As a Student Ambassador, you are asked a lot of questions by prospective students. Kim finds that the question he is most frequently asked is one he asks himself regularly and finds that his Ambassador role helps him to reflect on both the big questions and himself.
After a foundation year at St Martin’s College studying fashion, Kim decided to join the Fine Art degree programme at Goldsmiths to be able to develop his own artistic process. “I chose this course because Fine Art is really liberal and really free. The Fine Art course at Goldsmiths doesn’t have pathways in comparison to other universities so I can explore whatever I am interested in and whatever I hope to do.”
The campus tour
One of the main activities Kim is involved in as an Ambassador are the ubiquitous campus tours.“Campus tours, as all students know who have been here on open days, is the most common thing. It’s a great time to communicate with prospective students who are really interested in our college and we can have a tour with them on campus and explain about the course and the department.”
He also leads smaller bespoke tours for students from schools or other university students who are thinking of Goldsmiths for their degree or masters courses. As an international student, he has the ability to give other international students a real insight into what the experience at Goldsmiths will be like.
“I am Korean and I am an international student. So usually the Ambassador Coordinator will pass the international students to me and we have really interesting conversations because we are all international students. I can tell them about my experience and also when there are students who are interested in the Fine Art course I can even show them my studio and my friends studio then it can be a really fantastic experience for them.”
The questions you are asked as an Ambassador
Inevitably, Ambassadors are asked all kinds of questions when leading a tour. In addition to the regular questions like ‘how is university life?’ and ‘what is the benefit of Goldsmiths?’ he is also regularly asked a more difficult question – ‘what is Fine Art?’ – which gives him the opportunity to reflect on his own practice.
“My major is fine art and I can spend a lot of time on that (question). This is the most difficult question in my life also, because even I don’t know what is Fine Art and art specialist doesn’t know what is Fine Art. So answering those questions makes me know myself more and give me time to think about me myself.”
In contrast to the intense and tough questions though, he can be charmed by some of the more innocent questions asked during tours for groups of children. “One young child asked me if they could have a boyfriend or girlfriend when I get to university. They were really young so it was quite funny.”
Being a mentor
Back in Korea, Kim was a teacher / mentor to high school art students and is planning to continue this type of activity with his involvement in the Goldsmiths Progression Scheme.
“The scheme is open to local students – teenagers who will be university students soon. So what I will do there is become a one to one mentor where I will have a conversation about what they want. It will be a really useful time to give some advice to them so maybe I can give my own experience as an international student, a university student, a Goldsmiths student. So maybe we can share our experience and maybe I can help them if they are struggling with something.”
The best thing about being a Student Ambassador
“It’s quite cliché but it’s true that meeting new people and different people in a different area and its’ really exciting for me as a Fine Art student and also as an international student and there are a lot of opportunities I can engage (with).”
Why get involved in co-curricular activities
At Central St Martins, Kim’s foundation course was intense and highly competitive. As a result he didn’t get the opportunity to participate in activities outside his course which is something he regrets. So he’s making attempts to change that at Goldsmiths.
“I always regret my foundation so I thought I will do a lot of things on my BA course in Goldsmiths. (My time at) Goldsmiths is about me, myself what am I doing and how can I develop in college time period and I thought it was a really good time and opportunity to arrange my academic schedule and university life.”
Life after Goldsmiths
“Actually I need to back to Korea. I need to go to the army to do a national service. It’s the duty of all Korean boys to do this for 21 months – quite long and it’s a compulsory thing. I also hope to study more, my MA and if I can a PHD in the UK maybe. So I am finding my future career here. I really love Fine Art and I will work continuously but I hope to experience different courses and different colleges so I didn’t fix yet but I’ve two and a half years more!”
More immediate plans
“I am in the art department and many art students hold their own exhibitions with their friends in the art department. It’s really great for your CV also and it’s really great experience that we can have as an art student so I want to hold my own exhibition maybe with my friends and so I really ought to look at those things.”