Erica Zoccarato

Master student exchange program: My german experience

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Erica Zoccarato is attending her last year in Architectural Master’s Degree in Politecnico di Milano, and was selected to participate in the Exchange program during this past winter semester. She was enrolled in the Technische Universität München living in the South of the city for five months. 

I am Erica Zoccarato from Italy. I have so many things to say about this beautiful opportunity I had but I will focus on my studying and working experience.

At the beginning of the semester I got acquainted with several people from all over the world and in particularly I met my team mates of the Studio in which I was in TUM. We spent unforgettable times having fun together, as the days in which we planned to cook the main dishes of our country cusine just to try specialities from Germany, Italy, China, Kazakhstan.

Of course, we also spent lot of times in TUM working on the project and I think this part of my Exchange, has been the one which I liked the most. It has been very interesting dealing with styles of working and designing so different from country to country. Moreover, this experience pushed me to see my strenghts and weaknesses of myself and of my background which I acquired in my home university. At the end of our work we were all satisfied of our project, as well as the teachers. I feel like as a group we have been able to design a unique project which is able to show our cultural differences while at the same time put together the main strengths of each one of us.

I have also appreciated the variety of the lectures of the other courses and how they were so different from the ones taught in my home university. Their uniqueness has been the quality I mostly appreciated. This has been especially the cases of a course about architecture built in extreme environments such as space, desert and Iceland, or the class of figure drawing. We basically spent an hour and half sketching naked people and underling their expressions, shapes and shadows on the bodies. This last course fascinated me a lot particularly because I never had this opportunity in my home university. Obviously, it was not all roses. Sometimes I had to deal with lectures taught only in German or with a bad English translation of examinations’ questions.

Even the form of the exams was significantly different when compared to the ones in my home university where I was used to face oral tests. During my Exchange, I also decided to apply for an internship in the office of Stuart Stadler Architekten VfA. I usually went there twice a week in my days off from university lectures. During these months in the studio I had the opportunity to focus on the Interior Design which is one of the fields that are more interesting to me.

I even had the occasion to develop the knowledge acquired in university and transfer it in the real design. Just like in university, the part which I preferred the most was the opportunity to face a different way of working compared to the other places in which I did my internship in Italy. I also found interesting working with different Software like Vectorworks which I think is more complete than AutoCad.

Thanks to this whole experience I am sure, after my graduation, I will consider coming back to München which I think is a nice city because of the people living there and for the beauty of the city itself.

Erica Zoccarato


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