University of the Arts London
UAL is located everywhere around London. It consists of London College of Fashion, London College of Communication, Chelsea College of Arts, Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins and Wimbledon College of Arts. Each campus functions on its own but UAL students can access all campuses. Most BA courses will have a main site that students go to for most lessons but otherwise, your mornings will be spent exercising in the form of running after the bus or tube and doing a bit of exploring around the city while finding shortcuts. Student accommodation is available everywhere around London near the college campuses. You will receive more information via email from UAL when you accept your offer. It is famous for fashion, art, design, basically all your artsy subjects.
There are two types of students. Those who drink and be merry and those who work till 3am almost everyday. Art and design is very competitive. If you are not prepared to give it your all, you will just lag behind and no one waits for you. Teachers like students who work hard so there’s really no short cuts. (Also, if you are prepared to leave everything you have behind in Singapore to pursue art, I would expect nothing less from you except the very best.)
Be open, meet more people and have fun. It’s art school so there are all sorts of people here, weird or not, good or bad. You get inspired very easily because of all the creative people around you and you will really appreciate the friends you meet here because you don’t find many like minded people pursuing art back in Singapore.
Good thing about art and design courses. There are no exams. (YAYYY) But, there are lots of assignments and submissions.
UAL is very international, you will expect many European students in the BA courses as well as many Koreans and PRCs. There are Middle Easterns, Russians and Ukranians too. You will get to meet people from all over the world here. Many students are rich and if you enter a fashion course, expect lots of Louis Vuitton bags, Kenzo tops, Burberry coats etc. There is a lot of pressure BUT, this does not mean that you have to succumb to the crowd. Stay true to yourself. All in all, it is one of the most diverse communities you will ever be in so go out, meet people, make friends and keep them.
There is a pre departure briefing for UAL but it’s up to you whether you make friends there or not. Personally, I made more international friends on Facebook via the many Facebook groups UAL would have set up for freshers before heading to London. There are not many Singaporeans around, (well, it’s art) but if you speak to Mr Tang (VJC art teacher) I’m sure he will help to link you up to some of us studying art or design in London. You are on your own for most parts but really, just be more thick skinned and throw away your shyness. You will make friends in London who will be there for you when you need someone to talk to. Get out of your comfort zones, smile and just start saying Hi.
Neo Wen Jing
Fashion (First Year Undergraduate) ’14/15