Leila Samadi, third year Digital Media Communications BA student at the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design completed six months study abroad at Macromedia University Germany starting in March 2016.
At Macromedia Germany University Leila experienced a very different study environment. She said: “I was taken aback at the small scale of the campus and number of students, it is a very intimate and welcoming setting, as the campus consists of two floors with multiple classrooms. This enabled higher engagement between teachers and students.
“This was a new teaching and learning experience for me, as the teacher encourage a lot of participation of each individual, there was quite a lot of work that required giving presentations to the rest of the class and group work, which was different to Westminster as I feel that studying at Westminster is more individualistic.”
The approach to the same subject she studied at University of Westminster-Digital Media Communications also differed. Leila received a lot more real life situations where she had to work to client briefs.
“It was more of the business approach and implementing communication techniques to enhance the companies’ communication and brand strategies.”
At first, she was hesitant to go on a study abroad experience. This was due to financial reasons, as she believed that most study abroad opportunities were only to America and Australia. However, after a presentation from Macromedia University at Westminster where she learned how affordable and rewarding the experience is she was persuaded.
A special memory she remembers is of her 21st birthday that happen to be a day after her last exam during her time away. “It was the biggest relief finally submitting all my papers and exams and got to celebrate my birthday and completing a rather challenging semester!
“I was fortunate enough to share this experience with my new friends, who made this experience all the more memorable by throwing me a party. We also went ‘cake hopping’ around Berlin’s cafes and cake shops, starting off with coffee and cake shop at the top of Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, it has a revolving restaurant at the top where you can see a 360 degree of all of Berlin, it was a spectacular view!”
Leila explains that her experience benefitted her in many ways.
“Macromedia has many external company links, which they integrated into the teaching and learning, I gained a lot of confidence in presenting my work professionally to clients and sharing my ideas.
“My semester abroad also prepared me for my final year at Westminster, especially towards my dissertation, as the papers that I completed at macromedia required the similar research and format.
“Personally, I believe that I have grown as an individual. By living alone away from home I have learnt a lot about myself, I became aware of my work ethics and my comfort zone. It has been enlightening to see the benefits I have made academically and socially by stepping out of my comfort zone and engaging with other students.”