Paris is one of the most sought-after international fashion and luxury capitals by students wanting to pursue higher education in fashion. “It was always my dream to study fashion in Paris and I finally decided to take the leap after living a corporate life,” says Prea Vani Varma, who pursued MBA in Global Fashion Media from International Fashion Academy, Paris.
However, while studying in France, language can be a barrier. “People here appreciate students making efforts to learn and speak French, but is it not something that one can learn just through textbooks or the internet. One needs to converse with the locals and keep practising. The presence of students from more than 50 countries and various disciplines such as Arts, Science and International Relations, helps one learn about different countries and cultures. The experience helped me become a global citizen,” she adds.
During the course, Prea also got a chance to visit Shanghai for three weeks to understand technology, consumer behaviour, experiential marketing and how social media is influencing consumers. An alumnus of Delhi University and Xavier’s Institute of Communication (XIC), Mumbai, Prea says that she was used to hectic class routines in India, but Paris allowed her time to find part-time jobs or work freelance as the schedules are not as busy as at Indian institutes.
“I did several internships during my 18 months in Paris. From working backstage at shows during Paris Fashion week, assisting designers at fashion fairs, bringing new and fresh designers to showcasing during fashion weeks, consulting and giving lectures about contemporary fashion. I also produced and directed a documentary on the condition of garment factory workers in India and Bangladesh that was screened at Cite Internationale Universitaire,” she adds.
Prea is a firm believer that when in Europe, one should definitely explore the culture and lifestyle.