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THE UK: Subject Guides

Student Spotlight: Fashion Design

Danya, from Indonesia, tells us her experience of being an international student in London.

Danya Sjadzali

Name: Danya Sjadzali

Course:  Fashion Design

Study Level: BA

University: University for the Creative Arts Epsom

Country of origin: Indonesia

Q. Why did you enroll on your course and how did you choose your university? 
The fashion design course offered by UCA Epsom allows me to undergo a foundation year (year 0) without having to re-apply to enter the BA course (year 1), which simplifies everything. UCA is located just 30mins away from London, which gives me a quiet study environment in Epsom but also the city life in London – it’s the best of both worlds.

Q. Why did you choose the UK as a study destination?
UK, especially London, is one of the world’s fashion capitals; and it is using English.

Q. How did you feel in your first month?  
Confused and lost, but excited! Luckily the university was very helpful to and that I met a lot of great supportive friends.

Q. How did your institution help you settle in to university life in the first few weeks?
We had a few “team building” and group work projects at the beginning of the course.

Q. Where did you live and how did you find suitable accommodation? 
I live in the on-campus accommodation which is just a 3 minute walk to get to the main building, and it’s the best way to get to know new people.

Q. How did you integrate into the social scene at your university?
The university doesn’t have a lot of societies so more socializing are done around the campus and through public events.

Q. Did you experience any culture shocks when you arrived in the UK?  
Yes. I found it quite hard to get used to the prices in England. If I see some clothes for £30 - which apparently is considered normal here- I would unconsciously convert it to Rupiah which makes it look like quite a lot of money.

Q. How did you fund your studies? 
Family funded.

Q. What were the biggest challenges that you faced in your first year? 
Settling in and to take care of everything on my own. Especially that I have to manage my own daily finances, it was a being a design student also means that I have to re-stock my art equipments regularly.  

Q. How does the English teaching style differ from that in your home country?
Not very different as I am used to the international curriculum which my high school in Indonesia had.

Q. What are the best things about studying in the UK?
The excitement of facing new adventures each day! Especially with the endless opportunities students can benefit from throughout their years of study, for example internships. Currently I am an intern at Michael Van Der Ham’s studio. Michael is a well known young fashion designer who has participated three times at the London Fashion Week. I enjoy being directly involved in the industry.  

Q. What are you planning to do after graduation?
Move to London to work for a rising designer or start up my own business – slowly.

Q. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started your studies?
Being independent is a struggle but satisfying once you have succeed :)

Q. What advice would you give to other new international students?
Be open-minded and be discipline to your own rules.

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