Science - February 7, 2008

Landscape architect students seek Dutch internships

‘This is the best opportunity to gain more international experience. I like the Dutch view of landscape architecture,’ says Francesco Garofalo from Italy. He followed the first semester of the major in Landscape Architecture at Van Hall Larenstein in Velp, and will prolong his stay in the Netherlands to do an internship, and he’s not the only one.

design for an Urban Planning assignment by Francesco Garofalo.
Garofalo came to Velp for the first semester of the Landscape Architecture major, which is taught in English. It came to an end with the examinations that were held last week, and now the Dutch students will start an internship. Most of the international students are headed home, but not all. After a month of searching, Garofalo found an internship at a famous architects’ practice in Delft. ‘There is a different philosophy behind landscape architecture, a different approach and of course a different landscape here. I like that. Compared to my school in Italy, the teachers offer much more assistance. And it is good to work with assignments where you have to plan conceptual things. I don’t say it is better, but it is different.’ He has already done an internship for his study at the University of Genoa in Italy and will finish his degree there after the summer.

Katerina Tlachova thinks that Holland is the best country for landscape architecture. ‘In the Czech Republic the garden aspect of landscape architecture is more accentuated. I’ve learned a lot here, also about the way of working,’ says Tlachova. ‘And I learned a lot from the other students during group work. A Dutch student cannot work without drawing a conclusion first. That was new for me, but I will work like this in the future.’

Tlachova was not allowed to use the computer for the first two years of school at home. ‘We learned how to make the drawings ourselves. Now I have learned to use three different computer programs for drawing and designing. But Dutch students really don’t know how to draw, and you should know how to do that too.’

Tlachova will start her internship next week at an office of landscape architects in Den Bosch. She hopes it will offer her a chance to learn something about the different aspects of landscape architecture. ‘In the Czech Republic there is not so much on this field.’ When she returns home, she will have another two years to go before finishing her master.

It looks like prolonging the first semester is becoming a trend in the Landscape Architecture major. Last year two international students stayed to on for an internship in the Netherlands. This year, five out of twelve international students are staying.

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