Q&A with Morgane
Home Town -
Montpellier, but currently attending University in Bordeaux University - Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture et de Paysage de Bordeaux (ENSAPBx for short)
How did you become interested in Architecture? –
My first interest in architecture was piqued by vernacular architecture and humanitarian projects.
Do you have a current favorite Architect and/or building? –
I don’t think so. Regarding a remarkable project, the first one I heard about at school was Fallingwater by Frank L. Wright. I hope I get the chance to see it one day!
Architecture encompasses a wide range of topics; do you have a topic/concentration in architecture that you particularly enjoy?
The wide range of topics is definitely what I like about architecture. Since I started architecture school in Montpellier (south of France), I really enjoyed physical model making as part of the design process. I also like when topics crossover and work together, like architecture and engineering or architecture and landscaping.
Tell us a little bit on how you decided to work in the USA and what the process of actually preparing for the opportunity was like. –
I have had a long standing goal to give my career an international dimension as a means to discover American culture and to improve my English skills. I began researching architecture internships in the Cleveland, Ohio because I had a place to stay in the area. I have also postponed my graduation to February 2017. To be able to get into the USA, I had to find an internship and a sponsor. I took about six months from the beginning of my research to the moment I had a Visa in my pocket. That is kind of long time, but the results are so much more than I expected! I arrived in Ceveland at the beginning of March and will return to France at the end of July.
Domokur Architects does a lot of work with summer camps, have you ever been to summer camp? Do you like to go camping?
American style summer camps are kind of a foreign concept in France. That said, we used to pack up our own tent and go camping in the forest or at a campsite.
This is your first time coming to the states, what do you think?
I am having a great time here. I am very impressed by American cities and American culture. I am particularly surprised by the big open spaces and the lack of boundaries/fences anywhere - for houses or even cemeteries. We aren’t used to seeing that in France.
Have you had to opportunity to travel the USA at all? Do you have a favorite place you have visited? –
My boyfriend and I had the opportunity to travel the US West coast for three weeks before I started my internship. The trip was pretty amazing! I enjoyed the many places we visited, but I would have to say that the Grand Canyon was my favorite.
Tell us a little bit about your family. –
My parents are living in the south of France, in Montpellier. My father is a veterinarian and my mother is in charge of a region with five other managers (like executive manager). I have a sister and a brother, Emilie and Jean, both are older than me and both are engineers.
Where else have you traveled in the world? Do you have a favorite trip?
I have had the opportunity to have some pretty great adventures thanks to my parents who love discovering other countries. I have been to the Caribbean, Morocco, and several European countries - Spain, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and Germany. However, I think my favorite trip was last year when we went on a family trip to Kenya!
Now that you have been here for a few months, do you have something you miss most about France?
I miss my family and my friends, but I want to enjoy my time here because it’s going so fast!
What do you like to do for fun? Any interesting hobbies? Hidden Talents? -
I enjoy going to parties with friends, I love dancing, and find delight in taking care of children and animals. That said, I also really appreciate being able to just stay at home with a good book.
Share a fun fact about yourself. –
I can’t stand odd numbers (except 7 and 25) I don’t know why!
What are three things that you have on your bucket list?
1. I would love to be involved in humanitarian activities in Africa as soon as possible.
2. I really want to see the Northern Lights one day.
3. I expect to have at least one or two dogs at home.
Do you have any advice for people who want to study/work abroad?
I strongly encourage people to have this great experience, even if the preparation before takes time. Meeting people in a new place is the best way to learn about the culture and have a great time!
Do you have any advice for people who would like to travel to France?
France is a beautiful country, with many different landscapes in several regions. I would say please don’t spend all of your time in Paris. Discover the little cities, and visit several regions so you will be able to see the different traditions and architectural places. Another piece of advice, don’t be afraid if people hug or kiss you two or three times to say hello or goodbye, even if you have never seen them in your whole life; we tend to do that. Of course, I have to say: drink a lot of red wine and eat a lot of bread and other good food wherever you are! You are welcome in France!
What would you suggest to someone who wanted to get a preview of French culture before actually visiting France?
When I first read this question the first thing I thought was, “Oh la la!” because it is difficult to answer… Here are some famous French things you could try first:
Film: Le diner de cons or Les bronzés font du ski
Cuisine: Try Magret de Canard, Foie Gras, Entrecôte Cêpes, or my mum’s cuisine!
Singer: Jean-Jacques Goldman, Francis Cabrel (both are from the older generation, but I like them a lot). Also try Noir Désir or Manu Chao
Phrases: “Salut toi, ça va?”(Hey you, what’s up?), “A plus” (to say goodbye), “Bon appétit!” (have a good lunch)
Anything else that you would like to share?
I am really enjoying my time here. I have to thank all the staff a lot for this amazing experience! Thank you very much! Merci beaucoup!