Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design
Minor/option/emphasis: Journalism and Mass Communications
Hometown, State: IA
Type of experience: Study Abroad
Experience: London College of Fashion Summer Design Program
Experience website: https://www.arts.ac.uk/colleges/london-college-of-fashion/courses/study-abroad/fashion-design-study-abroad-summer
My overall experience far exceeded my expectations. I learned so much about the fashion industry in both it's current state and what a future in fashion will look like. I appreciated the rigor of the program, as I was able to learn and grow immensely.
I learned about this opportunity by going to the College of Human Sciences Study Abroad Fair as a Freshman, fell in love with the program, and made it a goal to participate by my Sophomore year.
An impact to my life...
This has made a huge impact on on long-term career goals, as I was able to spend 2 months learning from industry professionals who had the most up-to-date and relevant information to offer on the major changes going on in the fashion industry and what it will look like in even just a few short years. Hearing all they had to say gave me a new perspective that I've never considered before about not only my future career but about myself as a designer. Pushing myself to fully immerse myself in the program and willing accept the challenges that came with it allowed me to take myself and my craft more seriously than I ever have before.
My most valuable learning experience...
The most valuable experience that I could take away from this program is just the confidence in myself as a designer and creative. One of the projects we had to complete for our Styling course required us to produce a successful shoot in London finding out own location, concept and clothing as well as reaching out to local photographers, hair and makeup artists, etc. This really pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me that if I can pull this off in a brand new city far away from home, I can do it anywhere and under any circumstance.
I will never forget...
The most memorable experience I have is sitting at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower and Eiffel Tower light up at every hour with a group of friends. A fun tidbit about that night is that we ran into a group of students who were also from Iowa, studying abroad in Spain. They joined us and we had the most amazing night that I'll always remember with great fondness.
A surprising discovery...
Something that surprised me is just truly how competitive the industry is, beyond college. Here, I'm used to professors really "holding my hand" and sparing my feelings when critiquing my work. The instructors there were very real with me when it came to giving feedback and although it was hard to hear, I appreciated it because I need to be prepared for what the industry will really be like.
Advice for others...
DO IT!! Any obstacles can be overcome if you are determined enough. For me, the financial aspect was a big thing, but I planned and saved for about one and a half years in advance and made it happen. All of the personal skills you will obtain will continue to pay off for the rest of your life.