When on the exchange, I feel like I gained many new qualities. Firstly, learning in a different environment, with new people and new ideas was so interesting. It meant that I was pushed out of my comfort zone and into something new and exciting. Although it was great working with new people, I felt that the course was not for me, as they didn't really focus on helping the exchange students much. I was also unable to finish a project as the term times were different which meant that I didn't really experience the full project. The facilities were not as good as Chelsea, however, I started a new technique which was weave and I had never done this before. I enjoyed this so much and decided that that was definitely something that I wanted to carry on. I then came back to Chelsea and decided to change my specialism choice to weave from knit.
The project went well all in all. I feel that I worked hard and the tutors were really happy with the outcome. The course was not very structured which meant that I had to be very motivated to keep track of my time. Now that I am back I am enjoying the structure more. My work was very different to what everyone else had done as I was still working in a similar way to being in London. However, weaving was something that I really enjoyed and I feel that I was very experimental while I was away. I also tried incorporating painting and stitch into my work, which was quite interesting.
The cultural differences were not too hard to deal with. The language barrier was not a problem as I spoke very basic German and most people spoke English. If I had stayed for longer I think I would have taken up a language course, however it was not necessary for the time I was there. The food and culture was something, which I settled into very quickly. I loved the nightlife and music so much and felt so at home there in that respect. The cafe culture was a lot more relaxing than being in London, and the actual place was very interesting. All the graffiti and old warehouse buildings were great. Everything looked rather ugly at first glance, but then when inside you would find exciting little art spaces and cafes.
I feel that the exchange has benefited me in so many different ways. As well as being an exciting and interesting change, I feel that it has changed me as a person. It has given me so much confidence and I now feel that I can do anything, go anywhere and know that I will be fine in what ever situation I am put in. I feel that I could go to any country and join the industry and deal with ways in which they work, easily. I have learnt that a change of scenery can bring fresh, new ideas and feel that I will always be wanting more which I think is really exciting.