We caught up with BA (Hons) Illustration student Janice about studying in the UK, what inspires her work and her plans after graduation...  

How did you first hear about Leeds Arts University?

I first heard about LCA when I was looking at art schools in the UK I potentially wanted to transfer to from New York.

Why did you choose to study at Leeds Arts University?

Unlike the previous University I was at, LCA is a lot smaller which provides a sense of community I was looking for. The illustration course here is also a lot more concentrated and refined so it really appealed to me because I didn't exactly know what I wanted to do with the set of skills I have.

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

We definitely have the advantages that art students at big universities don't, LCA specifically caters to art students so they are able to direct all their resources to creating art!

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?

Having studied in the states before coming to Leeds, I realized that courses here a lot more focused on helping students develop their professional practice rather than trying to urge students to explore and "find themselves", and I think it's a lot more pragmatic this way.

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

I've lived in big cities my whole life, so coming to Leeds is definitely a big change for me; small cities have their own perks, it's a lot quieter so I found myself being able to concentrate better. The key thing is to strike a balance between work and fun, take time out from the studio and explore the city; there are a lot of small shops and pubs which are a lot of fun to go to!

What are the studios and facilities like at the University?

The studios are very spacious so you won't have to worry about not having enough table space to work. The facilities are open to all students, so even as an illustration student I was able to access the ceramics studio to experiment with clay and stuff. 

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

We actually have a class which teaches us how to use our skills in the professional world. It's really useful and I'm feeling more confident than ever before about graduating, knowing what I can do as a creative practitioner.

Tell us what you like about living in Leeds

Leeds is a growing city and is getting very involved in the arts which is great. Even though it's not as big as London or Manchester it does have a lot going on. There are lots of slopes though so be ready to walk!