Eighteen-year-old Aditi Mundhra had always planned to study communication design after high school but was weary of the limited courses available in India. Mundhra’s idea was simple -- she was looking for a particular course that could help her learn various design processes such as branding, visual identity and graphics.
Applying to an international university would mean battling scholarship queues, giving the required Toefl/ Ielts tests and filling numerous application forms that require a host of documents. So when she came to know about Parsons -- The New School for Design, New York’s unique collaboration with the Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI), she was more than excited. “It is an excellent opportunity to experience the ‘Parsons way of life’ in India. I am currently doing the foundation course and I plan to take up communication design next year. It will help with creative skills to create useful objects and designs for the future.”
Explains Radha Kapoor, founder and executive director, Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI) “It took us about three years to collaborate with Parson’s, New York. In a way, the efforts were all worth it. Fashion cannot be isolated. Therefore, it was very important to help students learn different design ideologies from spheres of the society.”
Apart from Parsons, Le Cordon Bleu, one of the most renowned schools in the food and hospitality management is also scheduled to open its doors in GD Goenka University, Haryana from August 21. The admissions for the ongoing batches are currently open. Similarly, The Miami Ad School, which is ranked among the top ad schools in the world, is set to start its courses from October this year. Says director, Raj Kamble, “We have very few schools that teach advertising. All the teachers who teach here are from the advertising field itself. This really helps us give a first hand account into the subject.”
Spoilt for choice
Through this unique collaboration students will be exposed to courses that are not only niche but also skill-based. Tarun Dutta, assistant marketing manager, GD Goenka University, elaborates, “Le Cordon Bleu is a very respected organisation. Since we are just starting out, we have introduced key courses such as Bachelors in Hotel Management, Bachelors in Hotel Management and Catering Technology and a Post Graduate in Accommodation and Operations Management.”
The Miami Ad School will have courses that will award a diploma certificate from the international university and will have courses that function on a semester system that introduces copywriting, digital design and art direction. Each course is two years long and is divided into eight quarters. Says Kamble, “We want students to have the best of both worlds. Classroom teaching is not something we aim for. We have Skype discussions through which students can address each other and exchange ideas. Also, during the fourth quarter, we send students to either New York or Germany for internships that help them experience the true office environment.”
Similarly, Parsons too, offers internships and students exchange programmes that help students with internships in international design houses. Though both the undergraduate courses such as Communication Design, Fashion Design and post graduate courses such as Fashion Business Management and Creative Entrepreneurship, are very business based, Kapoor is keen on organising shorter courses that focus on creativity. “We are keen to introduce courses such as Fashion Journalism and Fashion studies that can be a six month course for post graduate students who have relevant experience in their fields.”
Since the courses are same as they are abroad, students will also get either a degree or a diploma from the concerned universities which can further help them either go abroad for higher studies or find a job.“ We offer paid internships to suitable candidates. They are also eligible to work professionally after the completion of their course,” Dutta concludes. With so many options, an international degree in niche vocational subjects will no longer be a pipe dream.