US student Alexander moved to London to study a Masters in Intelligent Mobility at the Royal College of Art. Alexander was one of 11 lucky students to be welcomed to London as part of the International Student Welcome event.
Alexander and the other students were welcomed to the city by Deputy Mayor of London Rajesh Agrawal at London’s City Hall, before being taken on a tour of some of London’s most famous sights. The day included afternoon tea at Shakespeare’s Globe, a private ride on the London Eye, an exhilarating speed boat tour with Thames Jet and a drinks reception at the rooftop terrace at Urbanest student accommodation.
Here Alexander tells us more about himself, why he chose to study in London and what his impressions are so far.
Alexander, why did you choose to study MA Intelligent Mobility at the RCA?
Coming from an engineering and artistically based household, creative problem solving has long been a passion of mine. But, like most 5 year old kids in the 90’s, I didn’t know that a career in design was possible. What I did know is that I liked to sketch, I enjoyed making things and I was just as infatuated with cars then as I am today. And so, my drive to become a transportation designer was sparked at a young age.
After graduating from San Jose State University with a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Design, I knew that I wanted to pursue a Transportation Mastery with the following factors in mind. The programme must both align with and challenge my vision for the future of public and private transportation. The course instructors must offer a magnitude of relevant industry insights, knowledge and experience to aide in my professional self-development. And lastly, the college must be situated in a fast-paced, diverse and ever-evolving city where I can learn and apply my practice inside and out of the studio. Carrying this criteria through multiple admission interviews at some of the world’s top design schools, the MA Intelligent Mobility Programme at the Royal College of Art spoke to these values impeccably.
What do you enjoy most about studying at the RCA?
In just three months since registration day, I’ve genuinely enjoyed getting to know my peers from across the RCA campuses. It’s been incredibly inspiring to know that I am surrounded by others who are equally passionate about their respective practices.
RCA’s Intelligent Mobility Programme hosts students of several different educational and occupational backgrounds. From architecture to product design, engineering to fashion, each classmate offers a fresh perspective into the future potentials of mobility.
I believe the RCA is a truly global creative beacon. One that I am honoured to contribute to and be a part of.
What have you enjoyed most during your time in London so far?
London is diverse, vibrant and inspired. When I visited London for the first time, back in 2015, I knew in my gut that I wanted to return here to live and study. So fast forwarding to today, it’s very much surreal to have fallen in love with this city all over again. I must say, my favourite part of London thus far is the people who keep it alive. The positive energy, optimism and British humour are nothing short of contagious. I had always wondered why Londoners speak so highly of the city, but I’m quickly beginning to understand those reasons first-hand.
With so much happening in this city, there’s always something to do, see or experience. So, when I’m not busy working in the studio or library, I find myself visiting many museums, sampling new cuisines and of course, appreciating the countless classic and exotic cars which rumble down the city’s streets. What a place to be!
What did you enjoy most about the International Student Welcome Event you took part in?
Being from San Diego California, I’m always keen for a beautiful sunset. I was captivated by the golden hues that my peers and I were able to see from atop the Urbanest Student Accommodation by Westminster Bridge. Adjacent to the London Eye and across from the Houses of Parliament, I couldn’t imagine a more memorable way to bring our day to a close.
I also loved the London Eye for its breath-taking panoramic views of the city skyline. Ascending to the highest point, I realised just how many more incredible things there are to see and do during my studies here!
Do you have any advice for other students thinking about studying in London?
If you’re considering international studies in London, I encourage you to carry through, if doing so aligns with your career ambitions. When factoring in all aspects of studying here; curriculum, location, opportunity and expenses, I found it important to see this chapter of my life as an investment in myself. So, if you’re truly passionate about pursuing London academia, let nothing deter you from making it a reality. I’m here to tell you from experience, there are countless resources out there that want to see you succeed, all you have to do is find them and make it happen.
Watch the video from the International Student Welcome Event