I’ve lived in China for 8 years, 2007 – 2015, and from 2009 until 2015 I studied at OCA towards a degree in photography. I chose OCA, not only because I wanted my first BA degree, but also because OCA were the only distance study creative arts college that allowed such a focused yet flexible study program – a program which I needed to fit around working full time as an English Teacher.
There was a large shift in my relationship with photography after I completed the first level, mainly during the second level, in a way that also influenced my relationship with where I was, and in so, allowed me to experience living in China at the time, in a very personal and different way. Photography used to be about capturing what is beautiful, but now it’s also about my relationship with where I am, as well as how I experience the landscape.
On top of the flexible self-paced schedule, and peer group support, the most valuable aspect for me was the relationship I built with my tutors. It was more than just learning to take photos, but I was guided through personal growth and exploration, with photography as medium. To me, that was invaluable.