BACA Preparatory Course, Major in Jewelry Design
University of the Arts London, Jewelry Design Major, UK
Today, we have invited Xu Ruoyan to share her experiences of choosing a school and her journey at BACA.
During the interview, my favorite project was my first work, “Interconnection.” It is a story responding to my intimate relationship with my mother. The work of artist Rebecca Horn – two embracing sculptures – gave me inspiration, leading me to present my relationship with my mother in the form of physical connections. The jewelry in this series can be worn together with a chain in the middle or separately, expressing the intimate yet independent relationship between my mother and me.
The biggest achievement for me in these three years is learning how to correctly create a visual journal and finding my own creative style. I have learned how to conduct in-depth research and find breakthroughs from multiple perspectives. The experimental part is also crucial; it needs to be connected with the research, like a cycle, to identify shortcomings until the research is deep enough and the experiments are perfect.
During my three years at BACA, I gained a group of friends who can go to the UK together. I got to know companions in advance with whom I can play, making life and study much more convenient.
At BACA, I can focus on art study without wasting time on other subjects, so I have more time to delve into the knowledge I love. If I had come to BACA in my Preparatory year, I might have struggled to keep up with the pace of the course and felt confused and exhausted.
The Preparatory year is quite short, from September to January, with only 4 to 5 months of preparation. It leaves no room for mistakes or much time to adapt. However, my two years of A Levels at BACA helped me transition and adapt to the Preparatory year’s teaching pace.
I had three to four interview coaching sessions with Tim, Aschkan, and Alex. Alex mainly assisted with my English language skills, such as writing and grammar, and she also paid attention to my tone, helping me adjust to the most confident state.
Tim is very knowledgeable about the Jewelry programs at Birmingham City University and the Glasgow School of Art. He introduced me to a lot of relevant information about these two schools and told me how to express myself during the interview.
Aschkan corrected some details in my interview, for example, my explanation of my portfolio was fluent, but when answering why I chose this school, I couldn’t repeat what was in my personal statement; I needed to find new arguments and provide more elaboration. After these interview coaching sessions, my descriptions of myself and my artwork improved significantly, and I became more confident, which helped me smoothly secure an offer from UAL.
Good Learning Atmosphere
BACA has a very good learning atmosphere. Everyone gets along in a friendly manner, and we can communicate effectively with the teachers, who provide us with the most useful advice for our work.
BACA’s art and design facilities are the most complete I have seen in international schools. They have all the equipment and materials needed for the Jewelry major, and each discipline has relevant technical teachers to guide us.
Before coming to BACA, I studied in the UK, where I had to study 11 GCSE subjects, with only one being art. I had only three hours of art lessons per week, and the teachers never taught us how to conduct artist research or develop our own artwork; we only learned the most basic painting techniques.
The teaching system at BACA is the same as in the UK, but it is more focused on art learning. The grading system for art is stricter than at my previous school in the UK, and there is a broader range of things to study in the field of art. During the first year of A Levels, we had to conduct artist research, get inspired, find interesting aspects, develop our own themes and concepts, and then experiment with materials.
In the second year of A Levels, we often had group discussions, presenting each other’s works. Through these discussions, I could understand the ideas of others; each student had a lot of creativity, and I could learn a lot of new knowledge. The learning atmosphere was excellent.
BACA’s teachers in the Preparatory Course are stricter than in A Levels. They directly pointed out my weaknesses and areas that needed improvement. Unlike during A Levels, where the teachers focused on encouraging teaching and cultivating our interest in art, they respected our ideas and tried to let us create according to our own ideas. Every