choosing between US art schools, please assist

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  1. #1
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    choosing between US art schools, please assist

    I plan to apply to a US art school as an international student
    from Russia for Illustration BFA programme (not quite sure yet).
    I already have an Oil and Gas engineer's degree (that's bachelor's
    degree + one year of practical work), can I possibly apply for
    Master's programme in arts?
    I've been working as a freelance illustrator for the past 3 years, I've got plenty of various works (mostly illustrations and comic series) published in Russian magazines, newspapers and ads, though unfortunately I never went through any drawing courses or whatever. My website is http://www.bluebed.net
    or
    http://illustrators.ru/users/sleepy

    What art school would you recommend? I've read the threads here, I'm probably sticking with Academy of Arts Unifersity in SF, though i'm not sure at all. The fine folks at Academy give scholarship grants for the summer semester only, which is quite sad, since their tuition fee is pretty high for international students. Another thing, I consider going to a community college for the first couple of years and then tranfer to save some money and give myself time to settle down. Is it worth it or will it just end up as a waste of time?
    Finally, I'd love to stay and work in the US, but to change visa I'll have to find myself a full-time job, not some freelance. That's also a thing to consider (actually it is of utmost importance in my case) both with art school choice and the field of study (illustration is mostly freelance, at least here in cold hostile Russia). What course is the best for finding a full-time job relatively easily after graduation?

    Thanks in advance

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    Have you read Jason Manley's posts? If you have, then you know that having a degree or diploma is not what matters. It's the quality of the training you receive, your portfolio and your professionalism that will get you hired. The fact that tuition is high doesn't guarantee anything. Do your homework! Make a short list of the schools whose curriculum covers the skills you need. Look at websites, student galleries, ask about class size, check out the faculty, write and ask if you can be put in email contact with current students and graduates. You are on the verge of making costly and serious decisions.

    As far as staying on in the US is concerned, you'll need to check out the requirements with immigration... unless someone else on this thread knows the ins and outs! Do you need a degree to be accepted into the US?

    Last edited by Maxine Schacker; August 8th, 2007 at 05:14 PM.
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    i'm just curious, but have you tried to apply to the moscow branch of the academy of fine arts? (surikov insititute i think)...russian art schools are supposed to be much better than most schools here from what i've heard...anyway this is just out of curiousity

    as for schools, AAU is probably a good choice...although I would check out the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art which offers an amazing atelier program which lasts 3 years...plus they grant students visas

    also tuition is lower than most universities at $4000 per quarter...so, not counting summer...4000 x 3 quarters= $12,000 per year, times 3 years.....works out to about $36,000.....not bad if you ask me

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    Maxine Schacker: As far as I know, an international student gets a year to find a full-time job. Having a full-time job lets you change the visa, so that's it.
    panchosimpson: I guess so, but Moscow art schools (just as the one you recommended) are too focused on Fine Arts, plus there are very few jobs for artists here. Well, yet another thing - I don't really like living here, in Moscow).

    Generally, I'm choosing between Illustration, Animation, Gamedev and Graphic Desing. Again, my main concern is finding a job after graduation. As far as I know AAU offers some assistance in that.

    Finally, there's another thing I've been wondering about for quite a while - that is AA degree. It's two years long in AAU for instance, that's twice as short as the BFA. Would you guys recommend trying that?
    Another course of action I was suggested - attending a community college for the first two years, then transferring to a better art school.
    What do you think about all that?

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    I guess I'll be attending a community college in California (probably OCC), then try getting to AAU in SF or something.
    Still, there's one thing I can't stand about this - it's Orange Country and the whole area. Basically I've got a choice of any place in the US, I was thinking of Cali because it's supposed to be full of job opportunities and that's what's of utmost importance for me. Still, I'm afraid the area may drive me nuts, I'm more into Chicago and that kind of gloomy cities).
    If you had a choice of any CC/art school in the states, what would you choose? All their sites are pretty similar, so I'd love to hear an advice. Thanks in advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue bed View Post
    I guess I'll be attending a community college in California (probably OCC), then try getting to AAU in SF or something.
    Still, there's one thing I can't stand about this - it's Orange Country and the whole area. Basically I've got a choice of any place in the US, I was thinking of Cali because it's supposed to be full of job opportunities and that's what's of utmost importance for me. Still, I'm afraid the area may drive me nuts, I'm more into Chicago and that kind of gloomy cities).
    If you had a choice of any CC/art school in the states, what would you choose? All their sites are pretty similar, so I'd love to hear an advice. Thanks in advance.
    You're trying to compare California to Chicago and also asking us for our input on this, huh? That's a mighty tall order! It's literally comparing apples to oranges. California has its merits but then so does Chicago... as does any other major art program of note. Every person chooses their art school based upon different criteria- some people like the weather, the proximity to someone/something, the teachers, the facilities, the long track record, the alumni, reputation, scholarships, housing choices, or a myriad of these reasons. And they're ALL valid.

    My suggestion for anyone thinking about choosing programs is literally if you could... take a visit there. See the place and talk to people to get a feel for the place. It's got to fit you obviously and if it doesn't feel right for whatever reason, then it's not for you.

    Seeing as how you're in Moscow, making a trek over here is going to be a lot tougher and financially tougher, but try to ask yourself what it is that's important to you and try to narrow the choices down. And only then should you start asking for specifics about each school. For the most part, most people here haven't been around to that many schools to make a really fair comparison between multiple schools. Again, what works for one person might not be ideal for you.

    Good luck with your search!

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    Thanks!
    I don't think I really can pay a visit beforehand, so that's pretty tough, right.
    Anyway, are there any particular art schools and community colleges you guys could recommend in the NY area? I'm looking into illustration.
    Kind regards

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