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Zannat and Imtiaz, Bangladesh: MBUILD

Zannat’s and Imtiaz’s shared Journey Through Europe’s Architectural Heritage

As passionate architects from Bangladesh, we always dreamed of experiencing the rich architectural heritage of Europe. Our dream became a reality when we both secured the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship to pursue a Master's Degree in Sustainable Design, Construction, and Management of the Built Environment (MBUILD).

Our fascination with European architecture began during our undergraduate studies. We were introduced to the works of renowned European sculptors, painters, and architects, and the desire to witness these masterpieces in person grew stronger over time. When we discovered the MBUILD program, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to advance our knowledge in sustainability while indulging our passion for architecture.

We dreamed of experiencing the rich architectural heritage of Europe

The application process was intense, and we knew that only two people from the same nationality could be selected for the scholarship. The night we received the email announcing our selection is still vivid in my mind. We read the email multiple times and checked the website the following day just to be sure. It was a surreal moment—a dream come true for both of us!

Living in three different countries over the course of one year has been both exciting and challenging. We immersed ourselves in the cultures of Portugal, Germany, and Spain while travelling to nine additional countries for conferences and research. Each place has contributed to our academic and personal growth, enhancing our cultural competency, global awareness, and inventive thinking.

Studying abroad has been a transformative experience. We have developed crucial skills such as effective communication, critical thinking, time management, and research proficiency. The most valuable lesson we learned is adaptation—whether it is adjusting to a new place, food, culture, or even the weather. This experience has also empowered us to be our true selves and not be afraid to share our unique perspectives. The international student community has enriched our learning experience immensely. Working alongside peers from diverse backgrounds has provided a deeper understanding of global challenges and innovative strategies for promoting sustainable design. Representing Bangladesh in this multicultural environment has been a proud and fulfilling experience. It has reinforced collaboration's importance and shaped our global citizenship perspective.

Studying abroad has been a transformative experience (...) The international student community has enriched our learning experience immensely.

We noticed many social practices that resonated with us during our time in Europe. Going to coffee shops for casual conversations and work reminded us of the ‘tong’ gatherings in Bangladesh. We also admired the use of crosswalks, which we hope to advocate for back home. Additionally, the practice of placing insect houses in gardens inspired us to promote environmental awareness and the importance of even the smallest creatures in our ecosystem. Our study abroad experience has been nothing short of remarkable. We have had the chance to witness stunning architecture, explore diverse cultures, and meet fascinating people. This journey has advanced us academically and professionally and enriched our lives in ways we never imagined. Together, we are living the ‘Erasmus life,’ growing and learning daily, and we are incredibly grateful for this life-enriching experience.

We are excited (...) to bring back knowledge and inspiration to Bangladesh.

Architecture and Europe are inseparable in our minds, and through the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship, we have been able to immerse ourselves in both. This journey has been a dream realized, filled with incredible learning, growth, and unforgettable experiences. As we continue our studies and adventures, we are excited about what the future holds and eager to bring back knowledge and inspiration to Bangladesh.

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