Category Archives: Study Abroad

Discovering a Major: Fabric Styling

Despite the fact that the Fashion Design and the Fashion Merchandising Management programs are by far the largest here, FIT is not just a “fashion” school. We offer 29 undergraduate programs and 7 graduate programs. However, even after four years I was shocked, shocked, to find out that majors existed that I had never heard of (I’m looking at you Home Products Design). So, in an effort to bring to light the many other fantastic opportunities FIT offers, I am started a new segment called “Discovering a Major”.

Usually, I will have mini interviews with students from each major giving insight into what they actually do and learn, but for this first installment I think I will discuss my own rather unknown major: Fabric Styling.

This was a tabletop styling project we did this semester

This was a tabletop styling project we did this semester

Originally, I was a Fashion Design major and got my Associates Degree in that. However, towards the end of my second year I was getting frustrated and overwhelmed with the program. After many hours of crying on the phone with my mom questioning every possible path I could take, I decided to switch my major on the last possible day to apply for Fabric Styling.

Fabric Styling is a weird major, and no one really knows how to describe it. I say it’s a very broad field of study that mixes textile development, trend forecasting and actual styling. This variety is a big part of why I chose it. At 20 years old I really didn’t have a clear sign of exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and choosing a less specific major was actually really freeing for me and re-ignited my creativity.

This was a fashion styling project we did with a real studio set up and model

This was a fashion styling project we did with a real studio set up and model

I am still not totally clear on where I want to be after I graduate (and yes, it is still extremely stressful), but i know I want to stay in the fashion world and travel around the world. Hopefully I will be able to find a job that allows me to do both. So far I have had internships with a small fashion designer, ELLE magazine, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and an agency for stylists.

I was the first Fabric Styling student (along with one classmate) to have the chance to study abroad. Florence was amazing, although most of our classes were not exactly what students in New York were doing. I will say the program is not run perfectly, but there are lots of opportunities available if you take advantage of them.

This was a mood board for a lingerie design project

This was a mood board for a lingerie design project

I really enjoy the “Fabric Styling” and “Research Techniques” classes because although the projects have specific end goals, we are free to achieve them however we feel and it has allowed me to creatively stretch my presentation skills. My least favorite class so far has been  “Advertising and Promotion”. I just don’t think the advertising and marketing worlds are for me, although it was helpful to be introduced to the more business side of the industry.

We learn many different programs for developing textiles

We learn many different programs for developing textiles

My favorite part of the major is that it is only a Bachelor’s degree program so everyone comes from different academic backgrounds. Most people started in the Fashion Merchandising Management (although the department has been changing their policies and as of now is no longer accepting anyone from the business school unfortunately), but I have classmates that have studied Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design, Textile/Surface Design and even transferred from outside liberal arts colleges. It has been really helpful to not only see how they interpret the projects, but also hear their critiques and past experiences.

If you are interested in more examples of work I have done for Fabric Styling you can see my portfolio here. To learn more about the major itself click here!

I hope to introduce you to more of the lesser-known majors FIT offers soon!

–Emily–

Notes From the 6 Train: Let’s Go!

887062_4549452582846_1740443383_o (At my birthday party in South Korea)

This past Wednedsay I went (by went, I mean was obligated to attend, lol) to International Night hosted by the Presidental’s Honor’s Program. Buuut, I am so glad that I did! I learned about a number of interesting programs/ opportunities possible for FIT Students.

At the colloquium we heard from a number of scholars who studied abroad within the last school year (winter, summer, as well as the traditional school year). One of which was a fellow FIT blogger Emily (shout out!). We heard their travel stories and saw their beautiful photos from Paris, India, Florence, Italy, in addition to a host of other countries.A topic that was discussed in great detail, and rightly so, was how to fund a trip abroad. I find this to be student’s primary obstacle in regards to studying abroad, so I’m glad it was covered so thoroughly.

tumblr_mkry8giBdC1s6wt51o2_1280 ( Walking to the Buddha)

Funding for study abroad is the same as studying domestically (financial aid, PELL grant, out of school grants or loans), but there are also a number of scholarship offered only for studying abroad. The scholarships to study abroad at FIT are listed below:

Global Scholar Award Program, the amount varies depending on the semester you plan to travel, NY residency, etc. (Summer 2015, Fall 2015 and Spring 2016). The deadline is Dec. 1

If you are/ are considering in the Presidental Scholar’s Program you are eligable for the scholarhsips listed below:

Jerome L. Greene Foundation International Studies Fund (up to $10,000)

Jodi Tilton Memorial Scholarship for Summer Study Abroad ($2000)

Henry Wolf Presidential Scholars Summer Abroad Scholarship (up to $5000).

These are in addition to the annual FIT scholarships and can also be applied to study abroad. This also does not mean that your search for funding stops here, there are countless scholarships offered outside of FIT.

In addition to studying abroad, representative from The Peace Corps & The Fulbright Program came to speak.

The Peace Corps is an organization that sends volunteers to travel overseas to make differences in the lives of real people. They program was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Sine the creation of the program over 215,000 Americans joined the Peace Corps and served in 139 countries.

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“The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. A candidate will submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S.”

There are two different components of Fulbright. Anyone who chooses to apply can submit an application for the study/research grants or to teach English abroad. This program is interesting to me personally because it gives more freedom to the applicant. As long as your study/ research programs fits into certain parimeters, you can actualize your vision in a foregin country. Nearly anyone can apply; college graduates, artists, writers, scientists, etc., basically anyone with an imagination and drive.

There are so many ways to get out and explore the world! As an avid traveler myself, I know life altering traveling can be. With so many opportunities, there’s no reason you shouldn’t take advantage!

(FIT Study Abroad Scholarships) http://www.fitnyc.edu/12226.asp

(Peace Corps) http://www.peacecorps.gov/about/

(Fulbright Program) http://us.fulbrightonline.org/about

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

I Made it to Santiago! (and back!)

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Hello again! After a very busy summer I am back in the NYC swing of things and there is so much to talk about, but I have recently found out that many of you readers were interested in the last post I made about doing the Camino de Santiago (read it here) so I thought I would give you a little follow up.

The few weeks building up to my start were pretty stressful, it didn’t help that I also had finals and was trying to figure out how to move out of my apartment and get all my stuff back home from Italy. I had done plenty of research on what to bring, what to expect in terms of weather and terrain, and how to get to St. Jean, but I knew that I wouldn’t really be able to know what the experience would be like until I was actually walking, and I liked it that way.

Getting to St. Jean Pied-de-Port was pretty difficult. I had to fly to Bordeaux (via London for some reason) then the next day I took the train to Bayonne and then a bus to St. Jean. It was a little overwhelming, there were a lot of pilgrims all arriving with me and I didn’t have a room booked yet, although there were plenty of places catering to us there so it wasn’t a problem. The first person I met was a school teacher from New Zealand who was doing the camino because teaching didn’t excite her anymore and she didn’t know where her life was going next. I also met four girls about my age who were from Kentucky. I knew that the first day of the walk was going to be the hardest because you have to cross the Pyrenees mountains, so I was a little nervous to go at it alone. To make the day better it was raining at 6 am when I got up. Luckily, those four girls were leaving the same time as me and also wanted to make it all the way across in one day, so I joined up with them. Before I knew it, I had my walking buddies. We ended up walking all the way to Santiago together and even picked up a few extra people along the way!

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To describe the entire camino experience would take pages and pages. Even then I don’t think I would be able to communicate the truly amazing time I had and all the fantastic characters I met along the way. It sounds corny to say, but this is one of those life changing experiences that can take you from crying and broken one day to looking out over a mountain range with exhilarated gratefulness the next.

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One of many incredibly breathtaking sunrises I was lucky enough to experience

I think everyone should do it at some point in their life. It is physically difficult, but not impossible. I met many elderly people doing the camino (and I mean 60 plus) as well as kids! One girl was 9 and doing 15 kilometers a day on her tiny bike; there was even a baby. A BABY. If a baby, well if a mother carrying her baby, can do it so can you.

The journey is more about the relationships you build with those who are also on this soul searching pilgrimage, and discovering about yourself. While it is important for your body to be physically prepared, I would say that preparing myself mentally was much more helpful. I definitely thought a lot about the questions I hoped to find  answers for, and things I wanted to improve upon in my everyday life.

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I will leave some pictures to try and give you a broad idea of what walking the camino (500 miles!) was like, and if you have any questions I would be happy to answer them! If people really show an interest I wouldn’t mind making more posts about my experience in greater detail, but for now I will be going back to New York/ FIT based posts.

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all the pilgrims in one albergue (hostel type thing) would make big family style dinners a lot. They were one of my favorite parts!

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–Emily–

04MN-Hello-Wall-Words

Language Advantage

Merhaba Peeps,

I hope someone is still there (I’ve been gone too long, I’m SORRY). I was gone two weeks on a Mediterranean cruise with my mom, as an early graduation gift. I did try posting twice but it really wasn’t working (or cost-effective for that matter, oops). I’m back in Rome for the time being and I’m going to explore the eternal city once again and maybe even for the last time in my life (hopefully not).the-computer-demands-a-blog

I just wanted to share with you how important it is to speak more than one language, I cannot stress it enough how it will come in handy all throughout your life. OK, so from what I’ve gathered Americans assume everyone speaks English (not everyone obvs) , and I heard that the English do that too (eeerghh that annoying buzz sound in game shows). Through my travels in Turkey, Greece and Italy I discovered that even if English is the main international business language, the best baklava seller in Turkey might not care about that fact (oh how yummy it was). I also noticed that some people are predisposed to you as a customer and a human being, as soon as you just slap a HI or Thank You without even trying their native tongue (Efharisto: thanks in Greek). I also found Hard Rock Cafe in Istanbul (newly opened, known by a handful of people) on a pure coincidence because the girl sitting next to me turned out to speak Spanish and work at HR in one of the most prominent hotels of the area and took us on a tour because she wanted to practice her Spanish (kid you NOT). Anyways, you get the gist of it, language was not meant to be a barrier, do not let it scare you. It is the gateway to understanding other cultures, other countries, other ways of thinking. Besides, eavesdropping in four different languages can be quite fun (especially when they are talking about you, unkindly) and you respond… followed by a jaw drop!

So when you are questioning the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures and why FIT requires two language courses think of all my stories and all the stories you could have. Think about all the doors it will open for you and all the resumes your resume will crush (Languages: English, (Fill in the blank). These classes were designed to make you thrive in an ever-changing global environment. If you feel they are too intimidating you can wait until your Bachelors (that is when they are required), and if not you can start in your Associates and maybe even minor in a Foreign Language. FIT offers: French, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish. If English is not your main language we also offer ESL programs throughout the year. Oh and don’t fret,  it is very interactive because we have a state-of-the-art Foreign Language Multimedia Center!tahnks

A presto,

Sadie

(I promise not to ever leave for so long again. I missed you all, I mean that is hoping someone reads me haha)

I’m Going on an Adventure!

I know I said that this year was my “year of travel”, but I am about to embark on my biggest adventure yet! After my last final on Thursday I will be packing up everything I brought to (and bought in) Italy and sending it home. Fingers crossed nothing gets lost or broken in transit. All I will be keeping is my trusty bright red backpack, hiking shoes, the ever important Nalgene, and a minimal amount of clothes and travel necessities. When you have to carry everything you own on your back, the line between needs and wants becomes much more clear.

I am doing this because in a week exactly I will be walking. A lot. I’m going to walk from one end of Spain to the other. Actually I am walking from a little town in France called St. Jean Pied-de-Port to Santiago, Spain and hopefully if I have time to Fisterre or “The Ends of the Earth” – the last place people believed you could go before falling off the edge of the world. I can’t think of a better, or more dramatic, place to end my pilgrimage.

Full disclosure: I have never actually watched any of the Lord of the Rings movies, this is just too perfect to not include

Full disclosure: I have never actually watched any of the Lord of the Rings movies, this is just too perfect to not include

That is what I am doing, a pilgrimage. Specifically El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, as it is officially called, is a medieval trail that Christians crossed to see the remains of Saint James. By proving you walked a certain amount of miles (by getting stamps at stops along the way) each pilgrim receives a fancy diploma-like document in Latin that absolves you from all your sins. To be honest, I am not an extremely religious person (I don’t really see the point when the basis of all religions boils down to the same basic beliefs, but that’s a whole different conversation), so completing this journey will be less about being forgiven for my sins and more about focusing on making myself a better person, and just the fact I could do it.

Each one of those blue dots represents a day of walking

Each one of those blue dots represents a day of walking

This whole thing started a few summers ago when I went to go see a movie with my mom at the little, artsy movie theater in my hometown. It was called “The Way” and it started Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. When the movie finished I just said to my mom “One day I’m gonna do that.” And here we are, I’m following through with the promise I made myself. (Also the movie is really good and still on instant streaming on Netflix ((I think)), check it out!)

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With only a week left I am getting pretty nervous. I was originally going to have a friend from high school who is fluent in basically every language come with me, but due to money issues she had to cancel. After that, trying to find someone not only willing to walk 458 miles, but who also had all of June and some of May free proved extremely difficult, and so, I will be doing this on my own. In a way I think it might be better this way. I will be forced to meet new people and I will be able to reflect on my own life in more peace. But that in itself is pretty scary, let alone the actual physical dangers that the Camino can hold.

On the other hand, you can’t have an adventure without a little danger!

–Emily–