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Ohio Northern Graphic Design Students To Study in London

Tori and TiffanieThe department of art & design at Ohio Northern University has long been dedicated to giving students the chance to deepen their knowledge in their chosen career field and to broaden their worldview by adding a global perspective.

In fact, studies have shown that students who study abroad during their collegiate years are much more likely to become globally engaged citizens afterwards.

“Studying abroad is the first time that many students see how people in other parts of the world live, and they take those lessons back home with them,” said Brit Rowe, associate professor in graphic design and chair of the department of art & design. “It can have a significant impact on how they live the rest of their lives.”

But, that’s not the only reason why a pair of Ohio Northern design students will be studying next term at the University of the Arts London.

“I know this experience will have a great impact on my work as a designer,” said Tori Brake, a junior graphic design major. “I have the knowledge and background through studying graphic design at Ohio Northern, but learning from the UK design world will expand my horizons socially, academically, and creatively.”

Tiffanie Seillier, the other junior graphic design major to study in London, agreed. “This experience will teach me how to take a different look at graphic design, be more competitive and be more independent.”

The opportunity for these ONU students to study in London occurred last year when a strategic affiliation agreement between Ohio Northern and the University of the Arts London was established.

“Our department faculty laid the ground work,” said Prof. Rowe. Associate Professor of Art Melissa Eddings serves as the study abroad coordinator for the department of art & design.

“The University of the Arts London is one of the world’s most respected art and design schools,” said Rowe. “But, just like any other art and design school, students still are required to submit an application and transcripts. Our students needed to show a portfolio of work and submit faculty recommendations. Admission isn’t automatic. It is an extensive application process.”

After learning of their acceptance to the design program in London, both students expect to learn far more than just design.

Accounting for her studies, Tori said, “I wanted to apply to the University of the Arts program simply because of its great reputation and location. The program is very intense and the change of pace will be both challenging and refreshing. It also is located in the center of the city and is surrounded by the very essence that is the London art scene.”

Classes for Tori and Tiffanie begin on Monday, January 11 with the term ending the week of March 19, 2010.

Even though a wide variety of design courses are available to international students in London, students will schedule courses when they arrive for orientation.

“I am actually not certain which classes I will be taking right now. They will basically hand us our schedules when get there,” said Tori.

“We just know that we’ll be studying alongside the second year design students at Chelsea,” continued Tiffanie. Usually a design communication course is required.

Regardless of the course loads, both students are looking forward to the journey to London and expect to have a life changing experience.

“My entire stay in London will be a total learning experience,” said Tori. “I will be taking some intense design courses and will be fully immersed in the UK culture. That will be a whole other experience in, and, of itself!”

London is a vibrant and exciting city and is home to many world-class museums. There are over 300 to choose from, ranging from the traditional to the hi-tech.

When planning her time in London, Tori stated, “Aside from my studies, I plan to do a lot of traveling within the city of London and a few museum visits are on the top of my list. If we have a free weekend, I may buy a cheap plane ticket to Ireland. And, after the semester is over, I plan to visit friends and family in France and Germany for a few weeks before I come home.”

“I also want to travel around Europe and meet lots of people from different cultures,” explained Tiffanie. “It’s something we usually don’t get to do in Ada, Ohio!

Prof. Rowe believes that the students will find the London design program intense. “The quality of the program is very good. I think the students will emerge as more globally engaged citizens.”

“We do require our studio arts majors to study aboard,” explained Prof. Rowe. “But, design students are offered the same opportunities. Study abroad has become more integral to our students’ educational experience.”

“More and more students want to study abroad and want to become more globally engaged citizens,” said Prof. Rowe. “Our students are longing to have these experiences.”

University of the Arts London is a diverse and creative community of 24,000 full and part-time students from over 100 countries. The consortium agreement provides a unique opportunity for visual arts and design students to study in one of the world’s most important cities for graphic design. While living and studying in London, Europe’s hub for museums, design research and technology, design students can enroll in courses such as visual thinking, typography, information design, narrative structures and graphic and spatial design.

The department of art & design already has a specific cooperative art exchange agreement with the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The University also has agreements with the Studio Art Centers International, Florence, Italy and the Burren School of Art in Co. Clare, Ireland. Numerous other international opportunities are available to students at Ohio Northern including studying in Cuba, South America and Europe. ONU is a member of the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) that provides many study abroad and internship opportunities.

Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second edition of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2009-10 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.

image: Tori Brake and Tiffanie Seillier