Shade Bakare is a student from the University of Georgia in the United States with big travel plans to study at the University of Arts London (UAL) and partake in the Fashion Business Semester Study Abroad Program at London College of Fashion (LCF).
When Shade recently introduced herself to the UAL African Caribbean Society Facebook group, I contacted the American student to find out a bit more about her aspiring dreams to study in this diverse and cosmoplitan city – London.
“Prior to attending The University of Georgia, I had always aspired to attend a fashion school in a large metropolitan area. Next year, in my final year of college, I will have the option of graduating early or studying abroad. So I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to pursue that aspiration – London is exactly the kind of cosmopolitan fashion conscious city I’ve always wished to inhabit I couldn’t be more excited to call it home over the course of my stay!”
Shade said about what she hopes to gain from studying in London; “I’m really looking forward to unleashing a previously suppressed spirit of creativity within me. At my home institution, I am studying Management Information Systems, which is a highly analytical subject. Although I have enjoyed my Major, I want more. More than just ‘black and white’/’yes or no’ thinking. There is always a grey area, and through the LCF Program, I hope to discover the other colours of the rainbow…”
And she’s already taken some steps towards discovering those colours by joined the UAL African-Caribbean Society Facebook group to get a heads up on the overall UAL student experience, particularly for students of African decent. Shade added; “I am really involved in my African Student Union at The University of Georgia and am excited to get involved with you guys on campus. Just wondering from your opinion how you enjoy your overall experience at UAL, particularly as a minority?”
That’s a great question from Shade addressed to Black (political term which also includes Asian, Arab and other ethnic minorities) students, which is often overlooked. Whereas there were a range of different responses from members of UAL ACS , it’s fair to conclude there’s always room for improvement starting with better Black Representation at UAL; from the staff to the SU representatives. Shelly Asquith, President of SUARTS and her team announced last week the decision to re-introduce Liberation Officers next year which is a great move towards giving ALL under-represent students including Disabled, LGBT, Black, a voice.
And with elections just around the corner, Black students are being encouraged to run for a position! There’s room for improvement however the first step starts with Black students wanting change. Find out more about the Operation Black Students’ Representation campaign supported by NUS Black Students’ Campaign. Get in touch with your College Engagement Coordinator Officer for more about elections – hurry, elections start soon!
We’re looking forward to welcoming Shade to our bustling city when she arrives later this year… Ah, and a piece of advice for any travel-in students: Don’t forget to apply for a Student Oyster card to get your discounted fares… You’ll need it for travelling around London!
Find out more about applying for a Student Oyster Card, visit tfl.gov.uk or get a standard Oyster Card at any Tube Station.
Are you a Travel-in student? Contact me to share your story and inspire other students!