Studying at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology for three months has been an amazing experience. We experienced many challenges along the way, however, I feel we have grown to overcome this as a group (Alice, Rosie and I) and have gone on to learn many new and interesting things which I don’t think I would have got the chance to learn if I continued to study textiles. This time here at BIFT has really opened my eyes to differences between education in China compared to education at Cardiff Metropolitan University, and has made me very thankful.
Before travelling, I assumed all my classes would be taught in English. However, to my surprise very few teachers spoke any English at all. So this was a major challenge to understand my teachers. I was lucky enough to have many students help me to translate, which I think has benefited them as well, as I can see an improvement in there English since first starting at BIFT. The teaching style at BIFT I have struggled with as I feel it is very old fashioned and not very creative. It seems most classes are taught from text books, which doesn’t appeal to me. I prefer a more creative environment to work in, which has made me realise how much freedom we receive at Cardiff Met to be our own person and support from the teachers to try new things.
Nevertheless, I think I have learnt many fashion skills during my time here at BIFT. I have learnt how to draw the human body, which I am very pleased with as before I was very uninterested in drawing. I think this is a huge accomplishment as before I thought the body was very complicated to draw but this is now become an interest of mine, looking at the shapes of the human body. I have also learnt how to draw many different clothing patterns, and how to construct two types of skirts using an industrial sewing machine. I think this is a huge accomplishment in such a short space of time, I’m very pleased I stuck with my garment construction class, as I was really struggling with the language barrier from my teacher because she spoke no English, however, I overcome this with the help of my friends and have tried becoming more creative with the choices of fabrics. I really struggled using an industrial sewing machine at first because I had never seen anything like it, and it took time to practice becoming steady but now I have learnt I don’t mind these machines at all.
The university its self has many new and exciting thing happening each week, including exhibitions, textiles, fashion and jewellery based. Sports events, shows and markets. This has been a fantastic resource for inspiration and buying equipment and fabrics. The university also has its own Ethnic costume museum which although opening times have been a struggle to get to, what’s inside I have found to very inspirational specifically looking at patterns and marks.
This school is a complete contrast to Cardiff met, I feel as if they have very few resources like computers, printers and Wi-Fi. But saying this, my education here has been an experience in its self and I am so thankful for my teachers and in particular Richard, from the Erasmus office who has helped us meet people and I am pleased to have a whole new friendship group here at BIFT, which will make it a very emotional experience to leave.Ex