New Skills and Loads of Inspiration – My Exchange at OCAD University

By Sanna Kuisma, doing her exchange period at OCAD, Toronto

Grange Park in November - View from the school window

Toronto has welcomed me warmly and the atmosphere is great – people are friendly, helpful and polite. The city provides lots of activities from jogging at the beaches to visiting various unique stores and restaurants, characteristic neighbourhoods and opportunities to meet people from different cultures.

View from my home street - Toronto is a mixture of old brick houses and modern high-rises

During the four months I’ve been learning studio photography and UI design  as well as been experimenting with illustration and painting. I’ve learned more techniques and new tools by taking a leap not only far from Finland, but also far from my comfort zone.

Photography course work

The way of studies at OCAD is very independent - a typical course consists of a three-hour class and six hours of independent working in a week. Some course work was to be produced in fast pace, having a new assignment bi-weekly, whereas some courses only consisted of two bigger projects. High workload and tight schedule were something all courses had in common.

As well as the demanding teachers, dedicated students make the courses successful. Fellow students with different backgrounds and styles can give very useful feedback, and it’s been a pleasure to follow and be part of interesting conversations.

Some of the graffiti at the walls of OCAD – not allowed and constantly painted over

I am happy with my exchange, since I met awesome and inspiring people, got new friends and surely gained many new learnings for my future work. I can recommend OCAD for those prepared for hard work, and would encourage everyone to be active and make the most of your time abroad.

The author is a student of our International Media Programme
Read more about student exchange

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