Transforming Your Passions into Majors

Author: Randi McQueen

When it comes to the topic of selecting a major, I consider myself an exception. Since middle school, I was convinced that I wanted to become an architect, and nothing has changed since. However, if you are currently in high school, and you have no idea what you want to pursue as a career, there is absolutely no reason to fear!…

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Fall Break in the City of Light

Author: Randi McQueen

Over Fall Break, I was lucky enough to have earned the opportunity to combine my two passions and majors, Architecture and French, in a research project set in Paris, France. Thanks to the generosity of the Nanovic Institute of European Studies I was given funding to travel and stay in Paris to independently carry out my research plan.…

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Fall Break

Author: Randi McQueen

For some students, fall break is a time to head home, relax, and see family and friends, but for others, fall break is an opportunity to travel, do service, or conduct research. Myself and the other new media interns asked a few other seniors how they are planning on spending their week off.

paris

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Why ND

Author: Randi McQueen

As a tour guide, one of my favorite personal anecdotes to share is at the end of my tour, when I explain why I chose Notre Dame over all of the other amazing schools in the country. It is a great time to put a personal spin on the tour, and it is my way of trying to relate to the prospective undergraduates by putting myself back in their shoes as high school students.…

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Accessibility Awareness Day

Author: Randi McQueen

Last week, fourth-year undergraduate students in the School of Architecture experienced for themselves the challenges of maneuvering throughout campus with a physical disability. As part of this annual “Accessibility Awareness Day,” students were confined to wheelchairs, crunches, and even blindfolds for the morning.…

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4th Year Architecture Field Trip: An Introduction to American Architecture

Author: Randi McQueen

As part of the Notre Dame School of Architecture curriculum, fourth-year students are encouraged to attend a field trip in August to Washington D.C. and its surroundings. This 10-day excursion begins in Williamsburg, Virginia and continues to Richmond and The University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville. The field trip ends in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. Students also visit Monticello, various plantation houses, and Mount Vernon.…

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My Experience Working at ARCAS Paris

Author: Randi McQueen

For me, one of the worst feelings in the world has always been leaving Paris. Although I have visited on numerous occasions, the sentimental feeling still hits me like a tidal wave each time I depart. But after spending over 10 full weeks in the capital of France, saying goodbye this time has been particularly difficult. It is comparable to that of leaving a loved one at the airport or saying goodbye to friends at the end of the school year at Notre Dame.…

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Are Parisians Actually Rude?

Author: Randi McQueen

The only way to truly learn about a culture is to fully immerse oneself into the daily life of that place’s inhabitants over an extended period of time. Notre Dame’s abundant opportunities and resources have blessed me with the chance to live in over three different foreign cities for at least six weeks or more. While Paris is my second French city, over the past two months I have experienced several unique cultural traits that it stand out from the rest of the country.…

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Bastille Day in Paris

Author: Randi McQueen

Every summer on July 14th, the country of France pauses to celebrate Bastille Day, also known as La Fête Nationale. Fortunately for me, I will be spending my second Bastille Day in the capital of France!

Historically, Bastille Day commemorates the French storming of the Bastille, a medieval prison in Paris, on July 14th

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Les Grèves

Author: Randi McQueen

On June 14th, labor strikes, some of which turned violent, erupted throughout major French cities, including Paris. At my summer office in Montparnasse, we were situated in the middle of the action.

 

Paris Greves

“Grèves" or "manifestations,” also known as strikes and protests respectively, are both commonalities in France and its capital particularly. Residents are keenly aware of the constant struggle these labor strikes can bring, such as closed metro lines, disrupted AirFrance flights, and canceled SNCF trains. While this is an inconvenience to say the least, both labor strikes and protests are posted in advance, giving residents the opportunity to plan ahead while taking thousands of tourists by surprise every day.…

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A Day in the Office

Author: Randi McQueen

After working for over 2 weeks at ARCAS Paris, I have started to get accustomed to the real world, working full time and living on my own. Since I am in such a beautiful city, I am trying my best not to get too used to a strict routine. It is so important to me that I make time to explore Paris, try new cafes, and see new things whenever I get the chance.…

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La Vie Parisienne

Author: Randi McQueen

Thanks to a bit of communication with a professor in Rome and the extensive Notre Dame alumni network, I am interning with ARCAS Architecture and Urbanism in Paris for the summer! It has been a goal of mine to intern in Paris since I was captivated by its patisseries, outdoor cafes, and elegant flare back in the summer of 2014. Since then, I have returned to the City of Light on multiple occasions, but I am over the moon to finally spend some extended time here.…

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Reverse Culture Shock

Author: Randi McQueen

After living, studying, eating, and traveling in Rome for over nine months, I finally flew back 'across the pond' to America. While the reunion with my friends, family, and pets was incredible, I began to feel a bit down in the dumps after just a couple of days. I had always heard about culture shock and had even been warned of “reverse culture shock,” but I never imagined re-adjusting to the country I lived in for over 20 years would be difficult in any way.…

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Preparing for College the Summer Before

Author: Randi McQueen

Congratulations, and welcome to the Notre Dame community, Class of 2020! I’m sure it’s been an incredible journey for you, and you sure have a lot to be proud of after making it this far. But now that you finally did make it, what’s next?

aug_19_move_in

The summer in between high school and college is probably one of the last worry-free times of your life, and it yearns to be enjoyed to the utmost. But if you can’t bring yourself to “take it easy” for the months before beginning what will probably be the most exciting journey of your life thus far, here are a few different ways to prepare for the big year ahead:…

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From Trace Paper to Final Reviews: The Design Process at Notre Dame

Author: Randi McQueen

While most students at Notre Dame are beginning to enjoy the sunshine and warmer days outside in April, architecture students are working what seems like endless hours inside Bond Hall. I can’t count the number of times my friends have asked me questions like, “Why can’t you just work ahead?” or, “Do you just procrastinate for these projects?” The answer to both questions is complicated, so I thought it might be informative to explain the entirety of the design process from brainstorming to final reviews in the School of Architecture at Notre Dame.…

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Reflecting on My Last Week in the Eternal City

Author: Randi McQueen

When I spoke with a current 4th year architecture student about her time in Rome, she told me that the first semester flew by and that the second one disappeared even faster. I thought about that comment a lot at the beginning of the second semester especially, and it couldn’t be more true!

In the midst of final reviews, project presentations, and completing research papers, my days in Rome are rapidly dwindling. With only one weekend left in the city I have gradually grown accustomed to, it is difficult to fit in all of my “lasts” in just one weekend before hopping on a plane home Monday morning.…

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Celebrating Easter in Rome

Author: Randi McQueen

One of the many rewarding parts of studying abroad in Rome as a Catholic is spending holidays in the Eternal City. Over winter break, I was able to spend Christmas in Rome with my family, and just last weekend, I was lucky enough to spend my Easter with Papa Francesco at St. Peter’s Square!

st

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The Hands-On Approach to Design at the Notre Dame School of Architecture

Author: Randi McQueen

Committing to study architecture is oddly similar to committing to a long-term relationship. It requires devotion, passion, and a lot of hard work and dedication. It is a time-consuming major, but if you truly love it, then the work is enjoyable.

school_of_architecture_rendering

While choosing to study architecture at any

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Summer Opportunities at Notre Dame for High School Students

Author: Randi McQueen

Even though there is still plenty of snow on the ground in South Bend, that doesn't mean that summer isn’t on its way. After the academic school year ends in May, campus floods with students of all ages participating in sports camps, academic programs, and more. If you are searching for something to enrich your pending summer days, read on to learn more about the various opportunities Notre Dame has to offer for motivated high school students.…

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Notre Dame Architecture Career Discovery Program

Author: Randi McQueen

Making the decision to pursue the study of architecture in higher education is not one to be taken lightly. Due to the shear amount of credit hours required to complete a degree in architecture, most programs in the United States consist of either 4 or 5 years of undergraduate followed by 2 years in graduate school. No matter which university you may choose, it is difficult to switch majors into or out of architecture and still graduate on time.…

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My Experience Working at Subway

Author: Randi McQueen

LaFortune Student Center is home to one of the most popular student jobs for underclassmen. “Huddle Employees” work at some of the most crowded student venues on campus, such as Starbucks, The Huddle, Burger King, Pizza Hut/Taco Bell, and Subway.

lafortune_subway_working

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Seeking Employment as a Notre Dame Architecture Major

Author: Randi McQueen

“So I suppose you plan on marrying rich?” This was the response I was inappropriately given after sharing my major with an adult at a friend’s graduation party one summer. Although it probably was meant to be more light-hearted than I interpreted it, there is a slight, yet unsettling truth behind the implication of this comment. Yes, architecture students and other design or art-related majors sometimes struggle finding jobs more than other students. However, there is a widely held misconception that the majority of recent architecture graduates are unemployed "starving artists" searching for their big break in the prefessional world.…

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A Valentine to Badin Hall

Author: Randi McQueen

badin_2015_freshman

I distinctly remember anxiously applying to Notre Dame as a senior in high school. During my winter break, sitting in Starbucks for the second or third afternoon in a row with a peppermint mocha by my side, I brainstormed ideas for my short answer essays. Of the many prompts, I decided to answer “Why Notre Dame,” along with two others.…

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The Benefits of Studying A Foreign Language in College

Author: Randi McQueen

Up until my third year of college, I had no idea that studying French would actually shape my goals and potential career path. Beginning my first year at Notre Dame, I enrolled in an Intermediate French course after studying French in high school for four years. I had spare room in my schedule, and I thought it would be a new challenge completely different from my other architecture classes and studios. Since then, studying a foreign language has opened so many doors for me that would have been closed otherwise if I had not known a language other than English.…

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A Letter of Motivation to High School Seniors in Waiting

Author: Randi McQueen

Congratulations! The deadline for most Regular Decision college applications has passed, and you can finally breathe a breath of fresh air once again. The worst is over, and you have done everything you possibly could to get into the college of your choice. Treat yourself, because you deserve it!

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A Reflection on My First Semester Abroad

Author: Randi McQueen

It is difficult for me to comprehend that I am already well over halfway finished with my junior year abroad in Rome. It has been nearly five months of exciting explorations, hands-on learning experiences, and a plethora of new opportunities. Some days are easier than others, but I already know that it is not going to be easy to say goodbye to the city that has become my new home.…

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Tips for Transitioning from South Bend to a Semester Abroad

Author: Randi McQueen

As the fall semester has quickly come to a close, students are headed home for the holidays and winter break. But in just a few weeks, many juniors will be saying goodbye to their friends and families for an adventure abroad for the duration of spring semester. Making this transition from the “Notre Dame bubble” to life in London, Dublin, Perth, Athens, and many more different cities across a variety of continents may not always be so simple. Here are a few of my tips to make the most out of being abroad I’ve learned after spending fall semester in Rome, Italy.…

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Thank You France for Changing Me Forever

Author: Randi McQueen

In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, I have decided to write about France, a place I am extremely passionate about, as some of my fondest Notre Dame memories have occurred during my time in this incredible country.

As a freshman in high school, I had to make a choice: which language to study for 3-4 years? Of course, nearly everyone studies Spanish in high school, and for good reason.  It’s practical, and it’s widely spoken in certain areas of the United States. Without much thought other than wanting to learn a less-popular language, I chose “French I” on my requested course form in the summer of 2009. Never did I imagine that decision would lead me to so many spectacular places, people, and experiences in the years to come.…

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How Notre Dame Can Help You Go Abroad

Author: Randi McQueen

One of the many ways the University of Notre Dame distinguishes itself from other universities is its ability to fund student travel, research, and other opportunities through an array of institutions.  While other universities tend to reserve funding for students with higher merit or those enrolled in special programs such as honors colleges, Notre Dame treats each student equally in this respect.  It is quite possible for any

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DHARMA: Preserving Ancient Classics for Future Generations

Author: Randi McQueen

By emphasizing a curriculum based on classical architecture, the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture already distinguishes itself from hundreds of other architecture programs in the country.  According to the official Notre Dame School of Architecture webpage, its mission is to “educate leaders who will design and build for future generations, cities and towns that are based on a foundation of conservation and investment rather than consumption and waste.”  In order to achieve this mission, it is critical to learn from past generations and preserve examples of good architecture for future generations.…

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A Day in the Life: Field Trip Edition

Author: Randi McQueen

One of the many perks of studying architecture in Rome is the opportunity to visit other regions in Italy as a class. Each semester, we have two field trips. In the fall, we go to Tuscany for five days and Veneto for six.  In the spring, we travel to Campania for four days, and the final field trip is in Sicily for eight days.…

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Fall Break Abroad: Applying Learning to Leisure

Author: Randi McQueen

It’s hard to believe that I have already been living in Rome for almost two months! After finishing up our Midterm project reviews on Monday, we were given Tuesday through Saturday off for a much-needed Mid-Semester Break. I still feel like I just landed in Italy, yet my time here is already about 25% complete.…

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Tour of the Rome Global Gateway

Author: Randi McQueen

Rome Global Gateway Terrace

Luckily for me along with hundreds of other adventurous Domers, Notre Dame boasts several international campuses. Although the Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway caters to the architecture students primarily, other study abroad students from Notre Dame take classes here as well. Located on Via Ostilia, just a block away from the Colosseum, the Rome Global Gateway building is only two years old! We spend a lot of our time here working on projects and taking classes, so let me show you around...

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A Day in the Life of a Third-Year in Rome

Author: Randi McQueen

Drinking coffee Rome

Other than a few rumors passed down by word of mouth, third year abroad in Rome seems like an exciting, yet mysterious time until actually arriving and experiencing it firsthand. Of course, I spoke to a couple current seniors before departing, but I had very few expectations overall. For the sake of future architecture majors, I’ve made a rough schedule of a typical school day in the Eternal City.

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The First Week: A Culture Shock

Author: Randi McQueen

Roman Piazza

After only a week in Rome, it feels like I have been here for over a month (but in a good way, of course)! I’m quickly learning my way around the city, I’m improving my Italian by speaking to locals, and we have our first review in a couple weeks! It’s been a whirlwind of orientation, adaptation, and mostly culture shock.

 

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Pre-Study Abroad: Excited, Worried, & Sentimental

Author: Randi McQueen

 

Rome Study Abroad

As I sit in O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, it still hasn’t quite hit me that I will be leaving the comfort of the “Notre Dame bubble” for over eight months to study architecture in Italy. I keep telling myself things like, “It’s only a vacation,” and “I’ll be back to my normal routine soon,” but I know I am only kidding myself.

 

 

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Working my Way to Rome

Author: Randi McQueen

rome_global_gateway

One of the many factors that influenced my decision to study architecture at Notre Dame was the allure of studying abroad in Italy for a whole year. Before college, I had never been out of the country. I grew up in a small town in Indiana, and I commuted to Indianapolis to attend high school at a private Catholic institution. Needless to say, my horizons were minimal, and Europe seemed like another world away to me. It was both terrifying and thrilling to imagine myself spending so much time in a place I had always dreamed of visiting.…

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Transitioning From Only Child to Life in a Quad

Author: Randi McQueen

randi_badin_quadmates_1

Two years ago, I was driving in the pouring rain on the highway in the middle of my trip from Cincinnati to Indianapolis when I finally received that long-awaited notification on my phone- the Office of Housing had sent me my residence hall and roommate information. I had researched every dorm, scoured multiple blogs, and counted down the days until I would receive this news. I immediately pulled into the closest exit and opened the e-mail in a gas station in the middle of nowhere.

I logged into insideND and pulled up my housing information. “Badin Hall” followed by not one, not two, but THREE names! I was in a quad...

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