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Hear straight from our graduates.

Studying abroad will be an unforgettable experience and you will definitely learn a lot from it.

Junior Art Director, SOV

Babeth Olde Hanter

You moved to Manchester for three months to study graphic design at Shillington. Can you tell us your story? 

I wanted to live abroad for a while. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, experience a different culture and speak a different language. So, I started to think about how I could realise it: turning my dreams into a plan! I didn’t know where to start at first, as I was not eager to study for another four years or go to a foreign country just for travelling. At one point, I saw a video of someone who had studied at Shillington, and I was immediately convinced. At Shillington, I could combine living abroad with an intensive three-month course that would prepare me for a job in the creative industry. After that, I didn’t need much time to decide when and where I wanted to go. It felt like the perfect opportunity to focus on being creative, to learn a lot, and to go abroad. In hindsight I made the right decision, because I have fantastic memories of my time in Manchester, and it changed my career!

Why did you choose to study in Manchester? And what did you think of the city—was it an inspiring place to study design?

When I started to think of where I wanted to do the Shillington course, I was not very familiar with Manchester. I began to Google and read about Manchester. It is not too big of a city but it has got lots of creative and inspiring places. When I came to Manchester the teachers told us about the best places to go and me and my classmates discovered new places every week. The Northern Quarter especially has a great creative vibe and got lots of nice cafes and unique shops.

Did you have any previous design experience before Shillington? How did the course build your skill set?

My experience in graphic design was very limited before Shillington. I had a little bit of experience with Adobe Illustrator, as I tried to make simple illustrations, and I used Photoshop occasionally because of my interest in photography. What I loved about the Shillington course is that we received lots of handouts with very useful tips and practices. In class, we had short moments where the teachers explained the handouts and we got lots of time to practice afterwards. We also did a lot of fun practices which helps you to think a step further. Shillington never really felt like school to me. Everyone was very motivated, and the teachers were very helpful and treated us like we were junior designers. They showed us their portfolio as well and came with lots of examples from their career.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to study abroad with Shillington?

If you are interested in design, willing to work hard and get as much out of the course as possible, then Shillington is the best place to go to learn graphic design. Studying abroad will be an unforgettable experience and you will definitely learn a lot from it.

It’s so much more than only learning the theory behind graphic design. You’ll learn the design thinking and how to turn that into a great visual design. The cool thing about studying abroad is of course discovering a new place and culture, meeting new people, sharing an interest and inspiring each other. It is all part of the adventure! The teachers are great, they make you feel at home and take your ideas and work seriously. The thing I loved of doing this course abroad, is that I got to focus myself 100% on it. I was surrounded with people who all had the same goal: becoming a graphic designer. You must work hard and go all in, but don’t forget to explore the city as well and have a lot of after-school drinks with your classmates!

Visit Babeth’s website and read her full interview on the blog.

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