Inscape introduced ‘Inscape Play’, our exciting and thriving student exchange program in 2014 in partnership with Thomas More University in Belgium. Since its inception, Inscape has had three students participate in the exchange program and we have hosted three students from Thomas More.
Why do we do this? To ensure our students are diverse and knowledgeable in international and local design practices, to broaden their knowledge base, create a richer student fraternity and to have fun!
We had a quick chat with Madre Vorster our 2016 Inscape Exchange Student. Madre who is a 2nd year Bachelor of Design specialising in Interior Design student, at Inscape’s Midrand Campus, is currently completing her 4th Term at Thomas More University in Belgium as part of the Inscape Play student exchange programme.
From visiting a Cathedral, climbing a tower which is 100 metres high and learning Dutch, it seems like Madre is having the time of her life and she’s only been in Belgium for 4 weeks!
Here’s what she had to say:
- Tell us about your first week at Thomas More University?
The first day I arrived in Belgium was quite hectic. I had to get my room, blankets, cooking materials and went to buy my necessary groceries. A few days after we had a student welcome where we met all the new and international students and had a tour of our campus. The campus is very big but the interior campus is definitely the most beautiful one of all. That Friday we had a tour through the city of Mechelen where we saw the old city hall and visited the inside of the cathedral. After we saw it we decided to climb the tower the next day. It is 100m high and had 530 steps to the top. It was hectic but so much fun. The people are also very friendly and helpful.
- What is the strangest/funniest experience you’ve had since you’ve been there?
I almost got hit by a car while riding my bike. Leaves keep hitting me in the face while I ride my bike as well. Hahaha.Trying to learn Dutch and hearing all the other people trying is also quite funny!
- What is the culture like at Thomas More?
The students are actually the same as at Inscape, the only thing that is really different is the language. Everyone is friends with everyone and help one another when they need it.
- How is the culture in Belgium different from ours?
The people love walking around and riding their bikes. On a Sunday almost all the shops are closed and the streets are very quiet. On Saturdays, they have a market on the big square which they call City Center, they sell vegetables, fruits and so on. But they seem like a close community.
- Your favourite lecture/Module? Why?
Survival Dutch because I always wanted to learn a new language and it isn’t that hard because Dutch and Afrikaans are quite similar.
- Hardest adjustment you’ve had to make?
The food. I miss having a braai and seeing my family. I really miss everyone back home.
- Have you been sightseeing? What has interested you the most/caught your eye?
Yes! We went to Bruges the past weekend where we saw their cathedral and visited their beer and chocolate museums. The cathedrals are definitely my favourite things to see because we learnt so much about them last year and the year before at Inscape and now I get to see them in person. They are really big and beautiful.
- Favourite Belgian Food?
- One thing that one should know if they are planning on travelling to Belgium?
Pack warm and cold clothes. The weather is sometimes very unpredictable, you need an umbrella.
- Have you learnt any Belgian slang?
Haha no. They don’t really have any. None that I have picked up yet.