As a kid, my dad took me traveling with him a lot. At the age of nine, he took me to visit England, France, Germany, and Switzerland. I loved Europe and knew someday I wanted to experience living here. As an undergraduate, I did a summer abroad in Florence, Italy, with the Fashion Department, although I was an Illustration major, I took the course as an elective. Now as a postgraduate student, instead of a study abroad again, I decided to immerse myself in a different culture.
I grew up next to Washington D.C. and am used to the big city. Living in Falmouth has been a completely different change but the views are absolutely breath taking. I enjoy having a class of 28 students where we are all getting to know each other very well. At first coming to England, I was a bit shy to speak freely to people because I knew I sounded different and would get asked a lot of questions. Now, I think I like it. No, I definitely love being different!
I had been working through my undergraduate studies for five years. It took me five because in the US a bachelor's is normally four years, but I got two – Communication Arts BA and Psychology BA. I saved probably 90% of my pay every week to be able to come overseas for graduate school. I have had no help from any other source and must say I am pretty proud of myself to be funding all my own expenses out of my own pocket.
Being an international student does come with many difficulties. Our tuition is much higher, and you end up paying more for things just because you don’t realize what might be easier and more affordable. For example, I decided to stay in a student residence because I don’t know the area at all and thought it was a better way to meet people, have help getting around, and familiarize myself. I found out when I got here, that there are so many nice places in Falmouth to live renting with other students. Not only are they a bit more affordable, but they also come with incredible views overlooking the sea!
The course is pretty interesting. I have been surprised by the amount of time I have to myself. As a master's course, this time is meant for meeting with my partners and working on our projects. Since I was so busy in my undergraduate studies, I guess busier than most, as a master's student I feel like I have more time. This course has only solidified for me that Creative Advertising is exactly what I want to do. Only three months in and I already can’t wait to be done next year and start a job in this field!
The course leaders Chris and Rob are great. One of the features that drew me to this course is that both of them have had extensive experience in the advertising field. I have great respect for them and look forward to their feedback on assignments.
I love all the cool societies here at Falmouth that my undergraduate university didn’t offer. I am only here one year but have joined The Postgraduate Society, High Tea Society, Horse Back Society, and International Society. I also like to sign up on FLEXSI for cheap trips. For example, I’m going to Eden this weekend for only five pounds to do ice-skating and holiday activities with some friends on my course through FLEXSI. Also, I have become a Student Ambassador. As a master's student, we get to skip the training and interview process since we’re only here one year and supposedly we are more mature. Which of course I am! But it’s a nice way to work on campus and have a little income.
Something that the international students on my course have done on our own is organize international dinners. Someone will host a dinner and we all bring some item of food native to us. In the last one we did, we had food from Pakistan, Greece, Italy, Romania, Britain, Thailand, and Iran. It was delicious.
I love the views here. It’s spacious and lush and feels authentic.
I will definitely miss the peacefulness of the sea and the slow unrushed pace of life in this town.
As soon as I got here, I was just overwhelmed with the support I had – in a good way. On my very first night here, I was a bit disorientated and one of the Chaplin staff members, Jan, was so helpful and kind in showing me and a couple of other students our way to our residence. She even helped us get to the grocery store to have at least our essentials for the first night. The Student Support Services were very helpful to me too. I had to buy a calling card to contact my US bank in order to pay my tuition. Long story short they were very generous in letting me use a private room with a landline for over two hours to get it sorted out.
My advice would be to look into all your possibilities before you settle on one. Look at the housing options, look into what your course offers, and come to an open house. Also, it’s ok to come here and not know anyone! There are so many organizations and societies to help you meet new people. Don’t let the fear of the unknown get in the way of a great experience.
For my future, I want to move back home to the US and work in an international creative advertising agency as an Art Director. I’d like to still be able to travel in my job and have many more experiences in other countries.