An International Perspective: Why I chose to study MA Visual Communication

We caught up with International student Jihyun Kim who is studying on the MA Visual Communications course. Read more about Jihyun’s experience at BCU.

Tell us a bit about yourself...

I’m South Korean, I was born and raised in Johannesburg for seven years. Then, I lived in the Philippines for nine years. I came back to South Korea for college and worked as a fashion vendor for five years. My bachelor’s degree was in fashion design. I love to draw and, through this passion, I began designing tattoos.

Why did you choose postgraduate study?

After working for five years and due to the global pandemic, I was laid off, so I think it was the perfect time to learn something I am really interested in. With my design work, it was interesting to see how people reflect and react to my work differently. From this experience, I wanted to learn how to deliver my message to an audience. 

Why did you choose to study Visual Communication?

According to a study at the start of the millennium, the average attention span was 12 seconds. In 2013, the average lowered to 8.25 seconds. Comparatively, the average attention span of a goldfish is only 9 seconds. Therefore, I wanted to learn how to communicate better with an audience via visual communication. 

What is your specialism and why did you choose it?

I am interested in illustration and motion graphics. I didn’t learn how to draw, so, at the moment, I am still exploring what I can do and what my capabilities are. 

What have been your first impressions of studying in England? 

Everyone is considerate and understanding. They are incredibly patient and listen to your concerns. As an international student, you tend to be self-conscious, and since English is my second language, I try my best to be thoughtful and articulate. 

What support did you receive from academics? 

I received a lot of support from CAS (Center of Academic Success) and CLiC (Culture and Language in Context). These programs helped me to adjust faster, and since it’s been about seven years that I graduated, it was overwhelming to study again.

What’s been the highlight of your time at BCU so far?

Exploring and being fearless, trying out things I have never done. Normally, I only do 2D flat drawings, now I want to explore animation and 3D. I know it will take time and there could be failures, but my tutors are encouraging and will help me do my best. 

What advice would you give to people thinking about doing an MA? 

Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your ideas and ask questions in front of people. International students tend to be terrified of speaking in front of people because they are so self-conscious about their language skills. The tutors are incredibly patient. They listen to you. Language should not be a barrier to your creativity. 

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