A few more weeks until Georgia Tech
The teachers of the new media department asked me to write about my experiences at Georgia tech every now and then, this is the first piece. In a couple of weeks I will leave to the US to start the MSc Digital Media at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
A couple of weeks until Georgia Tech
It took me a couple of years to actually find a study I liked. Not that I tried a lot, I started a Bachelor’s of Education and was a teacher at some schools for a while. Then I decided to sign up for the Bachelor’s Theatre, Film and Television Studies. During my first year it was already a joy for me to see that I was passing courses. After a while though things really started to look up. Topics were interesting and teachers started to motivate me to dig deeper.
Especially the teachers giving me advice, motivating me and offering me opportunities made me progress fast. Assistantships, summer schools, debating clubs such as UUMUN, editor at BLIK, chairman of the faculty council, visiting festivals and my membership of a student association were just a few of the activities I participated in. During my time at UUMUN people started talking about Fulbright. This is a foundation based on a treaty between The Netherlands and the US. Although chances looked slim, there was no harm in trying (something you should ALWAYS do). Several interviews and tests later I received an email stating that I had been selected for a Fulbright Scholarship. This really opened a lot of doors. They started signing me up for several universities such as New York University, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ohio University, The University of Carbondale and The Georgia Institute of Technology.
I got accepted into all these Universities (although I could only go to MIT for one year), which makes choosing that much more difficult. In the end Georgia Tech seemed liked the best choice. Doing a 2 year master can be really expensive (including living expenses around 100,000 dollars), Georgia tech and Fulbright made me a good deal making it possible. Besides this Georgia Tech has great Professors. Jay David Bolter, Ian Bogost, Philip Auslander and Janet Murray to name a few. The MSc Digital Media has small classes, around 10-15 people, so you are in close contact with the Professors. Hopefully I will receive an assistantship, it would be great to work and learn from somebody like Bolter.
My studies at Utrecht University together with my studies at Georgia Tech will give me a great basis in media. Utrecht has a more theoretical and philosophical angle whilst Georgia is more about programming and technology. Of course this balance shifts all the time and Utrecht is also incorporating programming more and more… I just want to end this small introduction to my trip to the US with some advice. Find what you like in your studies, focus on it and TALK TO YOUR TEACHERS. We have some great teachers here in Utrecht, they know a lot and can really help you in your career.