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Izzy Bentley


United Kingdom
I would recommend the course as it really helps you find yourself as a designer and push yourself to explore how you work.

More about Izzy

What made you choose to study at NTU?
“I was really excited by the options NTU offered and how diverse the course is, allowing you to transfer to subjects such as Fashion Accessory Design, or International Fashion Business. Also, the exchange programmes excited me and I am currently writing this in Hong Kong, which is an amazing opportunity.”

What did you enjoy most about your course?
“I enjoy pattern cutting, and experiencing different areas of design such as the print room, laser cutting, and the accessory making module.”

Has the course included any live projects or briefs?
“Before Christmas, I was working on a live team project with ASOS; this has been very beneficial as it means you can begin to develop links with the industry, and often the prizes for industry projects are cash prizes or internships.”

Has the course included any industry competitions?
“There is currently an industry competition with Gap running for Fashion Design, and I know there are many more beginning this year such as Old Navy, Linda Leaver and David Nieper.”

Has the course included any speakers / lecturers from industry?
“In our first year, we had a lecture from a designer at COS, and an NTU alumnus called Oliver Royce who is currently working at Speedo. There have been some other interesting ones and the course is constantly offering plenty of opportunities to involve us more with the industry.”

How do you find the course staff?
“We have some amazing staff, many of whom are still working within the industry; this is something I was advised to look for by a tutor during my foundation course, as it will help develop your work better through their advice.”

What do you like about studying and living in Nottingham?
“Nottingham has a lot going on every single night if you’re up for it. There are lots of bands playing at the O2 arena (I recently saw Bastille there) and Rock City. There is also an ice skating rink and the Nottingham Panthers which I really enjoy going to and Ocean Wednesdays. There’s also some amazing food places to eat at. In terms of location for an art student, I find Nottingham great as it is on a direct line to London for when we need to go and buy fabric or visit art exhibitions, and you can easily go up North to any exhibitions too.”

Why would you recommend your course to someone looking to study in that area?
“I would recommend the course as it really helps you find yourself as a designer and push yourself to explore how you work.”

Have you completed any work placements?
“Just before Christmas I had a three week work placement with Primark’s Womenswear Design team through NTU, this was an incredible placement as it was amazing to see how they work, and to gain connections there. They are extremely keen to recruit NTU students, and I think some of my designs for the Womenswear team might be going into production.

“I’ve also worked at Joules in the Menswear Garment Tech department and that really helped me understand more about the different roles in fashion and how a team comes together to develop the season they’re currently working on.”

Where do you hope to be in five years’ time?
“I hope to be working in womenswear design for a brand like ASOS, but I will see where life takes me.”

Life on exchange at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU)

Can you tell us about the type of support you got from both NTU for your exchange to Hong Kong Polytechnic University?
“I received a £4,000 scholarship towards costs such as accommodation, food, flights, and insurance. The previous NTU scholarship recipients produced a document for us with some facts, and also sent over their copy of the visa to help us know what to fill in.”

How did you find your course at PolyU?
“I enjoyed being able to focus more on different subjects such as illustration, and sustainability was also an interesting module, as we got to visit a factory in Mainland China.”

How was your social life during the exchange / what did you get up to in your spare time?
“We made friends with a lot of the exchange students, especially some of the other fashion design students. There are many activities always happening in the halls put on by the student hall committees. They were very keen for us to get involved, which we often tried to. I used the gym facilities a lot in my spare time, and we went on day trips to the islands, hikes, and visits to the markets.

“Eating was a different experience as there was a shared kitchen for the entire floor; most people tended to eat out as it wasn’t too expensive, and food in supermarkets tended to cost about the same, so we chose to eat on campus and at the local restaurants mostly.”

What was the main highlight of your exchange trip?
“I loved the day trip that they organised for us; we visited the Big Buddha, had a vegetarian dim sum lunch, visited the fishing town of Tai O, and went on a boat trip where we saw rare white river dolphins. It was an amazing experience.”

What was the most valuable lesson you learnt whilst on your exchange and would you recommend it to other students?
“I learnt that I should take every opportunity. I absolutely loved my experience and would fully loved to have stayed on. I also learnt that a lot of the time when I think I need help, I can actually do it myself, so that enables me not to put as much pressure on myself.”

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