Design graduate Diana Kozhiyeva has relished the freedom and support she discovered while studying at Otago Polytechnic.
Born and raised in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, Diana moved to Munich, Germany, at the age of 18, where she studied Design at Designschule München, one of Otago Polytechnic’s many partner institutions.
“After finishing my three years at Designschule München, I took up the chance to study at Otago Polytechnic. I wanted to be submerged in an English-speaking environment and go to such a beautiful country.”
Diana entered the third year of a Bachelor of Design (Communication), under an articulation agreement Otago Polytechnic has with Designschule München.
“I have learned a lot at Otago Polytechnic. The learning environment is really creative.
“In general, the teaching style is very different from Germany's. Here, it felt more ‘free’, and our class was great. I made a lot of good friends and the staff were super-lovely and very helpful.”
Diana says she feels more confident after her year at Otago Polytechnic.
“The most important thing I've learned is to see the whole picture and think more globally in terms of designing for sustainability.
“Another thing that I've learned is to speak more confidently while presenting my ideas, to make things personal and not just talk about facts.
“I am definitely more confident now than when I've started the programme, because I was able to do things I didn't know I could.
“It has turned out to be a fun and very positive experience.”
Diana also discovered the benefits of Otago Polytechnic’s many disciplines and areas of expertise.
“A lightbulb moment came when I realised that I could combine Communication Design and jewellery making for my design final project.
“By also attending classes at Otago Polytechnic’s Dunedin School of Art, I learnt how to work with metal and make jewellery that I've designed ‘come to life’.
“So my future goal is to start my own jewellery company, combining the graphic, web and jewellery design skills that I’ve learned.”
Read more about our Design programmes