Friday, May 18, 2007

International students of Hyper Island: Ana Labudovic, Crew 10

Zdravo Ana Labudovic from Croatia, Crew 10!

How did you find out about Hyper Island?
I first read about it in Creative Review, that was really a long time ago. The concept of a creative school situated in an old prison kind of got stuck in my head. From then on I just kept on seeing all this great student work from over there.

What did you have to go through to get to Hyper Island?
I had to go through some big changes - I left my job, apartment, not to mention family and friends, and had the pleasure of going through some jolly-good-old bureaucracy. Applying for a visa and getting it all done in time was a bit stressy but the key was keeping in touch with my embassy and making sure they followed up on everything.
I took some classes of Swedish before coming there so I had a solid ground to start learning "for real".

Once in Sweden did you feel limited by your language knowledge or did you feel you had the opportunity to learn as the Swedes?
The language barrier was frustrating at the beginning, especially if it's your first time living in a foreign country, but very soon I realized that it's all about adapting and finding new ways to make things work.
My colleagues were quite supportive, they'd help me fill in the gaps in case I missed out on parts of the lectures, and if it got hard.. well, everyone speaks really good English :)

What did you think was strange or funny about Sweden?
Boys that spend 2 hours in front of the mirror trying to make their hair look like they just woke up. So much good food and candy and äppelpaj med vaniljsås but i never got fat.

What did you think was unexpectedly easy in Sweden?
Well the general standard is quite high, people that live there don't really pay attention to those things until they move out. All this public transport, trains, banks and whichever service that requires queuing is so much better organized. And you don't have the feeling everyone just wants to take your money and leave you with the minimum.

What learning experiences from your Hyper Island education have brought with you to your work life?
I guess the most I learned in the end is related to working in groups and understanding how people function. Mostly I learned how I myself handle situations and which things I need to focus on more. During school you try out things and it's ok because it's like your playground.
Then you get a whooole new dimension of learning during your internship when you're dealing with real clients and real money.

What do you think Croatians, or non-Swedes in general, can learn from studying in Sweden which they might not be exposed to otherwise?
I guess this holistic approach to work and solving problems is something I haven't encountered before, I was impressed by the work ethics itself, the tolerance and non-aggressive ways to sort out conflicts and issues, and above all the amount of time spent in creating concepts that make sense before moving to the design stage of the process.
Ah yes, process, that word is all coloured yellow and blue for me.

Words of wisdom for non-Swedes out there that are unsure of if they should take a chance on Hyper Island?
I'll allow myself with a luxury of being so cliche and say:
If you don't take a chance, you don't have one.

Hvala Ana!

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