankful for this awesome experience and I expect to utilize the knowledge that I’ve gained as I move ahead in my program.”

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