Due to COVID19, schools and universities across the globe have taken the education experience online, and the GFC course and Bunka Gakuen University are no exception to this. Since the start of the academic year in April, we have been successful in continuing our full curriculum online, with some face to face classes where possible. Going online brings certain struggles, especially for a fashion course. However, it also allows for new opportunities and roads of exploration. Amidst this situation, we asked our newest students about their experiences with the online curriculum.

Over the last six months, we have participated in online classes with the occasional face-to-face tutorial or workshop session. I was grateful to have landed in Japan before the lockdown began, and as the situation stabilizes, I have been able to enjoy my experience living abroad.  During the lockdown, I adapted my working style and built a home studio to stay motivated with my design practice. I hope to access the Bunka campus facilities soon, but working from home has presented an exceptional challenge to push myself and my abilities. Despite the limitations of online classes, I am taking advantage of this time to enrich my knowledge by pursuing multiple avenues of research.  Being isolated from my instructors and classmates has encouraged me to seek opportunities to work in Tokyo, and I have been able to balance these opportunities with coursework as the year progresses. With lockdown restrictions lifted, it has also been a good time to explore Tokyo and nearby cities safely and to get better acquainted with Japanese culture.  I am looking forward to meeting the rest of the students as they make the move to Japan and to continuing to make the most of this unprecedented learning experience.

Carlin Brown, first year student GFC

When the first semester started, the online classes were quite a struggle. Initially, it was very challenging to communicate with the professors only once a week online, especially regarding the fashion collection, showing samples and fabric manipulations in person. Moreover, due to the time difference, I had to wake up very early in the morning, which interrupted my entire work and sleep routine. 
However, over time, the process got easier because the university was very organized, especially when we started individual sessions. It was still challenging because I prefer to show my work in person as it allows for a better feedback. I had a scanner at home, which made things easier to present but the lack of a proper studio and a work environment affected my efficiency and motivation levels. Despite all that, the teachers are very understanding and each student gets enough time in their one-on-one sessions, which makes the online system work-able. 

Ameena Imran, first year student of GFC

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