KyeongJoo JEE FS2016-17, Seoul National University | to London
Despite the fact that I major in ceramics at Seoul University, I applied to Wimbledon College of Art to study Set Design for Screen. It was not easy to decide because I was a senior student in South Korea in my studies. London is known for its musical productions, so I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to learn about set design. At Wimbledon, there are also many courses specialized in theatre and screen design like costume design, screen set design, theatre set design and tech art. I was little bit terrified, but it was a great chance for me.
Everything I met in London was unfamiliar, so I was confused at first time. The teaching and learning system in University of the Arts London (UAL) was very different to South Korea. It took me a while to get used to it. I had to ask even a simple thing twice and was always perplexed. But after a while, I was settled in with the help of my tutors and had made friends.
Everything I learnt at Wimbledon was totally new. I had no idea what skills and knowledge I needed to studying set design, and I have never used computer programmes for creating designs. I was worried that I needed had to produce sketchbooks and use CAD (Computer Aided Design) for my project which I’ve never used before. My tutor gave me extra time to finish and advised me to see other students’ work process. Therefore my problem was solved. By having to produce sketch books and CAD, I understood exactly how to produce designs for theatre and screen efficiently.
During the Autumn term, I learnt the basic of set design. It was mainly theory, so I wanted to gain experience in practical work in spring semester. By a good fortune, I got a chance to make a short film with some costume design students. For many of us, it was the first time to create a short film. It was little bit frustrated at first but was really helpful for me to learn about the process of creating, designing and produce a film. There were some problems and arguments in my group, but we learnt to compromise.
The opportunity to study at UAL was also an interesting experience for me in having to communicate in English. Working with other people and studying in English was very different to when I was at home. I needed to keep with others, share ideas and set schedules in English. But I came across various ideas from different cultures, and learnt English in a new and refreshing way.
Everything and everyone I met in London was beyond what I had expected before I came to UAL. The six months experience in London taught me more about art and design than my time in South Korea. This was definitely an unforgettable experience.