Published: Mar 4, 2011
SCAD M.F.A. photography student Dru Phillips speaks at a SCAD Hong Kong student mixer.
SCAD Hong Kong announces substantial slate of summer classes
After only a few months at SCAD Hong Kong, M.F.A. photography student Dru Phillips has been forever changed - for the better.
Now back at SCAD Atlanta, Phillips has had some time to reflect on his fall quarter abroad, distilling the adventure into one word: "Epic!"
"Not only did it change my perspective on photography," he said, "but my experience also gave me a whole new outlook on life."
The Florida native, who had never before traveled outside the United States, found himself in the streets of the vibrant and historic neighborhood where SCAD Hong Kong is located, working day and night on the "Documenting Sham Shui Po" book project. In this bustling foreign metropolis and visually stimulating environment, Phillips took his stunning photography to a "whole new level." He immersed himself in the culture - making new connections, learning a new language, and observing the way the people operate and interact.
"I began actually seeing things, rather than just looking at them," Phillips said. "Being in Hong Kong also made me reflect on myself and renew my respect for the art of photography."
When he learned that SCAD Hong Kong would be offering classes this summer, Phillips was quick to encourage fellow students studying at other SCAD locations to take advantage of the opportunity if possible. "There is something for everyone there, everywhere you look," he said.
The offerings include classes
in animation, drawing, graphic design, interactive design and game development, liberal arts and visual effects, as well as an array of off-campus programs
With four physical locations and a robust eLearning program, SCAD presents students with opportunities to study in various settings around the globe, from big city life in Atlanta to the serene French countryside, from the historic charm of Savannah to the lively nature of Asia's world city.
Most importantly, SCAD encourages students to experience its markedly distinct locales by making it easy and practical to do so:
- Students in good standing can enroll for one or more quarters at another SCAD location, including SCAD Hong Kong. Current students should consult their student success adviser to explore this option and do not need to submit a new application for admission.
- Tuition for classes is the same at all SCAD locations. Students at SCAD Hong Kong have the option to pay fees in U.S. dollars or Hong Kong dollars.
- Credit for all SCAD classes taken at any SCAD location is applied to degree programs as outlined in the course catalog.
SCAD alumna Lucha Rodriguez (M.F.A., printmaking, 2010) considers her stay at SCAD Lacoste her most memorable experience.
"The change in the air and atmosphere there truly refreshed my work," she said. "The fact that I could visit different galleries, meet extraordinary people and experience another culture expanded my horizons in ways I never thought possible. Coming from the city life of Atlanta to the pastoral landscape of Lacoste was a great change of pace, and I had fewer distractions."
Eleanor Twiford (M.A., interior design, 2008) - a self-proclaimed "Francophile at heart" - chose SCAD because of its Lacoste program but never fulfilled her desire to study there. Now, as student services coordinator for SCAD Lacoste, Twiford ensures that students enjoy and make the most of their experience.
"I don't see why any student wouldn't take advantage of a study abroad opportunity," she said. "Being abroad can be the most demanding and enlightening quarter a student can experience.
"Back when I was an undergraduate student, I had to go hunting for programs through other schools and deal with transfer credits and lots of paperwork," Twiford added. "SCAD offers it to you on a silver tray; all you have to do is meet with your adviser if you're interested, and he or she can help you start the process."
Twiford is currently getting a taste of SCAD Hong Kong, assisting in the office of student success and advising.
"Overall, Lacoste and Hong Kong are two distinct places with distinct cultures," she said. "As with all SCAD locations, they're unique but complementary."
B.F.A. photography student Alec Bastian, who began his SCAD career in Savannah, is discovering the various contrasts between Lacoste and Hong Kong, studying at the former during Fall 2010 and now exploring the latter.
"I am interested in traveling as much as possible, expanding my horizons, experiencing foreign cultures, seeing exciting architecture and meeting new, diverse people throughout the world," Bastian said. "I chose SCAD because of the unique opportunity to study abroad at both Lacoste and Hong Kong."
Bastian, an architectural photographer who grew up in Stuttgart, Germany, is a strong proponent of studying abroad, pointing out the numerous advantages, especially for artists.
"In addition to experiencing diverse ways of life, the opportunity to be assimilated into a different culture is priceless," he said. "The creative impulses that are imparted are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any art student. Being introduced to different styles of art and different ways of seeing has inspired me creatively. This process has helped me to define my own identity as an artist."
Phillips agreed, saying his work definitely benefited from spending a quarter in the unfamiliar and invigorating environs of Hong Kong. As a result, his thesis focuses entirely on street photography, much of which he captured in Hong Kong.
"If I didn't have an apartment here in Atlanta," Phillips said, "I might not have come back."
He knows he'll return to Hong Kong, and with the increasing opportunities offered by SCAD, including summer classes, that trip might just come sooner rather than later.
Learn more about summer classes at SCAD Hong Kong
and about all SCAD locations
Courses of study are registered with the Hong Kong Education Bureau. It is a matter of discretion for individual employers to recognize any qualification to which these courses may lead. Registration numbers: 261958-261971.