Written by Lara Barusso
BA (Hons) Computer Animation Art and Design
I’m Lara, a computer animation student from Italy. I want to share the differences I found between studying in Italy compared to here in England.
In Italy whenever we had to do practical things we always had lessons about how to do it, but rarely had hands on experience. Here we have practical lessons along with hands-on experience too which I think is more useful, normally the lecturers use a pc and any notes are projected on a big screen and you can follow as they speak.
Assessments are also very different from the ones we have in Italy, you have to do a written assessment for everything even for practical lessons, whereas here in the UK you are assessed on the actual exercise you learn about in the practical lessons.
What I find really interesting about studying in the UK is that we do a lot of group work, teamwork is encouraged and you get given many tasks to do as a group, especially in your second and third year some of those get marked as well, in Italy we would rarely have a group project that is evaluated. I think learning from your classmates is important and it is encouraged at BU.
Positive differences in teaching
Here the way everything works is completely different but in a positive way. Each unit (subject) has is own online content on brightspace (virtual learning BU system) where lectures are uploaded and lesson materials such as powerpoints, tutorials, pdf notes, reading lists and grades etc are all saved. So you can find everything they explain in class plus all the help you need to do your tasks. This is something I find very useful and again something that we don’t have in Italy. It makes things much easier when you are writing an assignment.
When you study in Italy you are very guided by lecturers and you do lots of exams through the year to make sure you are keeping up with what you are learning. They also tend to help you with study methods. Here it is much more independent, you have assessments at the end of your semester, and is up to you how much and how you study for these, they will give you what you need to start and it is up to you to research to get the most of it. There is far more freedom to find methods that work the best for you. I think this is a great opportunity to improve your skills and actually focus on what you like the most.