I’m English born and raised, from the county of Kent – often referred to as that bit under London. I left home to come to Dundee for my studies in Art at DJCAD, after completing my A-levels.
London was on my doorstep, with theatre and gallery exhibitions a stone’s throw away. But in London you can’t see lush green landscapes for miles, and Kent is becoming more urban than rural now too. So Scotland’s lush green landscape was a literal breath of fresh air.
Aside from being more rural, why did I choose Dundee? Most art students probably think its a wiser choice to go to London, as I said, the culture is on your doorstep. London is wonderfully chaotic. The bright clothes of Camden street markets, and the chorus of buskers and street performers by the River Thames are all fantastic on a day out, but having to live there with all of the stresses of uni on top? I feel as though the colours would become a blur and the performers would go from chorus to cacophony. I guess I’m not built for the big city.
Dundee is a city but its so much smaller than London, that by comparison, its far less daunting, and so much more welcoming. But despite it being nothing like home, it feels like home. The calm atmosphere means I can pop out for a coffee before a lecture and have a chat with friends as I walk there – without having to hop on the tube, whiz half way across the city, and inevitably spill that coffee as I’m dodging and weaving between crowds of people.
Dundee is calmer, quieter, and smaller. I feel all of the benefits of studying in a city like London, but without it being so crowded and huge. Furthermore, Dundee has a lot to offer in the way of culture; theatre, two galleries with another on the way, and a vibrant nightlife… the list goes on.
I could have chosen anywhere outside of London, but I chose Dundee, not only for the reasons above but also for the fact that DJCAD looked so promising for me, I felt that could study here and succeed. Dundee University’s resources are fantastic; I feel that I have the freedom to study in a way that suits me, with dedicated subject area libraries and meeting rooms to book for discussions. Dundee has brought us some fantastic designers, so it seemed like the place to be, especially with the new V&A being built here.
But most of all, I can walk out of the student union, and see the beautiful blue River Tay, and the lush green pastures on the others side. In my current flat, I’m five minutes away from the waterfront where I can just sit and read in the nearby park, and maybe pick up a pizza from the City Quay on my way home too.