The Connector
The Connector
by Katherine Diaz Villegas
Photo by Katherine Diaz Villegas

Taking classes in a different part of the world can be quite intimidating. Luckily at SCAD, all the classes are mostly the same across the four unique campuses. The classes are structured similarly and share requirements and expectations for each course. However, there are slight differences depending on the specific campus to accommodate certain aspects.

From my experience, I can only talk about the Atlanta and Hong Kong campuses. The advantage of taking classes in Savannah, I have heard, is that they have more options in terms of which courses are offered and how often.

In Atlanta and Hong Kong, the classes are more limited and sometimes only offered during one timeslot each quarter — or even just once a year. The advantage, however, is how close you become with faculty, staff and fellow peers. With the smaller size of the campus in Atlanta, you have much better one-on-one help with your classes. And the Hong Kong campus is even smaller than the Atlanta, but both are equally as inspiring with the interior design of the space. In Hong Kong, it never feels overcrowded or like you don’t have space to do your own work.

Along with the specific hours you have to complete in your classes, all classes require field trips or ELO (Extended Learning Opportunities). In Atlanta, these requirements change depending on the class, professor and quarter. Most of the foundation classes require or offer the opportunity to attend certain events, talks or help sessions. Once you get into your major classes, you’ll go to certain field trips with your professors. As a writing major, most of my fields trips were to talks the school had arranged from authors, editor or publishers. I’m also double majoring in fashion design, so my field trips for fashion are for talks the school hosts with people in the industry. I even got to go to some fabric stores in my apparel classes.

The Hong Kong campus is similar, but the field trip experiences are much more than I’ve ever experienced. They are so immersive and catered to each specific class. Because the city is easier and quicker to navigate with the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) and public buses, getting to where your destination is never difficult. In the beginning, you’ll probably meet with your class at the campus and then all go together, but after the first couple of weeks everyone pretty much knows how to travel solo. There are also amazing apps for your phone that help you navigate and tell you specifically what bus you need to take, when to get off, where to walk, etc.

Since Hong Kong is such an international city, this reflects on the campus as well. A lot of the students are only at the campus to study abroad, or stay for a couple of quarters. Since a big part is traveling and exploring Hong Kong, the field trips cover so much of what you probably would’ve never found on your own. So far, I’ve gone to the fashion show week for Hong Kong, the Chanel Exhibition, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design, and a couple of gallery shows and museums all over the city. Going to the field trips helped me get out of my comfort zone quicker and explore the city, whether on my own or with the group.

So, if you’re considering studying abroad here and are worried about not being able to get out much because of classes or because you’d be coming alone or whatever the reason may be, don’t worry. The faculty and professors make sure that you can explore the city as a part of your educational experience. This has completely changed how I see a standard class setting and I am so excited to see what’s in store for the rest of my time here.


Check back next week for more of “Kat’s Adventures Abroad.”