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Xiang Wei Tan

Graphic Design

Where are you from?

Malaysia

Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle? 

Northumbria had a great Graphic Design course that had won many awards and was highly recommended by many in the graphic design industry.

What do you think of Newcastle and our region and what are your favourite things to do? 

I have been to many cities around UK since I came here and Newcastle remains my favorite. The city has a fast yet relaxing pace, everything you need is just walking distance away, great shopping facilities, and friendly people!

Did you find Northumbria University welcoming?  Was it easy to fit in?

Certainly. The induction was a great way to help you during the first few days, and gave you the chance to meet new people that would stay your companion throughout you whole time here.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

Meeting new people from all around the world, understanding their culture and knowing more about other countries.

What is your favourite place on campus? 

Definitely the Library. 24/7 with big iMacs and coffee. Perfect.

Have you joined any sports teams, clubs or been involved in any volunteer projects? Tells us about the highlights?  

I'm currently the Secretary for Northumbria Malaysian Society, and have been involved in various huge events such as North East Malaysian Night and Asian Ball. Being able to understand the feeling of newcomers coming to this unfamilliar city, the society works to help out our fellow Malaysians and let everyone feel like home. And indeed, it does feel like home with them.

What is the best thing about your course? 

Learning about the art of typography and appreciating the beauty of different typefaces and their creation.

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date? 

Don't be shy and reach out to everyone. The more friends you know the easier things will go for you.

What do you want to do in the future? What skills have you learned/improved that you think will be of most use in your future career? 

Get a good job in the design industry, and hopefully someday open my own design firm. I think the most important skill I have learnt here in Northumbria is the way ideas are processed and executed. Computers are just tools and we as designers shouldn't rely on it to get things done.

Have you worked on any projects with businesses or been on a placement? What were your most memorable experiences? 

I've had the chance for a  placement at Glad Creative, Durham and the experience was wonderful. Being an international student, I had the opportunity to observe how local design firms work and an insight into the design industry as a career. The people there were kind and helpful and gave any advice they could. It was fun to work on real life projects and tackling different types of briefs.

Have you taken up any opportunities to travel with your current course/undertake field trips? If so, please tell us about them.  

We had a trip to Barcelona last year, and one to London this year. Both trips were amazing and we visited various design firms while we were there. We got some interesting advice from the staff at the firms and many future opportunities.

How do you feel you have changed as a person since being at Northumbria University, Newcastle (e.g. confidence)?

I feel more confident as a designer now, and I feel like I have been prepared to step in to the working industry. I've also become a more outgoing person and can talk with other people more easily now. On top of it all, my English has improved tremendously!

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?  

Amazing, eye-opening, fun!

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend? 

Definitely!


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