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Eva from Hong Kong, BA in Fine Art

What is it really like to study art in the UK?

We spoke to Ying Chi (Eva) Lam, from Hong Kong, who is studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art at the University of Reading.

She shares her experiences, her work (scroll down for photos!) and her advice for anyone considering a degree in art or design...

Why did you choose to study in the UK?

'I was quite young when I first time came to the UK to study, so it is hard for me to remember the reasons why, but it was the right decision and I am happy about it. I have experienced a lot in these few years from high school to university; the most important thing was that without the support I got from teachers and staff, I would not have gained a good grade and gone to university.'

Eva, trying out various activities with her UK school – from horse riding to surfing! (All photos ©Eva Lam)

Want to study art and design in the UK?

What did you like most about the teaching methods you experienced?

'Interest and learning can be combined. I found that the form of
education was very different to my country; I am able to choose my favourite subjects and build on my own interests. This way of learning is efficient and positive.

'I would say that the UK is a perfect place to study art and design, as there are lots of museums, galleries and exhibitions located in different cities and towns. Art students are always supported and encouraged
to visit these resources, so we can gain knowledge and experience
usefully, and apply them to practical work.

'Reading University always arranged a week each term for students to visit current exhibitions in different cities and towns, and set up a wide range of workshops for us to learn new skills. I enjoy this way of learning, as it is much more interesting and informative.'

Eva working in the art studio and attending a casting workshop at Reading University

What advice would you give to future art and design students?

'Research carefully about the course that you wish to apply to, and make sure you are applying to the right course – and understand the meaning
and the difference between Fine Art and Design.

'It is always worth finding an agent at home to help you contact the UK university, especially if you have problems with English as a second language.

'Furthermore, studying in a foreign country might not be easy because of the language, but don't be afraid to ask questions and ask for help from teachers and other students.

'As my art studio tutor always tells me, “Ask when you don't understand, and tell them to find another way to explain.” Exchanging ideas and comments on each other’s work is very important, as improvement is gained.'

What are your ambitions for the future?

'Before going to university, my ambitions for the future were always fickle – I would like to be a fashion designer, an artist, or an accountant one day!

'Others always say that studying art for a future career is not an appropriate decision, as it is unstable. However, I found that there are more job opportunities than we expected when attending lectures or career day at university, and most importantly, we will gain support for finding jobs and planning our careers.

'For me, now I still would like to be an artist in the future – and probably as an artist or curator, to collaborate with other international artists in the future.'

Eva with friends at summer school in Padworth College, an international school in Reading, in 2010

A performance art exhibition at university

Eva curating an exhibition at Reading Museum in 2015

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