As a former student of the school, I'm greatly intrigued by all the postings regarding the school and am compelled to speak up as well. I would like to offer my take on why such strong anti-school sentiments could possibly come about. I think it's safe to assume that the negative and vehement postings are by the weaker students, for I believe the stronger students would probably sing the praises of the school, or at least not hold such negative views.
The way I see it, it is simply a mismatch of expectations.
Local students pay $20,000 while foreign ones pay $40,000 for the one-year diploma in industrial design (don't ask me why it's not called entertainment design or concept design). It is not a small sum to pay. For the less wealthy, it will most certainly mean many years of paying back the bank loan afterwards. So they would expect the school to help them achieve a certain level of competency to be able to work as a concept designer. When they do not, resentment sets in.
I would like to give all students the benefit of doubt that they are all hardworking, because why would anyone want to pay such a huge sum of money to slack and be lazy and not learn? Besides, the school culture does an excellent job of pushing students to work hard. In my personal experience, I see practically all of the students putting in a tremendous amount of effort, even if their stuff turn out not as good. But of course, this is pure anecdotal and assumptions on my part. There's no way to prove it.
But can you imagine that after giving an arm and a leg to pay for the school fees, you get remarks like (as past postings have mentioned) "Don't think you are the client or customer."
What I can clearly see, however, are the high-handed way the school treats its weaker students. The school turns a deaf ear to their concerns. They said so as much during the feedback session after the end of terms 2 and 3. They said they will not address concerns raised by such students because they are always complaining about the school. I also find it appalling that when a student went to seek help from one of the art directors (they do not see themselves as tutors/lecturers/educators but trainers) during lessons hours, he was asked to book an appointment.
Another reason why weaker students feel disenfranchised is because of the blatant favoritism displayed. Stronger students get help without them even asking. Weaker ones are left to flounder on their own. Of cos the art directors will definitely offer advice when approached, but it demoralises the weaker students to see how they are "ignored" in that sense.
Then there is the "discriminating" sitting arrangement. Stronger students are deliberately placed together so they can get better. The weaker ones? In another group by themselves. The art director will usually walk in, attend to the "stronger" side for an extended period of time, then walk straight out.
In case anyone thinks I'm one of those naysayers, I would like to think I'm not. I'm just stating what I observed and experienced and am not blaming anyone.
I feel the school does a great job in helping good students get better, and they help all students develop a strong work ethic. Their teaching methods are sound, but require some tightening and consistency, but overall, it's an ok school.
However, I sincerely hope the school do not dismiss the negative views as mere rantings from disgruntled students (it's obvious those who posted them are current/ex-students of the school) but take the comments to heart and reflect upon them. What made these students feel so outraged that they spew such scathing views? Are they really just the unjustified rantings of weak individuals who fault the school for their own failings? Or could the way the school is run causing such ill feelings in these students?
Dear saprissa9, FZD also requires you to know some stuff before entering the school. No matter where you go, you have got to manage your expectations to avoid disappoint. For those spectacular works that you see, including those of 5u51n1, they have had months or years of design experience beforehand, be it graphic/product/architecture (all these would help tremendously). It's certainly not a case of "Just 8 weeks into Term 1 and look what my student has achieved" kind of reality.
Yeah I understand what you are saying Apple. But what I mean is that I dont think CDA offers the same process FZD does. For example, FZD teach you the basics first before they go to the more complex lessons. I know I am required to have some art background before I even think of enrolling to a concept design school. be it CDA or FZD.
Who would honestly pay 40,000 SGD to go to a school like that when there are much better ones, especially in the arena of schools that have caring teachers?
I bet they're making a killing over there in Singapore where such things as design education is rare. Sad, really.
i think you're making a wrong idea of it..
from what i've seen so far, art directors care a lot about the students (sometimes they take things even too personally putting feeling imo). in term 1 they care about the class as an whole thing, during this time they understand who's working hard making sacrifice (no matter how good) so obviously they are more willing to 'help' these guys.. BUT, in any case, they will still give review and crit on EVERYBODY's assignments (ppl isn't mentioning this)
they don't like those who show a 'give up' mood, don't take it seriously, are always late, don't work hard enough..
Secondly, why should people mention the fact that the art directors "still give review and crit on everybody's assignments"? Students paid for the school fees, hand in their homework, the art directors HAVE THE DUTY to critique.
As for those people who "show a 'give up' mood, don't take it seriously, are always late, don't work hard enough": Did the school reach out to find out why these students are feeling this way? I doubt it.
The school is undoubtedly tough and for those unlucky ones who can't quite catch what the art directors are teaching or lack the skills to execute the assignments, it can lead to great anguish. These are the students who need more help. Yet, the school labels them as what you mentioned and are less willing to help them.
But has the school tried to put itself in the students' shoes and attempt to find out the reasons behind the attitudes? I would like to offer possible reasons as to why these students display such attitudes instead of just calling them that and leaving it at that:
1) show a 'give up' mood
Could be because they are struggling to catch up and are depressed as a result, especially if their fellow classmates are producing fantastic works week after week?
2) don't take it seriously
This I'm unable to comment because it encompasses many areas of behaviour.
3) are always late
Could they have been trying very hard to do their homework all this while and their body is struggling to cope with the lack of sleep?
4) don't work hard enough
How do you tell this? By the quantity and quality of their work perhaps? From my past experience, it is not easy to tell. For those without past design experience or relevant skills, it is a huge culture shock. They may struggle to accomplish an assignment which others deem to be easy to tackle. Could it also be that they have health issues? We all know how intense and relentless the pace of learning at the school is. So if one falls sick, he/she will really suffer because everything will snowball.
I have also heard of accounts of students who approach the school for help but instead of receiving help, gets reprimanded by the school that they are simply finding excuses for being lazy.
All I'm saying is that the school should take a more proactive approach in helping the weaker students and not be so fast to dismiss them as slackers.
Last edited by redgreenapple; October 4th, 2011 at 03:55 AM.
the first thing FZD tells you when they interview is that the program is very hardcore, you may not sleep if u wanna catch up, need to be phisically and mentally strong ecc... so you should be aware of this immediately (i also think it's written somewhere in the website)
obviously if you say 'yes i am aware of this', they won't ask for your case history to check you're telling the truth, right??
and also, MOST IMPORTANT THING imo,
how can someone that has no background expect to catch the same level of a semi-pro?? it's nonsense...school helps you a lot, you will improve so much (to be just 1 year) but of course cannot make miracles..
i can't believe someone really thinks all ppl should come out with same skill level.. lol.
to make it simple, it you start with skill +1 you may end with skill +50, if u start with +20 you will end +70 or even more.. this is the same in every school. no wonders
Agree with every single thing redgreenapple said.
The stronger students are usually the ones who are thankful to the school while the weaker ones are seen complaining. Why? The treatment given to them.
"The lecturers won't critique late work."
That's what they said. Yeah, weaker students, late, art direrector ignores, ok no critique. But there were a few times when the stronger ones were late, the art director still asked for their work and critiqued it. Why?
About the seating arrangement, it's quite obvious how they allocate everyone. Stronger ones and weaker ones separated into two groups. It's a little unfair, imo, for those who don't produce good work but worked really hard to be put in the "hopeless" area. It's as though the school's saying straight to their face, "We've totally given up on you". Doesn't this make the weaker students worse?
It's quite sad people just classify some as "lazy" just because they don't submit their work/late often/etc. Or "not passionate/ you are not working hard enough" when their work is not good. Or "you are not interested" when they're late. Etc. Did any of them actually spend some time to find out the reason behind all these? There were some I talked to. They were really passionate, worked hard. But problem is, they spend way much more time on their work than the others with their work still not up to par with the class. Stay up really late/ didn't get to sleep at all/ late because of all that/ work not good enough/ etc. Causing people to feel like they're not putting any effort when they are.
After experiencing everything, to those that are interested in applying for fzd, all I can say is, if you're confident you'll be the stronger ones in class, there's nothing much to worry about.
Strange, Somebody posted this right after Redgreenapple that day, I found it so true that i emailed it to my pal, so i have a copy of it. Probably that person got paranoid or something, i can understand why too. I agree 100% with Redgreenapple and the above post that got deleted after that. It is so true!
I noticed the strong students are skipping some points and they can appear myopic. I didn't get the impression from the thread that it ''seems like people think they are totally skipping these people. false.'' It looks like some serious discrimination and lack of human rights for weaker students in FZD. Perhaps second thing FZD tells you when they interview is the discrimation and lack of human rights can get very hardcore if you are not in their good books. Have it written in the website too.
I also didn't get the impression from thread that ''how can someone that has no background expect to catch the same level of a semi-pro??''. Seems like ppl just expected a decent level of education but FZD didn't meet their expectation. Nobody implied that ''ppl should come out with same skill level''. Some replies don't match at all and don't really make sense. Worthless.
dunno what to say, i'm just giving my opinions and experiences (sometimes my bad vocabulary may enlarge things lol).. and what i said is what i can feel from this thread, also i see this everyday.. most ppl here are convinced to get a c.a. job immediately after graduation.
that's why i say what i said..
anyway, i think i will ask FZD something about this discrimination you are talking about.
personally i can't feel it that much, just a few things of what you said (consider i may act like i'm blind since i believe in the Jungle Law.. from what i've seen in life, seems like it applies always)
shit man, ppl take all they read sooo literally...for me it's super hard to post on forums without being hated
Hi there, I am a recent graduate of FZD. same batch as freakyfir. I would like to share what I went through.
Erm just to give a bit of background introduction, I learned animation in a local poly but was not doing very well. After I graduated I worked in a local animation company, I convinced myself to try to self taught. It went on aimlessly for a year but I ended more frustated that I could not achieve the level I want. Then I enrolled in FZD.
The first term was hell for me because of health and the inability to cope. The hardest part for me was that I could not understand the lesson taught (perhaps due to my english?) and the early days I wanted to quit and gave up. Now looking back maybe I didnt put in my hardest effort and didnt persevere enough. Anyway, I want to thank one of the art director, who honestly told me to quit if I am not interested. It started more as an anger, I want to prove him that he is wrong.. I am not who he think I am. I started to work harder and with help from classmates who shared to me their knowledge and who helped me to digest what is being taught for the rest of the school days, I managed better.
Second term I became more motivated because the art director shared with me on how much hard work they put in during their school life and also because I heard how hard one of the graduates (kai) worked. As I did more, I realized I understood more. Though yes it is a rollercoaster ride.. most of the time I am depressed after classes because it seems like my work aint good enough when compared to the rest of my class nor to the graduates. And boy, the new first term ppl are damn hard working and good. Towards the end of the term I sort of burnt out but the work I did, I believe I could never had did it, 6 months ago. Not the best but I feel I improved.
Third term I was still bogged down by the 2nd term burnt out and i started to miss my fundamentals.. but later on I was very motivated after seeing with my own eyes that hard work +fundamentals really beat whatever else. Freaky fir and one of my other friend are the most hardworking people in my class and man... they really improve leap and bounds. Anyway, at the end of the term I was kinda happy that I managed to prove to myself.. I was not who I am a year ago. The art director last comment for my work was a total reverse of what he had said to me on first term.
True that I can pick on alot of stuff regarding the school but, I enter FZD to learn and I think I did that..Everything else really doesnt matter.. People who ass kiss or differential in treatment.. picking on such stuff doesnt change that you have paid the school fees and that you are there to achieve your dream. There is never an experience that is a waste of time. Its up to one individual to be open minded and try not to forget why one is there.
Anyhow, I never regret joining FZD... I graduated with more confidence and the knowledge on how to improve from now on.
Sorry for the long winded thread.
P.S you can view my work here: http://randomshade.blogspot.com/
I never removed my old works.. so you can judge for yourself the difference.
Quick question! Does every FZD student knows how to draw with a wacom tablet? Or have you seen students who have never drawn on the tablet before? Thanks!
Every FZD student will graduate knowing how to draw with a wacom tablet. However, you don't have to know how to use it before entering the school as they will give you a proper transition from traditional to digital. And to reinforce what rem92 said, drawing with traditional media is still the most important. And FZD will make sure you draw a lot with weekly sketchbook assignments. Hope this helps.
That definitely helped 3eyemosnter! I just found a second reason why Im interested to go to FZD.
To answer your question, some of my classmates came in with no knowledge on how to draw in wacom. It is a struggle to pick it up at first but dont worry you will get used to it. Personally,I feel treating it as a new medium is better than trying to treat it like a traditional medium. But different ppl will have different feel about this. I know artist who place paper on top of wacom tablet just to make it feel like drawing on paper.
Dont worry too much about it, if you are more comfortable with pen, perhaps you can discuss with the lecturer. From what I know some of my classmate do draws with pen and later scan it in to clean up. All the best and hope to see you in Singapore!
thank you so much random!
Thank you guys to let us know about other perspective of the school.
I got accepted to February 2012 intake, I have some experience in the field so I really exciting about this. But there is other thing I concern. I want to know that if there is any other international student that want to share a room dorm with me in Singapore?
I'm looking for Sophia Campus Ville (which is recommended in FZD International Guide). Is this dorm ok? Because it's only 500$ SD for a twin room. ^^
I live in Singapore though I'm not FZD's Student.
Yeah, Sophia Campus Ville is good for international students like us. (pretty cheap and okay building). And it's really near to your future campus.
Im so jealous some of you guys are getting Macs????
They weren't using macs last year,
the school probably gets a discount or something and uses it as another way to charge more money. I think they should really be working on desktop computers though with an external hard drive to take work home.
draktvin: thank you for your information, it's really helpful. ^^
Yeah so am I! haha. We're also getting ready to book a flight for Feb. the 1st
-Delete this post. Accidentally pressed the ' submit ' button twice when posting which made it a double post.-
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Last edited by Hav0cc; November 1st, 2011 at 01:13 AM. Reason: Accidental Double Post.
I just came back from Singapore and had a visit to FZD school, the school is ok and look pretty good(even thought it's a little small).
School will move to a bigger place at the end of this year, somewhere around Amoy Street (I don't know exactly) and will be farther than the old place to Sophia.
Hav0cc: It's cool man, I will come there around 10th of February because the Orientation Day is due to 20th. ^^
Yeah, I heard that they're gonna move to a bigger/better place soon.
Nkabuto, is your current age 20? Just wondering if there's a chance to study electrical engineering first here in Germany and thinking about joining the full year diploma in case I save up enough money until then, which hopefully should be in 2016(damn, time passes by really quickly!).
As I mentioned the fact of being able to afford this full year. Is there any other chance to get there as a young person without having wealthy parents?
If you don't want to talk about this in public, feel free to send me a message. I'd really appreciate that!
Hello, I'm planning to apply for FZD School in the fall of 2012. I am just wondering if there is any type of financial aid available. My parents don't have enough money and I don't either. I'm currently still in high school and I want to go into the Entertainment Design field. Are there any Scholarships or Student loans I can apply for that is eligible for overseas study at FZD School? Thanks!