We caught up with Foundation Diploma in Art & Design student Sharon about studying in the UK, what inspires her work and her plans after graduation...  

How did you first hear about Leeds Arts University?

I went to Uppingham School and took art as one of my A Levels, I wanted to pursue art at a higher level and was recommended to do an Art Foundation to develop my knowledge and technique in Leeds Arts University by my A Level art teachers.

Why did you choose to study at Leeds Arts University?

Coming from Hong Kong, I preferred the city to the country and decided to come to Leeds because I wanted to be in a city environment. I also chose to study at Leeds Arts University because I liked the environment and the extensive space that I could use when I visited prior to studying here.

What are the advantages of studying at a specialist arts institution?

One of the best experiences since coming to LCA is being around people with the same passion as me. I have made a lot of friends because we all share the same interest. I am constantly inspired by the students around me and this has really helped the development of my work.

There are important differences in the way art and design is taught in the UK compared to other countries. What have you noticed regarding the learning experience at Leeds Arts University?

The teaching style of Art and Design in LCA and in the UK has made me more open minded towards certain ideas. This has enabled me to expand and broaden my approach to fine art practice. In Hong Kong my opportunities would have been limited but here in the UK and and LCA, studying fine art at higher education is very encouraged.

How have you adjusted to life in the UK and what advice would you give a new international student?

I have adjusted to life in the UK by embracing the culture and making friends with people from here. To new international students, I would advise you to immerse yourself into the UK culture and making the most of your time here.

What are the studios and facilities like at the University?

The studios are very spacious and this allows us to be more explorative and experimental in create big ideas. The facilities are great and the staff supervision is even better. Everyone is very supportive and helpful.

Do you feel that studying at Leeds Arts University is preparing you well for life after graduation?

Studying at Leeds Arts University has definitely given me a higher chance in pursuing Fine Art at a degree level. It has given me extensive opportunities and experiences that will most likely aid me in my career.

Tell us what you like about living in Leeds

I like living in Leeds because I am able to access the city easily, it also has a lot of art spaces and galleries to visit which is useful when studying at an art University. However, unlike London, Leeds is full of students and has therefore made this city feel like a second home. Spending is also cheaper which makes buying art supplies and night outs a lot more affordable.