Blooming Creative

Written by Doug Crookston and Soraya Mueller

Study Abroad Programme student Soraya, from University DHBW Ravensburg in Germany, where she was studying Media / Graphic design, spent five months at the University of Reading, . Looking to broaden her experiences and develop her skills, Soraya made the decision to study with the Art Department for her time at Reading.

Soraya hadn’t always considered studying abroad. She was inspired to take the opportunity to study internationally, by her director of studies who previously completed his MA at the University of Reading. He advised her that if she wanted a different experience, where she was given a lot of freedom to create, this would be a great place for her to study.

“This was a really important experience for me, studying at Reading helped me find out more about myself, what I enjoyed, what I wanted to learn later on, and where I wanted to go in the future.”

Soraya had been used to very formal projects, so experiencing such a creative and flexible environment was daunting at first. At Reading she was encouraged to work on what she wanted to do, creating something new, and developing her creative skills. She was able to explore her interests and was given the tools and freedom to explore her creative interests and develop her ideas, from creating installations, and videography to more graphic work.

“I found it hard to work with that kind of creative freedom at first, but you have to be open, as soon as you learn to deal with that, it’s just amazing.”

Soraya used her experience in media and graphic design to influence her work at Reading and now uses her flexible and creative experience in Art to influence her design work. Her experience studying at Reading has given her invaluable skills and experiences that have changed her attitudes to her current studies and interests, she has been given the opportunity to grow as a creative.

“Art is now informing my graphic design; it’s been very recognisable. Things inform each other, the more you learn the more you are informed by different things. Having an experience with that much freedom made me realise how much I enjoy creating without a structured brief.”

Soraya loved her whole experience at Reading, it was completely different to DHBW Ravensburg, not just her course, but also the different experience of being at a large, busy, multicultural campus University.

“If you want to experience something new, you should do it, it’s just amazing. Be brave in the beginning, and then it’ll be fine.”

She would highly recommend any international student takes the opportunity to come to Reading, to study at the School of Art, as it is such a supportive, varied, and flexible environment. Where students leave as a more developed creative, having been given skills and experiences that will positively impact their careers and further education.

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