Mihaela Pavel - BA (Hons) Animation
As a child I loved watching animated films from around the world. They opened my eyes to how big and full of different cultures our planet is, and in a way changed my life.
While I used to draw and try to animate at home in Romania, there weren’t really professional courses available, and so I concentrated on studying English and Philosophy. That was until I met a representative from the UoP animation department at an education fair in Bucharest. They told me all about the course and the facilities available…finally I’d found my chance.
I didn’t think it would be easy though. Romania is not a rich country and I am not from a rich family, so thinking about the financial implications of studying in the UK made me quite nervous. All that changed when I discovered how many university loans and grants were available for overseas students. I applied for everything, got accepted and that was it, I was off! I couldn’t believe it.
Arriving in Portsmouth was incredible. I’d grown up in a very small town that was not remotely international, and so seeing all the different types of people in one place was amazing.
Similarly the course itself was really diverse and you could explore what was right for you. Prior to studying I’d only drawn at home, but within a year I’d learnt all the basics of animation and in creating concept art had even found which part of the industry was right for me.
University of Portsmouth also arranged an internship for me at Advocate Art in Worthing, where I illustrated children books. During my time there I made real industry contacts and managed to gain my first freelance clients, so I came out of the internship with not only experience but paid gigs. Not bad for only having been in the UK for under two years.
A lot of people have big ideas of what they want to do, but don’t follow through with them. You have to at least try… I promise it’s worth the effort.
When I first thought about attending university in the UK, moving here felt impossible. But even if you're not from a wealthy family there are options, you just have to look for them.