Meet Seo who studied International Foundation in Art and Design at INTO Manchester in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University. She is now studying BA (Hons) Fashion at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Can you tell us about this course?
We did different projects every week. Sometimes, we did three-week projects and six-week projects. Our final major project was allocated ten weeks of time. For every project, tutors would give us a key word to explore; then we developed our thoughts and ideas using the key word as a starting point for every project.
Do you think the teaching and learning methods enhanced your learning?
The teaching and learning was very different from my previous education experience. The best thing was the freedom that was given to us as students. There were no rights or wrongs; so I could try to express my ideas in many ways and this was really helpful in revealing my creativity.
My practical sessions took place in the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Art School. This was magnificent as I could see other students’ work and be inspired whenever I wanted. It was also helpful to understand the processes involved in handing in coursework and what happens in general at the MMU Art School.
Our tutors didn't force ways upon us which in a way, is their own method of teaching. They always respected each students’ individualities and their ideas. They would give us some direction to help us extend our ideas. But the finding of an idea or making the actual output in each project was the student's role. At first, I was not able to deal with each project. But now, through all processes throughout this course, I think I have developed myself more and more through the tutors’ teaching and advice.
What skills have you learnt and developed?
Initially I was interested in fine art and explored many ways within it such as; installation, sculpture and painting. After all my exploring I chose fashion design and tried to find my illustration style and sewing skills. The most important skills which I acquired during studying this course were a variety of sewing techniques and using sewing machines. I was taught how to deal with the sewing machine and I learnt how to make garments.
Which module is your favourite and why?
The final major project was my favourite module because there was no key word. I could decide the subject myself and the whole process for my final piece was very exciting. I needed to lead the whole process for ten weeks. I used the sewing skills and drew fashion illustrations. I put all of my abilities to use. Through this process, I learnt how to manage time and every part of a project.
Has your English improved while studying in Manchester?
I think my English has improved because I have been living in Manchester and I needed to use English to live, naturally. Also, throughout my course, I learnt different ways to express myself and words related to art and design in English for Academic Purposes.
Do you think that the work you have done has prepared you for life at MMU?
Being able to show my work at the degree exhibition was an exciting experience for me because it was the first time that I have ever shown my work officially. I was really happy to do this.
When hoping to study an art and design course at university level, it is very important to be able to explain my work to others, so, it’s given me practise for next year. The more I talk about my work, the more confidence I will gain when presenting my work in future student exhibitions and in my career. My tutors and friends who visited the show complimented my work; strangers even did as well! Most of them said that my work was lovely and beautiful. Above all, young girls liked my clothes and drawings.
One of my pieces was inspired by 'Alice in Wonderland', so the girls could feel the kind of mood which I intended to be felt. I will never forget this event and I have mixed feelings now I’ve finished the entire process. It’s a difficult feeling to describe. I feel somewhat sad it’s over, but I’m also looking forward to starting again next year on the Fashion course at MMU!
Is there anything else you'd like to say?
If there are people who want to study art and design in the UK, I would recommend INTO Manchester because this course is good for exploring different ways of approaching different areas such as fine art, graphics, fashion and photography. Anything art and design related, really.