After reading Dazed’s article about Germany scrapping tuition fees, a sense of nostalgia came creeping over to me. I had the wonderful opportunity to study in Germany for a year – and hopefully by the end of this article, I’ll have convinced you to study abroad too.
Studying Communication Design at Hochschule RheinMain in Wiesbaden as part of my ERASMUS exchange was definitely different to the Loughborough bubble I was used to. Initially I chose to undertake an exchange for the reason that most people do it – to experience a different culture and venture outside my comfort zone.
"It was pretty nerve-racking at first."
I finished the year with an even wider perspective on life than anticipated. I ended up being involved with things I never would have dreamed of doing back in first year. For example, I volunteered at the Art Directors Club in Hamburg where I got involved with filming and interviewing renowned designers in the industry. “Me in front of a camera, really?!” My first year self would never have imagined it.
I knew the teaching over there was going to be different than UK design education but it didn’t hit me properly until I realised no one seemed to do initial research into projects. That’s right, no sketchbooks – but the students there sure knew how to present a cracking outcome!
"I would do it all again."
Being an aspiring advertising woman, mostly thinking about the big idea, it brought me back down to earth with how it helps to be technically very good too. This has led to encouraging myself to always show my full skill set, no matter what.
As a result, I would recommend everyone grab the opportunity to do a third year abroad. It was pretty nerve-racking at first and a definite culture shock but I would do it all again to achieve the mind set I have now. Having an idea of what career path I wanted to take before my year abroad led to having clearer future aims by the end of it. But first, I need to tackle my third and final year at Loughborough.
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