We caught up with Aishah Abd Wahab, current BA (Hons) Visual Communication and international student from Malaysia, about her love for our 'beautiful' library, the comprehensive student support available at the University and the friendliness of the city...

Why did you decide to study in the UK?

The UK has a thriving creative industry which I was eager to be a part of. I aim to learn as much as possible here to help invigorate the arts industry in my home country too. I am also a fan of the wide range of museums and galleries that are available here (most of which are free!), as well as the British Library which has centuries-old manuscripts (including Nizami Ganjavi’s!) that are made accessible to everyone.

Due to its size, the UK is also incredibly travel-friendly by train, so I liked the prospect of being able to travel on the weekend so that there’s a good balance between my studies and personal life.

Film: Courtesy of Aishah Abd Wahab

Tell us which resources and facilities you use the most, and how they help you develop your practice.

I have used quite a number and my favourites are the video/3D workshop, photography studios, the library, and of course, our beautifully lit studio. I don’t own any professional filming equipment so in creating my documentary, the equipment available at the video and photography workshops was incredibly useful.

The library is absolutely beautiful and is a great place to study and browse through books. I also like the study rooms, which I often use for independent study or for when I need a silent space to do any recordings. The studio is great because of the way it is laid out. It enables lots of conversations throughout the day which are especially helpful for idea generation or for when you’re stuck on a piece of work.

Image: Courtesy of Aishah Abd Wahab

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

Since Visual Communication is a multidisciplinary course and it takes time for everyone to develop their own practice, the advice I would give is to experiment as much as you can initially and to keep an open mind to any paths that you may find yourself in.

I joined the course intending to develop myself as an animator, but I eventually found that the nature of the work does not suit me. Through subsequent projects, I realised that I have a larger interest in illustration and have a particular passion in creating work that engages the public in meaningful ways which then drew me to curation. It’s good to remember that you will very naturally gravitate towards the work you resonate with most, so don’t worry if it is not made obvious right away.

Another thing worth mentioning is that even though the course is very practical, theoretical research is highly encouraged too, so bring all of your ideas, theories, and interests with you to be able to create work that is both visually and thematically interesting.

Image: Courtesy of Aishah Abd Wahab

How has the University helped you to settle here?

The University staff are very friendly and supporting, from the Student Welfare team who are there to address any of your enquiries, all the way to the on-site technicians who noticed I was lost and helped me find my way to the studio!

As an international student, there are a wide-range of support available and the one I often use is the 1-1 English Language support which was useful when I needed help with proofreading my children’s book and film script.

Image: Courtesy of Aishah Abd Wahab

What do you like about living in Leeds?

Coming from Kuala Lumpur, a city that requires you to drive most of the time, I greatly enjoy how accessible Leeds is by foot. I live nearby the University which is also incredibly close to beautiful parks, cafes, and local amenities. It makes life so much easier when you need to quickly grab some food or a cup of coffee. Leeds is also a very friendly city, and you will always find someone who’s happy to show you the direction or offer to lift your luggage after a long day of travelling. The magpies, bunnies, and squirrels lounging about at the park are a lovely addition too!


@aishahillustrates / @aishahcaptures

Header Image: Courtesy of Aishah Abd Wahab