An international exchange is a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you can can meet new people in a beautiful environment, expand your perspective and accept the challenge to step out of your comfort zone. The world is your oyster. That is also what the students below thought.
Ruth studies costume design at the Academy and decided to add an international exchange experience during her studies. She traveled to Oslo, Norway, where she completed a semester abroad at the Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo.
It’s mostly her love for the Scandinavian culture and nature that convinced her to take this step. It gave her the opportunity to experience something completely different than what she was used to, with the awe-inspiring beauty of a Norwegian fjord in the background. She opened herself up to different perspectives and thoughts, which she was then able to take back with her and incorporate in her Belgian studies. She saw it as a new opportunity to learn and evolve and emphasizes the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone and see things from another point of view.
In Oslo she learned what it means to be independent, adaptable and problem solving. And all of this covered in a fresh layer of Norwegian. She 100% recommends it to other students as well!
“Going to study abroad can be difficult because you kind off start from zero again, new school, new city, new home etc. You need to build up a new network and new rhythm and find new friends and so on. Even though it may sound challenging (and definitely can be), an international exchange provides an environment for people who are open for this experience and it really is an exercise in patience and trusting that things work out. In a short amount of time you find yourself falling in love with a new place and the people you meet and in the end it’s an experience that no one can take away from you.”
Anna chose costume design as her course of study at the Academy. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in June 2022 and will start her Master's year within a month. To gain new ideas and discover innovative study methods, she went to Estonia on Erasmus.
She studied for six months at the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn, the capital. Because of the wildly enthusiastic stories of others who had been there on exchange, she knew very quickly that she too would feel at home there. The fantastic workshops, many international connections, guest lecturers and good organization were just a few of the positives she lists as reasons for coming to this university. She also had the opportunity to do many trips and was able to build up a large international network.
She returned home with a backpack full of new techniques, languages, social skills and an appreciation for other countries, cultures and art.
“The most valuable thing I experienced was the different lifestyle in the country I did my exchange (Estonia) which still inspires me so much - a slower life. Close to local culture and nature, close to tradition and crafts but with a very modern twist to it. I felt so much appreciation for where they come from and what they stand for while simultaneously having such an open heart. I'll take that with me forever.”