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Old 07-09-2008, 05:34 PM   #1
chunhong
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chunhong diong
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Unhappy BFA in Animation or Cert in Computer Animation?

Hi guys, I have several questions here and hope you guys able to give me some precious opinions..

I'm taking Interior Design in Lasalle College of Art(Singapore) now..
Actually I'm interested in CG but my school's animation and fine art are kind of... "art"..
Their animation major(media art) is focusing on storytelling.. the student work is mostly done by flash.. and their fine art course is not illustration.. they prefer abstract painting.. which is really irrelevant what I want to learn..

Fortunately, Digipen's come to Singapore and I have already gotten in.. But the problem is I have been studying for 1 year and spent S$15k for only tuition fees.. Digipen costs $82k for 4 years.. I'm a international student so I have to pay my accommodation as well..

Singapore's art educational system is 3 years for diploma and 4years for bachelor's..
So what i really confused is should i go to digipen to pursue an US degree? Spend S$97k and 5 years for a degree in Singapore?

Or juz earn my diploma in Interior Design first then try to apply Sheridan Computer Animation cert in Canada?
of course, the latter will cost me lesser.. So which educational pathway should i choose? I hope you guys are willing to share some experience or opinion..

My parents cannot afford me to go western country since my sis is studying in melbourne(need 2 more years)..

As far as i know, digipen is a game institute and known for its bachelor of science.. so how about its animation course?

My dream is i m able to study and work in US or canada.. So, is sheridan computer animation course difficult to get in? I logged on canada immigration website juz now and know that as a 1-yr-certificate holder can only work for 1 year in canada? I heard that Us and canada only prefer bachelor degree holder to apply work permit.. is tat true?

finally... it's my last question...>o< is interior design related to cg field?

Hope to hear from u guys soon.. sorry for the long post.. Thanks!

Last edited by chunhong : 07-09-2008 at 05:38 PM.
 
Old 07-09-2008, 06:09 PM   #2
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In my experience as an international student prior to becoming Canadian, yes it is much harder to get a work permit without a degree. Its easier to get one for Canada than the states from what I went through (I didnt need work experience to get one for canada but a friend told me she recently tried to get one for the states, and even with a job offer immigration needed a couple years experience in the field).

I would strongly suggest getting a -relevant- degree if you want to get through the immigration issues but that is just based on what I went through. What I mean by relevant is that it applies in some way to your field... mine is a bachelor of fine arts in animation, so it worked out ok. Go to the government websites and check out the application procedures, most of the information there will give you a better idea what you are qualified for or able to obtain under your circumstances. What I can tell you now is to expect several years of hard work before you obtain your goal... but trust me its very possible if you stick to it

good luck.
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:44 PM   #3
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Get a BFA...

10 years from now you will thank us.

-R
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:54 PM   #4
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why you are interes in cg at first, since you are an interior designer?
why not continue it?

just like RobertoOrtiz say, get a bfa if u can coz it is more pratical.
 
Old 07-09-2008, 06:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chunhong
As far as i know, digipen is a game institute and known for its bachelor of science.. so how about its animation course?

My dream is i m able to study and work in US or canada.. So, is sheridan computer animation course difficult to get in? I logged on canada immigration website juz now and know that as a 1-yr-certificate holder can only work for 1 year in canada? I heard that Us and canada only prefer bachelor degree holder to apply work permit.. is tat true?


The desire to work in the US or Canada is going to be the biggest hitch for you, otherwise I'd say do Animation Mentor, which I think is probably a much better deal for an animation education ($15k at home vs $84k + accomodations and Redmond isn't cheap). But the others are right, degrees don't matter to employers but they do for green cards and visas, especially in the US (apparently the US requires 3 years work experience for every year of schooling; I know people with 10 years game dev experience who've had issues because of no degree). Canada is also strict but I believe less so (I could be wrong). Europe is easier still.

I'll PM you about your other question.
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:32 PM   #6
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If you decide to come to Canada to study, then you will have around (don't quote me on this, check with Immigration Canada.) a year to find work from the date that you graduate. The studio's here don't require a degree. I've had many international students come through my program, and have had no problem finding work, and getting their visa's extended. What matters most is your skill set. If you don't think you're going to get the right training somewhere, having a degree won't make a lick of difference because you won't get any offers from international studios anyways. Focus on your skills, and if a studio really wants to bring you in, they'll figure it out. I do believe things are stricter in the USA as far as credentials for work permits.

Do your research on the schools you're thinking about. Make sure you ask the school to put you in contact with current students, and recent grads to get the real deal on the education you'll be recieving.

Sincerely,
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:55 PM   #7
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Pencil pushers at the Border (immigration) likes degrees. Studios don't care about degrees, they like good demo reels. If your plan is to work abroad then go to a place that will help you get both. A certificate program is not recognized on the same level as a degree.
 
Old 07-09-2008, 09:01 PM   #8
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Talking Degree

IMO, Get a BFA, you will thank yourself later.

Interior Design will help you in 3d with things like world design(level design) and any interior space that you can think of as well as props and the like.

Most of the students I have seen had to return to their home countries to get jobs becuase of work permits not ability. I am from the states with a BFA in Graphic Design with 2 years work experience, as well as graduating from VFS afterwards. Just know that even with all that (insert counrty) companies will hire (insert counrty) citizens first, becuase of (for canada) tax breaks and they have to pay foreigners more then citizens by law. States is much the same or worse. It happened to me. Plan ahead while still in school or just after, and apply for a work permit for canada since that is where you want to continue your 3d schooling and get the ball rolling. Showing a company that you already have your paperwork in order and all they need to do is want to hire you(ie not apply for your permit and wait a year and thinks your a cool person to work with) then they will be more likely willing to take the risk.

Good luck
 
Old 07-10-2008, 12:03 AM   #9
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BFA

My BFA gets me into the states with no hassle. I can work where ever I like.
Those things that the colleges teach you you can teach yourself.
 
Old 07-10-2008, 06:34 AM   #10
chunhong
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chunhong diong
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Thanks guys for quick reply~ you all are so friendly =)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ANasir
In my experience as an international student prior to becoming Canadian, yes it is much harder to get a work permit without a degree. Its easier to get one for Canada than the states from what I went through (I didnt need work experience to get one for canada but a friend told me she recently tried to get one for the states, and even with a job offer immigration needed a couple years experience in the field).

I would strongly suggest getting a -relevant- degree if you want to get through the immigration issues but that is just based on what I went through. What I mean by relevant is that it applies in some way to your field... mine is a bachelor of fine arts in animation, so it worked out ok. Go to the government websites and check out the application procedures, most of the information there will give you a better idea what you are qualified for or able to obtain under your circumstances. What I can tell you now is to expect several years of hard work before you obtain your goal... but trust me its very possible if you stick to it

good luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by switchblade327
The desire to work in the US or Canada is going to be the biggest hitch for you, otherwise I'd say do Animation Mentor, which I think is probably a much better deal for an animation education ($15k at home vs $84k + accomodations and Redmond isn't cheap). But the others are right, degrees don't matter to employers but they do for green cards and visas, especially in the US (apparently the US requires 3 years work experience for every year of schooling; I know people with 10 years game dev experience who've had issues because of no degree). Canada is also strict but I believe less so (I could be wrong). Europe is easier still.

I'll PM you about your other question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hightower82
Most of the students I have seen had to return to their home countries to get jobs becuase of work permits not ability. I am from the states with a BFA in Graphic Design with 2 years work experience, as well as graduating from VFS afterwards. Just know that even with all that (insert counrty) companies will hire (insert counrty) citizens first, becuase of (for canada) tax breaks and they have to pay foreigners more then citizens by law. States is much the same or worse. It happened to me. Plan ahead while still in school or just after, and apply for a work permit for canada since that is where you want to continue your 3d schooling and get the ball rolling. Showing a company that you already have your paperwork in order and all they need to do is want to hire you(ie not apply for your permit and wait a year and thinks your a cool person to work with) then they will be more likely willing to take the risk.

Good luck


So what you mean is I'd better pursue my BFA Animation in Digipen Institute(Singapore new campus) instead of earning a BA Interior Design which is really irrelevant in CG field? and it might help me to get closer to my immigration dream?
But I heard about the immigration issue.. which is not only an issue of a degree, but also a US degree.. They prefer their own country degree.. US prefers US bachelor's, Canada prefers canadian bachelor and so on.. Even though i get their degree in Singapore, I'm still not able to get their work visa after I graduate..
That means I can't get a job and working visa after graduate unless I study in US or Canada?
I'm malaysian(chinese).. Due to the currency problem, my parents cant afford me to go US or Canada this 2 years since my sis is studying in melbourne now.. What they can do for me is afford me to study in Singapore this few years.. I have to find out which way is more efficient and save money so I will still stand a chance to ask for go abroad..
But it sounds my dream is difficult to come true now.. =(
I'd like to work at there because of their CG industry is bigger.. The chances will be more as well.. Even though lucasfilm and ubisoft set up their branches in Singapore.. Because what I think is I can learn more at there before i return my country.. Of course.. I LOVE WESTERN CULTURE~ XD
Hope you guys can give me more opinions.. Thanks in advance...


Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz
Get a BFA...

10 years from now you will thank us.

-R

Quote:
Originally Posted by depleteD
BFA

My BFA gets me into the states with no hassle. I can work where ever I like.
Those things that the colleges teach you you can teach yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hightower82
IMO, Get a BFA, you will thank yourself later.

Interior Design will help you in 3d with things like world design(level design) and any interior space that you can think of as well as props and the like.

Most of the students I have seen had to return to their home countries to get jobs becuase of work permits not ability. I am from the states with a BFA in Graphic Design with 2 years work experience, as well as graduating from VFS afterwards. Just know that even with all that (insert counrty) companies will hire (insert counrty) citizens first, becuase of (for canada) tax breaks and they have to pay foreigners more then citizens by law. States is much the same or worse. It happened to me. Plan ahead while still in school or just after, and apply for a work permit for canada since that is where you want to continue your 3d schooling and get the ball rolling. Showing a company that you already have your paperwork in order and all they need to do is want to hire you(ie not apply for your permit and wait a year and thinks your a cool person to work with) then they will be more likely willing to take the risk.

Good luck


Thanks for your help..
But what you all mean by BFA?
Major in any kind of design, as long as it's a BFA program?
Because my school is based on British educational system.. So they offer BA.. is it the same?


Quote:
Originally Posted by simoncheng
why you are interes in cg at first, since you are an interior designer?
why not continue it?

just like RobertoOrtiz say, get a bfa if u can coz it is more pratical.

I was thinking about studying animation in KL before, but my parents wanted me to stay in Singapore because of their low-crime, better education and so on.. I don't really like my school animation course.. That's why i choose interior design as my major.. =(



you all are very kind and friendly... thankssss!!

Last edited by chunhong : 07-10-2008 at 07:02 AM.
 
Old 01-25-2009, 06:26 PM   #11
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So if you are already in Singapore and live close by why haven't you considered more options close to home? Getting a degree elsewhere is one thing but getting a job there is another. You need 3 - 5 years industry experience before a company will be able to sponser you to stay(correct me if I'm wrong) But you also have a lot of great opportunity if you stay in Singapore. From personal experience I'd suggest not to go to any school that doesn't have an internship component...taking that first step into the industry is a very important one. Having said all that. You have lots of options cropping up right in your back yard. There is the JUMP program at Lucasfilm Animation Singapore(I think it's six weeks at the end of the program you are on the floor with the team doing real shots) and Double Negative is also opening a studio in Singapore in May/June and probably has some great training initiatives as well. Ubisoft is coming as well and Rythem and Hues is opening a studio in Malaysia. I've heard of grads getting goverment grants to do the Animation Mentor online. The only options for animation education within Singapore will probably be at 3D Sense(uncredited) or NYU Tisch. Also if you are worried about your university credits transferring over to Canadian or American ones you should see what credits you can transfer over to other schools...you might only have to do a year extra to upgrade your degree. The only reason I am suggesting this route is that Canadian and American markets are grossly oversaturated with animators...getting a job right out of school and especially as a forigner is going to be extremely tough..you will be at the bottom of their lists...whereas the companies in Singapore you will be at their top. I think after a year you would qualify for an intercompany transfer visa. As for education...most of my collegues seem to come from Sheridan or VFS. I'd say go for the cheapest option...your demo reel will mean more than what school you go to and yes...the degree helps with the visa...means nothing to your employer...you can have your degree in design and do a one year stint at one of those schools... but remember schools are out to get international students money..they know you pay more...so you will be paying double for already really expensive programs...and trust me paying back your loans later is a pain especially if after you dump all that money into your education you don't land a job. Anyways I guess I am saying get your BFA in something and then why not apply to one of the training programs available in Singapore...at LucasFilm or Double Negative? It sounds like you get paid to be educated rather than the other way around and you'll be working on real shots...which is a way better education than you could ever get in a classroom...I wish I had that opportunity available to me back before I dumped my extra cash back into more school....anyways...perhaps look into it and re-consider your options?
 
Old 01-27-2009, 08:13 PM   #12
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BFA Bachelor of Fine Arts

BA Bachelor of Arts

Same difference for immagration. But you wouldn't have a BFA in literature (you'd have a BA)...

More info here-its kinda subjective...

Last edited by circusboy : 01-27-2009 at 08:40 PM.
 
Old 01-27-2009, 08:13 PM   #13
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