My Experience as an International Student of QC Design School - QC Design School

Fernanda Olaya is the proud owner of Coerenti and a QC Design School Student Ambassador. As a professional designer, Fernanda’s goal is to help clients rediscover their essence and reflect it in their living spaces in a holistic, comprehensive way.

QC Design School Student Ambassador, Fernanda Olaya, headshot

A Little About Me

Hi, my name is Fernanda Olaya. I’m Colombian. I have a degree in Architecture and a specialization in Interior Design in Florence, Italy. I’m also a graduate of QC Design School. I’ve completed their Feng Shui Design and Professional Organizing courses.

You’ve probably read many of QC’s student and graduate experiences, but this one is going to be a little different. As an international student of QC, I feel I can offer an informative and fresh perspective about what it’s like to be a student of this school.

So, based on my experience, is QC Design School the right school for aspiring, international designers?

The answer is a resounding YES! QC provides a unique opportunity to expand your world, knowledge, and experience in the design field. Let’s take a look at all the advantages I personally gained – and how you’ll be able to gain them, too.

Professional Design Training in My Area

I’m from Bogotá, Colombia. I’ve been working in the Interior Design field for over eight years. During this time, I’ve had the opportunity to work on hospitality, residential, office, and well-being projects. I was fortunate to study Architecture at one of the best universities in Colombia. However, I consider the professional design training available in my country to be hard to reach for everybody.

Yes, there are professional design courses in Colombia. But most of them, I believe, only offer face-to-face education. Of course, we all had to adapt and turn to online education when the COVID-19 pandemic began. As a result, a lot of those options were no longer a possibility.

But even if we don’t consider the pandemic, I still found that certain design courses in my area weren’t all that accessible. Specifically, it was difficult (if not next to impossible) to find certification programs in specialization topics, such as Feng Shui, Color Consulting, or Professional Organizing. That’s why I decided to look for other options outside of my country.

It’s important to note that English is not my first language. In fact, at this point in my journey, I knew very little of it. But the fact is, English is one of the most spoken languages in the world. I knew that being able to speak it would open so many doors and professional opportunities for me.

So, I decided to go for that path. I wanted to get into a course that gave me an extra advantage. The problem was, I didn’t know if it was possible to find a school that would offer me an international approach.

QC Design School article, Apr 8 2021, second in-post image

Discovering QC Design School

When I found QC Design School, it was the perfect fit for me. Something that caught my attention right away was its presence in Canada, the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. In addition to that, they also hold an A+ ranking with the Better Business Bureau. It didn’t take me long to realize that this was the international school I was looking for!

On QC’s website, they list all of their different programs. When you go to each individual course page, you get a full breakdown of the course, the certification you’ll receive, and a thorough explanation of each unit within the course. Furthermore, they offered the specialization courses I was looking for. Ultimately, these are the factors that made me decide to enroll.

All of the information I found on QC’s website was very complete and precise. I’ve always been passionate about interior design, so I was excited to get started right away. As soon as I did start, I discovered yet another perk: the course dynamic allows you to believe in and utilize your self-discipline and self-organization. Every part of each unit – including the assignments and quizzes – are entirely self-paced.

I’ll be honest: some units were more challenging than others. But I was able to successfully graduate from my two courses in the end. The flexibility that QC Design School gave me allowed me to get it done on my own schedule, at times that worked best for me.

Being an International Student of QC Design School

If English isn’t your first language, you’ll probably find that the main challenge of being an international student is the language barrier. At least, that’s what it was for me. It really depends on how familiar you are with the English language and how confident you are in learning it.

One upside is that the English component of QC’s learning environment is primarily done in writing. Your course textbooks and assignments will all be in English. When you submit your work, your writing will need to be in English, too. The instructional videos and tutor feedback adds an audio component to the learning experience. But you’ll never be required to physically speak English. This was an advantage for me.

As you probably know, thinking in another language makes you think differently. This is because other parts of your brain get involved. Based on my experience, pushing myself to think in English made me get more and more creative for each assignment. Doing this has also improved my overall communication skills, too!

international student learning on laptop at home

How QC Design School Made Things Easy

I understand if the prospect of learning in a foreign language seems a bit intimidating. Fortunately, QC Design School presents all of the knowledge in a clear, direct, and coherent way – even for non-English speakers! The design of every book is truly beautiful. I found the process enjoyable because the material was easy to read and comprehend.

Another advantage was to have different types of course material, such as those instructional videos I mentioned above. Whenever I was in doubt, I’d simply review my materials until I was certain of the answer. Moreover, after I finished each unit, I got thorough feedback from my tutor. As I discussed earlier, all tutor feedback is voice-recorded and provided as an audio file.

As an international student, it was very helpful. I could hear the tone and inflections in my tutor’s voice, which helped me better understand what they were saying. Furthermore, I could pause and/or go back as many times as I wanted, if I needed to listen to any part of the file again.

3 Tips for Picking the Right Online Design School

The global situation that we’ve all had to live over the past year makes us see online studies from a new perspective. Now it is more common and expected. In some cases, online learning is the only option right now. That’s why it’s essential to choose the RIGHT school for you. There are countless possibilities online. So, it’s important to evaluate all the criteria in order to make an informed decision.

As someone who has now been an international student, I can give you 3 important guidelines for choosing the right design school/courses…

1. Will your training open you up to an international market?

One major advantage I found from enrolling with QC Design School is that they opened my mind to an international market. When I started my courses, I was primarily focused on the goal of starting a local business. Now I know that I can have a local business and a global design studio!

If you wish to work with international clients, you’ll also want to make sure that your design course will provide you with an internationally-recognized certification once you graduate. QC’s certifications are all internationally-recognized. This means I’ll be able to work anywhere with my certifications in-hand!

2. How professional is the school and their course materials?

Your training will have an impact on your business and its success. This is just one other reason why choosing the right design school is so important! If the course offers very little in terms of learning materials, you won’t be getting the best education.

For reference, when I enrolled with QC Design School, I received a digital copy of my textbooks and instructional videos. Shortly afterwards, I was mailed physical copy of these items, as well as a portfolio, a color palette, and a chromatic wheel. Since I was enrolled in the Feng Shui Course, I also received a few specific Feng Shui elements that pertained to that program. All of these tools created the foundation on which I could begin my career as a professional designer.

woman opening package at home in living room

3. Does the design course offer any business training?

If you want to start your own business, it makes sense that you’ll need some business knowledge first. QC Design School offers a full unit devoted ENTIRELY to business training at the end of their certification courses. Personally, I found these lessons to be the most relevant for my professional future.

Specifically, their Marketing and Promotion booklet helped me to put my business ideas together. I also found the Starting Your Own Business materials to be extremely beneficial. QC Design School gives you all the technical knowledge you’ll need to launch a business that truly thrives. Moreover, this training will help bridge the gap between being a student and being a design professional in the working world.

My Final Thoughts

As an international graduate, I appreciate that I’ve been given the option to start my own design business from anywhere in the world and offer my services to clients from all across the globe. At the same time, I can also continue to service the people in my local community. I’ve since created my company, Espacios Coerenti, and have had the opportunity to work on projects in Paris. Thanks to QC Design School, I will continue to expand my unique design business in the years to come!

While COVID-19 isn’t over yet, 2021 still marks a year full of new beginnings and fresh starts. If you’re thinking of pursuing a dream career in the design industry, here’s your sign from the universe that you should DEFINITELY go for it!

I invite you to check out all of the certification programs that QC Design School offers, which include:

QC Design School article, Apr 8 2021, last in-post image

The best part? QC always has a monthly promotion running. Often times, you can get TWO courses for the price of one! This is a great, budget-friendly way to maximize your knowledge and begin your career with a double certification.

I’m forever grateful for QC QC Design School. They’ve helped me to start the design career I’ve always wanted, with my own vision. If you’re willing to take the leap, I promise you that they can do this for you, too!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. I also invite you to connect with me directly in QC’s Virtual Classroom on Facebook. I’m always happy to chat. Thanks for reading!

Enroll with QC Design School today and get fully trained/certified in as little as 3-6 months!

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Bradley Schlagheck says:

    Wonderful to hear your design journey and international story! When we spoke as fellow Student Ambassadors, I was impressed with your English, as you said it was your second language. And big Congratulations on starting your business!

  • Daniella says:

    Your story is so inspirational!! Great article!!

  • Maria Papailiadis says:

    Thanks for sharing your story! It’s amazing to hear from an international student and get perspective from the other side of the world 🙂

    • Sarah-Lynn Seguin says:

      We agree! Fernanda did such an excellent job on this article. We loved hearing about her experience and thank her for writing this! <3

      All the best,
      The QC Team

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