We spoke to Kiara Hambali, final year BA (Hons) Creative Advertising and international student from Singapore, about how she came to the decision to study at Leeds Arts University, what she gets up to on the course and how the University has helped her settle in the UK...

Kiara, alongside her creative partner Fe Sasson De Campos, has recently received a D&AD New Blood nomination for their Coors Light submission Girls Night, Refreshed’, as well as being shortlisted for the prestigious Cannes Future Lions competition. The pair are also finalists in this year’s Drum magazine Chip Shop Awards.

Image: Fe Sasson De Campos and Kiara Hambali Coors Light submission ‘Girls Night, Refreshed’

Why did you decide to study in the UK?

I felt like UK would be the perfect place for me to learn about advertising. There are a lot of opportunities here especially within the arts. I also wanted to have a change of scenery from the constant summer in Singapore and wanted to experience a whole new different culture, one that is different from back home and where I used to study.

Image: Courtesy of Kiara Hambali

How does Leeds Arts University help you develop your practice?

Leeds Art University helps me develop my practice because there is such a positive community, in which we can always share our work and gain feedback. The tutors are very helpful and are always organising ways for us to help each other in our practice. To add to that, my favourite thing about the course is that, from the very start, we are given opportunities to do live briefs which are given by agencies throughout the UK. With this we are able to work with real brands and real briefs, and talk to professionals that give us valuable feedback and suggestions towards our work.

What does a typical day/week as a BA (Hons) Creative Advertising student involve?

Ideas, ideas, ideas, most of the time we’re just thinking of ideas, sharing ideas and talking about ideas. With our sketchbooks and a pen, we are probably just sitting in a corner, or desk and drawing our ideas! We also have pitches in which we present our ideas and receive feedback from our tutors and peers.

Image: Courtesy of Kiara Hambali

What was your route to University - what did you study before starting University? Did you always have an interest in BA (Hons) Creative Advertising?

Before this I was doing a Diploma on Advertising in Singapore, once I completed my studies I decided I wanted to further my education in the UK. After doing some research I felt like the course that Leeds Art University provided for Creative Advertising is the one that excites me most and is the right fit for me, and here I am!

Image: Courtesy of Kiara Hambali

What advice would you give to someone considering studying BA (Hons) Creative Advertising at University?

Be prepared to think a lot and prepare to be confident! You have to do a lot of presenting and talking to get your ideas across!

How has the University helped you to settle here?

Everyone is very welcoming and friendly! On my first week here we had a meeting for international students, where we got to meet people from around the world and bonded with them. On the subsequent week we had an orientation with the people on our course with all students from the same year and above. I felt like they gave us a lot of opportunities to find new friends and get the whole university experience. To add to that, the tutors are very welcoming and there is always the Student Welfare team if you need help.

Header Image: Courtesy of Kiara Hambali