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Outgoings back at uni.li: Amsterdam

In order to gain as much practical experience as possible during his studies abroad as part of the Master’s degree programme in Architecture, the uni.li student Nico Lang decided on Amsterdam, where he was able to pursue a combination of studying at the Academy of Architecture and an internship at the renowned architecture firm DS Landscape Architects.


In order to gain as much practical experience as possible during his studies abroad as part of the Master’s degree programme in Architecture, the University of Liechtenstein student Nico Lang decided on Amsterdam, where he was able to pursue a combination of studying at the Academy of Architecture and an internship at the renowned architecture firm DS Landscape Architects.

Following his return, he shares his experiences in an interview.



Why did you choose this country and this university for your Erasmus semester?

I had already set my sights on a more practice-oriented degree programme, and after having spoken to the University of Liechtenstein’s International Office, the idea of spending time abroad at the Amsterdam School of the Arts’ Academy of Architecture just seemed like the perfect plan. The degree programmes offered – Master’s degrees in Architecture, Urbanism or Landscape Architecture  – are four-year, part-time courses which are taught in English. I also completed an internship at the renowned architecture firm DS Landscape Architects parallel to my studies.

The Netherlands – and especially the canals and architectural style in Amsterdam (the Amsterdam School) – are truly impressive. With major projects like Zeeburg, Ijburg and Schiphol AirportCity, new urban and business districts are being created – a real source of inspiration for any aspiring architect or urban planner. 



“Resilient City” design studio: printed copy of a plan after a typical all-nighter before the final deadline, December 2013


How did you prepare yourself for your time abroad?

The team from the International Office prepared us well for our stay, and were always available when I needed help or advice – whether it was during the application process or when looking for a flat – for which I am very grateful! 


What did you look forward to the most? What was the greatest challenge?

I really looked forward to experiencing city life in Amsterdam, to the Academy and to the new job at the renowned architecture firm. The workload was challenging. A typical day was a combination of a working day in the office (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.), followed by evening lectures (8 p.m. to 11 p.m.). This meant that I had to use the weekends for time in the design studio. 


How were you received at the partner university, and how were you assisted during your studies?


On the first day, the Academy organized an architecture bicycle tour for the international students. It was easy to get to know other people quite quickly, the lecturers as well as the Dutch students. Special thanks is due to Arjan Klok (Head of Department for Urban Design) for his tireless efforts, Elsbeth Falk (Study Advisor for Architecture) for her Dutch cuisine, and of course Henk van Raam (a caretaker at the Academy of Architecture) for his pearls of Dutch wisdom.



Project sightseeing: trip to Bloomendaal, near Haarlem, with the architecture firm, September 2013


What can you take with you from this time abroad that can help you personally and in your studies?

As the Dutch construction industry is currently going through something of a crisis, it was the innovative and inventive way that the owner of the firm where I undertook my internship was able to land new projects. My work at the firm – I was involved in the A2 Park in Utrecht, a bottom-up project, the Basic Landscape Plan of De Uithof and the master plan for the Westland Het Nieuwe Water – vastly expanded my knowledge of the subject. My studies abroad and the experience I gained during my internship enabled me to further myself both personally and professionally.


What recommendations would you offer to students at the University of Liechtenstein who are planning a semester abroad at the Academy of Architecture?


If you are planning a semester abroad as an excuse for a holiday, you can forget it. Anyone who is interested can find my report on my time abroad in the International Office. I will also be happy to answer any specific questions. 





Nico Lang
  • Home country: Germany
  • University of Liechtenstein degree programme: Master’s degree programme in Sustainable Urban Design 
  • Semester: fourth
  • Resident of: Feldkirch, Austria

Erasmus studies combined with internship