The time is soon approaching when some of you will be asked whether you want to pursue a placement year or replace London for a year with a campus abroad. It’s a tough decision, especially if you haven’t even laid a foot in the city or country you might be wanting to move to. This is why we spoke to BA (Hons) Creative Direction for Fashion student Owen Davies who find out how moving abroad was a game changer for him. Part of London College of Fashion’s Erasmus+ programme, Owen moved to Brussels to study at La Cambre, Belgium’s art and design university with the help of our International team. Here are five reasons why you should consider studying abroad.
“During your time abroad, you will naturally come into contact with an entirely unique culture from the one you left behind at home. This for me was really exciting as it allowed me to understand and open up to a different way of living. The culture, of course, will differ from country to country and even city to city, so whether you decide to study in Copenhagen or Paris, you will all experience something unique and magical to that place.”
“With experiencing a new culture comes embracing a new language, a language you may never have encountered before or a one you may be familiar with thanks to your secondary schooling. In going to Brussels where they predominantly speak French, I quickly realised how important languages are. One thing I certainly took away from the entire experience was the inspiration to learn to speak another language and also admiration for those that can already do just that.”
“I have always had a desire to study abroad, I was curious to know what it would be like and how it would differ from my educational experiences in the UK. I was opened up to the different ways education can be delivered and that in actual fact there are many right ways of doing things.
Be prepared to have your mind opened and embrace all the differences your host institution offers. Take the time to fully embrace all of the unique resources and opportunities on hand. It won’t be long until you find yourself back at your home university, wishing you had access to some of the equipment and facilities that were once available to you.”
“In deciding to pursue the study abroad pathway, you enable yourself with the opportunity to be able to study a different discipline from the one you are currently studying. Although the course has to be relatable to your own, you are still allowed to explore new and exciting practices. I study BA (Hons) Creative Direction for Fashion, therefore I was allowed to study Visual Communication and Graphic Design. In doing this, I was able to learn valuable skills that were transferable to my course back at home.
It was not only the more practical based skills that were so rewarding but also the personal skills. I found myself opening up more and becoming a far more confident person than I had ever been before. I approached everyday activities with a far more open-minded approach.”
“The most important thing about your whole trip comes down to the people you meet whilst you are abroad. In my case, it was because of the people that I met in Brussels that made the experience one I will never want to forget. From the very beginning, it was like being accepted into a loving family, with the staff and students making me feel so welcome from the start.”
So why was it a game changer?
“Whether you decide to do an internship at a company or study abroad at a partnered institution, either one will bring its own unique qualities. However, as someone who decided to study abroad, I can’t recommend the Erasmus+ programme highly enough. Not only will you meet so many amazing new people throughout your stay, but you will experience the trip of a lifetime. I hope this post has encouraged you in some way to think about the different possibilities that you can explore. I wish you all the very best with your placement term and look forward to hearing your own stories!”
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