Wish you were here… Year in Practice students send postcards home

Postcards from Year in Practice students

Year in Practice students from the Department of Landscape have been getting in touch with details of their experiences on placement.

The ‘postcard home’ allows students on their year out to reflect on what they have learned in their time working in Landscape Architectural practices and helps current undergraduates with their applications to future placements.

32 students are currently undertaking their Year in Practice in positions in practices in the UK and abroad.

Writing from the Netherlands, Grace Ruddick said: “I'm in Rotterdam at a smallish office called LOLA Landscape Architects. They work on derelict landscapes and so far I have worked on a prison in Amsterdam to become housing, a zoo in Emmen to become a park, a housing project in Rotterdam and some army barracks in Bandirma, Turkey.”

“I have learnt many things including Illustrator wizardry and AutoCAD, to pronounce AutoCAD as ‘owtoe cad’, to say ‘jpeg’ from the throat, how to use a cheese cutter and eat cheese for breakfast, cycle with pedal brakes, ice skate, salsa dance, to speak international English (‘super cool’) as well as a small amount of Dutch.”

The Year in Practice is taken during the fourth year of undergraduate landscape degrees.

It helps students to gain valuable professional experience and is a requirement of the Landscape Institute’s pathway to become chartered Landscape Architects.

Students return for a fifth year in the department to complete their ‘integrated masters’ MLA.

Based at Ares Landscape Architects, Emily James said: “during the first month of my Year in Practice I worked on a few projects for social and health care provider, Care UK. It was really interesting to watch the process of spatial planning happen with feedback from a client and to understand why designs were unsuccessful. This was a new type of landscape that I haven’t experienced at university. I particularly enjoyed the research into sensory planting and dementia design guidelines.”

Thom White, Academic lead on the Year in Practice, says “we see this as an integral part of the whole process of becoming a Landscape Architect. The ‘postcard home’ is a fun way of students keeping in touch with us and a simple way of us making sure our students are okay out there and are getting the right experience to continue their progress in this vocation.”