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We Are MA: Interview with Qian Sun

International student Qian Sun travelled from China to study MA Communication Design at NUA. She tells us about her experience of the course and studying in the UK.

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What were you doing in your home country before you came to NUA and why did you decide to start a Master’s degree?

I was teaching students on art foundation, sketching and colour courses in China. I really like illustration and I wanted to use it in my career development. I wanted to develop my professional skills and become more knowledgeable.

What do you think about the teaching at NUA? How is it different to your experiences in your home country?

Here it’s really flexible – we can attempt anything that we like. For example, my specialism is illustration, but I don’t have to be totally focused on illustration. I can focus on fashion, fine art or something different. It’s really interesting and totally different from my country.

What do you think about the MA Communication Design course?

I think my course is really creative and professional. The MA Communication Design course is broad and it has helped to expand my opinions and views. My tutor is very knowledgeable and gives me different aspirations and encouragement.

What project have you enjoyed most?

I really enjoyed the report project because I could explore something new. Initially I was struggling with how to research, because it was totally new to me. I didn’t know how to start and engage with different materials. That was difficult, but my tutor gave me some good advice and I am more confident now.

“Here it’s really flexible – we can attempt anything that we like.”

How has your practice changed since coming to NUA?

I think my work has become more professional, because previously I just followed my idea. Doing research has made me change my thinking methods. I use a clean and orderly way to help me research.

What do you think about Norwich? What are your favourite places in the city?

The city is a very friendly, peaceful and historical place. I had a good impression of this city before I came and I was delighted to be here when I arrived.

I really like the university campus. I like to sketch and observe different people around Norwich. I record them and make my illustrations. That’s my favourite thing. I like the cafes and churches too; they’re pretty.

What do you think about living in the UK; what are the advantages and disadvantages?

The advantages are the atmosphere and the surroundings. They are good for your study; you don’t have temptations, you can focus on your studies. The disadvantages, maybe the weather!

Have you travelled elsewhere in the UK or Europe since you started at NUA?

During the last holiday, I went to London and Amsterdam. I visited a lot of excellent exhibitions. I flew to Amsterdam in just half an hour!

What advice do you have for someone who might be considering a degree in the arts?

I think if you want to do an art degree you have to be knowledgeable, you have to be involved in things, you have to know your direction and your professional audience and how your work connects with industry. Direction is really important.

When I was applying to NUA, I remember I had my interview with the Head of Taught Postgraduate Awards, Marie Brennan. She gave me a clear plan about further study and she was very professional. She gave me a lot of good advice, which I really needed, so I chose NUA.

Find out about MA Communication Design