Walat, from Sweden to Spain: “Here you have more creative freedom”

Student_Architecture_CEU_Valencia

Hej Walat! Since these testimonials are very useful to prospective students, we always ask our interviewees to give us a little information about their personal profile: where they come from, what their hobbies are…

Of course! My name is Wallat Celik and I come from Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. I am a first-year Architecture student and my interest for this field started when I was really young. I liked buildings a lot and always tried to draw them, sketching the little details and doing my own designs in my head but I never thought that I would end up becoming an architect until I had to start looking for an undergraduate course.

Of course, architecture was the best option for me because I always loved drawing so it was the obvious pick!

Many of our first-year students work with us in different services. Have you applied for any of our assistantships?

I wanted to focus in my studying during my first year at university but I am planning on applying next year for one of the assistantship opportunities that CEU Valencia offers to international students.

As you may have noticed, you are not the only Scandinavian student around. How come a Swedish guy ends up studying a degree in Spain? How did you know our University?

Basically I did some research myself because I had no idea about this university but through Google and some student agencies in Stockholm I found out about CEU Valencia, went through their website and decided to apply!

Let’s talk academics here. After one year with us, which are your favourite and less favourite subjects? And don’t worry, we won’t tell your professors!

My favorite subject is Architecture Drawing, because I can use my creative freedom: just draw, and my less favourite subject would have to be Physics because it is a bit difficult, though nothing impossible!

Our students during their visit to La Alhambra
Our students during their visit to La Alhambra

You know that our Technical School of Engineering, Architecture and Design organizes every year trips for our students. Have you taken part in any of these trips?

Yes, this year we went to Barcelona, Madrid and Granada. And my favorite trip by far was Granada: seeing La Alhambra close up, such an amazing building, full of history…well, that was amazing! And I look forward to going on these trips again next year!

What was interesting about our Barcelona trip was when we saw La Sagrada Familia, we got a presentation from one of the teams involved in the design and it was so cool to see the progression and how they built the different elements of the church. One of our tasks was to take pictures of the building and it was great fun!

Student_Architecture_Sweden_CEU_ValenciaTell us a bit more about your life here as a student: do you have a very tight schedule? What do you do in a normal day here in Moncada?

A normal day starts with classes here at the ESET (Technical School of Engineering, Architecture and Design). We usually have classes from 9.00am until 2.30pm and after that – if the weather is good – I go to Valencia with some friends. If this is not the case, which is pretty rare because the weather is always amazing, I normally go to the gym, work out for a couple of hours and then I go back home and try to study a bit.

Coming from Scandinavia, do you find many differences between Spanish and Swedish architecture?

I am a first-year student of Architecture so I cannot judge the architecture and the differences yet but one thing that I know is that in Sweden we have like one palette of architecture, one branch, one style, but here in Spain what I know is that you can have a lot more creative freedom, like a lot more variety of architecture styles. That is really exciting for me, because it influences me to be more creative, or at least that is what I hope!

Would you recommend Spain to your friends in Sweden?

Definitely! I feel very welcome here, I feel like the people here are more open, more social, and I always find them willing to help me whenever I need it.

The impressive interior of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
The impressive interior of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, a masterpiece by Antoni Gaudí

Although a first-year student, maybe you already have some references or architects that you admire. Do you know any famous Spanish architect whose work you find especially interesting?

Santiago Calatrava I think is the most famous for a Swedish, because he designed the Turning Torso in Malmö and I have also been to the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, which I think is really unique. Apart from that one, some of the other names that I got to learn here in Spain are Rafael Moneo, Alberto Campo Baeza or Antoni Gaudí, thanks to the Barcelona trip!

So tell us what you have learnt so far about Spanish architecture!

What I have learnt here in Spain in one year is that I need to stop and see all the buildings, ask myself more about buildings, what the reason of the place of a window is…This first year has turned me more analytic about buildings and the reasons for the different options when I have to design a façade, for instance.

Another thing that I have learnt is watching the new part of Valencia and the old part, because the best thing about designing is the opportunity to mix both of them!

This interview was done by Jorge Navarro Rodríguez, student of 4th year of Advertising & PR

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