Great Graduates Archive

“London is an open-minded city which offered me a lot of opportunities” – Tae Youn Kim, from South Korea

BA Design student Tae Youn Kim moved from South Korea to London to study at Goldsmiths, University of London. Here he shares his experiences of studying in London.

Why did you choose to study Design at Goldsmiths, University of London?

I attended a British Council study abroad fair in Seoul and talked to many members of staff from different UK universities. I was already studying design in Korea and wanted to expand my design field and spectrum with a more creative perspective. I found the design degree course at Goldsmiths which seemed very unconventional to me because there were no boundaries at all in the course. I was studying industrial design in Korea but was not sure if this is what I really wanted to do so I needed to experience something different. It looked like the perfect course for me.

What do you enjoy most about your course and what projects have you worked on?

I enjoy the open approach to the subject. Before coming to Goldsmiths, I would think about design from either an aesthetic or practical approach. The course tries to balance creative thinking and practical practice which is a requirement to be a designer. There have been many opportunities to meet and talk to current designers who work in the real design world.

I have been working on a project called “Pop-Up Travel: New York in London” which I chose due to my own personal experience of travelling a lot. This project is about how I can bring travel destinations to you without you ever getting on a plane. In order to make this experience possible, I have created a travel service which comes with relevant props to help you achieve the emotions of travelling and to guide you into “the designed travel system”. You can find more information here: and

Why did you choose to study in London?

I initially considered studying in the United Since as I completed high school there. However, all my tutors in Korea advised me to consider London. London is open to different cultures and has very easy access to other European countries which is great for travelling and inspiration, and for attending other cultural events such as concerts and exhibitions. In addition to that, I found the tuition fees to be lower in London compared to places like New York.

What have you enjoyed most during your time as a student in London?

London is dynamic, creative and multicultural. I have really enjoyed visiting many cultural events, such as exhibitions, concerts and festivals. There are always so many things to do and see and new places to explore in London. I could not get bored in the city!

As a design student, I mostly enjoy visiting galleries and museums. Also, many people would think that London does not have nice food but that’s not true at all. London has many nice places to dine out. Among the food scene, personally think the coffee culture is the best.

Did you work during your studies?

Work placements were a part of my course and I had the opportunity to work at three different companies. I have learnt business communication skills and how the real design world works. I cannot easily explain the benefits of this in a few sentences. It surpassed my expectation. If I had not worked in London, then I probably would not have had enough courage to communicate with people about my project nor apply for jobs.

Do you have any advice for other students thinking about studying in London?

I think it is really important to have a can-do attitude. For me, London is an open-minded city which offered me a lot of opportunities. This doesn’t only apply to London though. Wherever you go or whoever you are with, if you are open to them then they will also be open to you. I hope other students enjoy and make the most of their time in London; university life goes by too fast!

If you want to find out more about studying in London, take a look at the list of London universities or search for a course.

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