Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My amazing host university!! FH Salzburg

Now that my semester in Salzburg is over and I am so glad that I did study abroad and chose FH Salzburg. I am majoring in Multimedia Cinematic Production and FH was the best school for my major. They have equipped studios, very good teachers, and students. Today I am going to talk about why FH was the best choice for a student studying media.

First of all, if you are majoring in cinematic production, you must know it is kind of hard to find host universities that offer classes you can take as major-required credits. However, FH has a major called Multimedia, which is completely the same as the one in HPU, and the major basically has four divided studies; Audio, Film, Media Design, and Computer Animation (3D). FH is not like US universities, but students don't have to take general education classes. Therefore students can focus on what they want to do from the first year. I took classes with students at my age but everyone knew how to use cameras, lights, and everything and I felt so behind. It was very good to know what film students in other countries do and I got more motivated.


The classes were very practical, for example, we sometimes went for shooting for all day in class. One of the most fun classes I took there was directing class, where students coordinated a short scene, directed, and edited them (You can watch my project from here https://vimeo.com/178911395). In that class, the school hired two professional actors for our projects and we even got to learn how to communicate with actors as a director. We had to think how to explain the scene to actors and not to confuse them at the same time. I found it interesting because such things cannot be learned in a classroom, and if you have these kind of knowledge, you can use them as soon as you get a job and I believe it can be your advantage.

Shooting for all day

The teachers were very helpful, too. I believe most of them used to work for well-known companies, such as Disney (!!!). I took one class called Analog Animation, and the teacher would work for Disney before. We got to see his artworks he has done before and it sure was amazing. Another class I thought was interesting was script writing class, where we wrote our own original scripts from scratch. It was my first time writing a script and found it very hard to finish even an only FIVE minute script. We got to learn the script writing format and the class was completely different from writing classes I took in Hawaii. I felt so lucky to learn from someone who worked for my dream companies. 

Like I mentioned before, students were very amazing, too. First of all they were very nice, seriously the best people ever, and they were so friendly even though I couldn't speak German (I tried but failed). Their artwork is just so amazing, I seriously couldn't tell if they were my classmates’ projects or masterpieces made by professionals. Especially 3D students were so good. They made games, anime, and characters and they all looked real! I wouldn't doubt if they were sold in a store or they were showing in a movie theatre. I would pay decent amount of money for their projects. However, the students were very modest and always trying to find ways to be better. You would be surprised by their amazing pieces once you get there.

Did I get a lot of homework? ... Yes and no. We had to finish decent amount of semester projects which you usually have to turn in by the end of the semester. However we didn't get small homework constantly, say weekly nor monthly. The only thing which was hard for me was that like I said, the students there were very experienced and have been focusing on one or two narrowed subjects for a year or two, or more, so I sometimes had a hard time catching up with them. Especially classes like 3D animation, music composition were hard. I would recommend you to be careful and think about which classes you want to take. You can always talk to professors and explain your situation. Some classes were easy and fun, but the others can be hard if you are not familiar with the topic.

Besides the fact regarding the major, school staffs there were great, they were kind and would plan events for exchange students. During the welcoming week, they would take us to the city center and showed us around. They even invited us for dinner (we didn't have to pay) to a fancy traditional Austrian restaurant, and we even got to see traditional dance/ performance there. The international office introduced us to their "buddy students" who would help us and show us around the campus. The buddy students would pick us up at the airport, too!! Although the office is kind of slow, they are so nice and I can assure you that you will love them and the school.


Puch, where the campus is located. From Google
The campus is located in very beautiful countryside. You can see breathtaking alps mountains (yes Alps are in Austria, too, not only Switzerland) and beautiful stars at night from the campus. I didn't stay on campus but the school dorm is located right next to the building where you'll have classes. The size of one room is more than enough for one person and clean. They have kitchen in each room. I had a great time living by the old town but living on campus should be very convenient mostly because you don't have to wake up early for class. However there's pretty much nothing around the campus so some of my friends stayed there would say it was kind of boring, but it's all up to you. My accommodation was located a half an hour train ride away from the campus and the train comes every half an hour or an hour at night, so it could be pretty annoying when I had classes early in the morning. Sometimes I had to leave the house one hour earlier or more than students who lived on campus. You will have fun anywhere you live in Salzburg anyways, though.


Overall, FH was perfect for me to study as a film student. The students there were very creative and they will motivate and encourage you. If you are deciding whether you should go study in Salzburg, I would say just go!! I have been thinking how to get back to Salzburg. They are all good at English and when you speak one or two words in German they will go like “AHHH!!! You are speaking German!! You learn so fast!!! Impressive!!!”. Ah how much I miss them.

Puch Campus from the school website
FH Salzburg website:  http://www.fh-salzburg.ac.at/en/

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