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Fashion students studying abroad

Credit: MELISSA NOVACASKA

Second year international student Takeho Chino (right), a Fanshawe fashion marketing and management student, helps a customer find an item at Live Chic, the college's fashion boutique.


Melissa Novacaska | Interrobang | News | March 20th, 2017




George Brown College recently announced it would provide a new pathway for graduates of its School of Fashion Studies students to study in the U.K. by allowing them to apply their credit towards the London College of Fashion at the University of Arts London. Students could then go directly into the second year of the school’s bachelors honours fashion buying and merchandising program. This would specifically be for graduates of George Brown’s fashion management and fashion business industry programs.

With that announcement made, the Interrobang spoke with Fanshawe’s fashion marketing and management department to see if their program offers anything similar, or if it’s something on their radar.

Takeho Chino, a second year international student in the fashion marketing and management program said she was considering three different colleges to come to including Seneca and both George Brown and Fanshawe, but she chose Fanshawe because she liked its fashion program.

“At the time, the other two colleges were more of a fashion business side, but in the future I want to be a visual merchandizer so here at Fanshawe they have a visual merchandizing class, so that’s why I decided Fanshawe,” Chino said.

Currently, the School of Design, the faculty that the fashion department operates under, has a variety of exchange programs, though fashion hasn’t always been a busy program for sending students abroad, said Caitlin Smith, international projects and exchange co-ordinator at Fanshawe International Centre.

According to Smith, the fact that the School of Design, in general, is seeing more of an increase in incoming students and sending Fanshawe students abroad in the last while is a good thing.

Currently, the fashion department and more so the fashion merchandising and marketing program has some international students as well as exchange, but Fanshawe students have not been sent out for an abroad experience, until now.

The college recently signed an articulate agreement with Solent University in South Hampton, which if on track, will begin in the 2017-2018 school year.

“With Fashion, we are looking at our British partner [where] we’ve just expanded and did all of the mapping between our fashion design and merchandising and their fashion design and merchandising, so it’s very similar. They have that kind of practical course where they’re running a store on their campus, their getting the same learning outcomes, it’s obviously an English speaking county which is a nice benefit for our students and it’s a great school,” Smith said. “It matches with us really well and their faculty and our faculty have connected well. So we have a new articulation agreement with South Hampton, so our merchandising and design students can go finish a degree there, they can go on exchange or they can do both.”

Smith said this is part of an “expanded exchange, which is really exciting because you still get your Fanshawe credential, your diploma and then with one or two years more studying in England you get your degree. So in the same amount of time you’re getting two credentials [and] you’re experiencing South Hampton.”

Smith added that Fanshawe has been in partnership with Solent for a while now and that studying abroad, whether it be an articulation agreement or an exchange with Solent, helps students specialize their interests and jumpstart their career.

Smith added that faculty in the fashion marketing and management program are great with their students and want them to have to opportunity to send their students to Solent.

One of the professors who is heavily involved in the articulation agreement with Solent is Deb Trotechaud, who will be the main person students coming to Fanshawe from Solent will be dealing with.

Trotechaud, who teaches a variety of courses within the fashion marketing and management department including styling, portfolio, dynamics of fashion and design principles previously visited and guest lectured at Solent in 2015 and was able to see how the fashion marketing and buying program works. She found it was “awesome”, which is when the idea of a partnership between both institutes began.

“We thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great [for the partnership] because our programs align so well’,” Trotechaud said. “I think it’s great for the students to study abroad and if we can work on doing some sort of an exchange, which we are, it’s in its infancy for our program. I think it would be a really, really good opportunity for our students, to learn outside of Fanshawe and then bring that back and share with your classmates.”

Trotechaud mentioned Fanshawe’s fashion department currently has some exchange, international students and articulation agreements which helps the direction that college wants head to.

According to Trotechaud, fashion marketing and management students previously worked on projects together with students at Solent, but it was challenging in some aspects including the time difference. However now with the articulation agreement, students from both institutes can study and work on projects together.

“I think the first step is we’ll get some students here and the hopefully students will go there and just try and stay innovated in the program and have our students see different things and be a part of different schools. But we’ve mapped it out, so they know what they’re taking when they come here, so the two programs line up very well,” Trotechaud said.

Trotechaud said there are many benefits of studying abroad including independence, meeting new people, culture, being inspired and seeing what other students are learning and doing, the latter being most important. “I know that even when I travel and we take the students to Paris or wherever, it’s a huge learning [opportunity] for them in their experience, so I think that that would be number one.”