Kristina Kapeljuh one of our current fourth year students, spent some of her third year on exchange in Switzerland. We asked her a few questions about her experience which you can read below.
Where and what did you study on your exchange?
I studied Non-Fiction Illustration at Hoch Schule Luzern, Design und Kunst ( Luzern University of Applied Arts).
How long were you away for?
The term ran from February to July.
Why did you decide to go on exchange?
The reason is pretty simple, I wanted to learn German and see Switzerland (in winter time!) Also it is obvious that anyone who went on exchange benefits in academic and cultural terms, but personally I keep trying to get out of my comfort zone; once I had a feeling Edinburgh is a pretty comfy place for me, I decided to go to a new country.
How was your work was influenced by your exchange?
I started to draw much faster and better mainly because I had to do a lot life drawing (once per week we went for a drawing trip in sculpture hall in Basel (north-north Switzerland, very close to border) and to Zurich Zoo to draw animals which was very fun but useful too. Second part of semester I had chosen a very free course that allowed me to experiment with silk screen printing so I learnt some textile technical skills. But nothing can be compared to gaining confidence about my work and presenting it to people (which was always a problem).
What was the most important thing you learnt?
So confidence about own style was very important but also meeting multicultural people was more than valuable. The community of exchange art students was as educational as actual lectures.
What was the worst thing about your exchange?
The worst thing was language barrier because I knew very little German, while people in Switzerland have their own Swiss-German and Hoch-Deutsch didn’t really work anyway. But people were very lovely and willing to help me so it all got sorted.
Did you try any fun food?
Fun food! there was a lot! but I remember the very first one was Mac and Cheese with fried unions and apple jam! It was sooo unexpectedly good.
Did you manage to travel whilst you were away?
I even didn’t see my desk. We were traveling a lot for education with tutor, plus I took any opportunity to travel that I could, like snowshoeing in mountains, trips to French and Italian parts of Switzerland (they are almost like countries on its own) and also had a chance to go to Italy.
Would you recommend others go on exchange?
Definitely! If someone considers to, yes, please go for it! I know application is a bit of a long boring process but every second there is worth of it.
There is a link to Kristina’s Instagram here!