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Old 01-10-2010, 01:31 PM   #1
rajbir
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Take a deep breath!

So i finally need some help from you guys.

Yes its regarding finding a Good recognized University. Now many people might be thinking why don't you google or use the search button. Found lot of stuff but then thought to start my own so people wont say i am putting ir-relevent questions in there thread. My apologies for this

Ok back to business

first i would like to tell you a little about my self so you can guide me to find the right path , i really need your help.

Currently i am in States (Los angeles). If we go little back before i came to states, I finish my 12 th standard in March 2004, which i assume is equal to high school in USA. After that i was Doing my BA in Animation and computer Graphics from India in a Private University, Unfortunately the Government passed orders to shut down all the private university and my Uni being private had to shut down and i was in my second year. So i was left with No degree. I planned to move on.

Then i did diploma from MAAC - Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics, Which I completed in July, 2006.

After that i planned to go USA for my higher education and i chose Gnomon school of visual effects . I applied right after i finished my diploma form maac in 2006. But as i applied at Gnomon i got rejected as my portfolio was not of their standards. So i took private classes for drawing and anatomy and applied again, fortunately i got in and finished my education with 3.4 gpa.

I came states on Jan 3rd 2008. and i graduated on 2nd October 2009 with speciality in 3d Modeling being a generalist. The Gnomon was a certificate program not a Degree.

After that i wanted to work in the US but i realised as i dont have a degree and i cant get the H1b Visa as i dont have a degree, which is a minimum requirement. They say it has to be a 4 years degree.

Now thats where i am, SO i planned to do degree In US. I went to OTIS COllege or art and design , But there fees was really high around 96000$ for 4 years and i cant afford to pay that as i already spent around 70,000$ for 21 months at Gnomon vfx.

So i thinking whether to go india and do degree program or move to another country like UK, which i would love to. So i discussed with my dad about this and really want to do a degree program. I made a mistake, I should have done degree when i came states instead of doing the certificate program.

Anyways, So i was looking for universities specific in london or close to london.

My reasons are
1.Soho is in london which i think is the place where all the big studios are.
2.I dont want to go to expensive university. i found a university that i feel is right for me, we will discuss soon.
3. London is beautiful it self.
4. Most of the major companies are there. MPC, The mill, Double negative, Framestore,

I read lot of forums that says bournemouth is the best in UK, But i also head some good reviews about hertfordshire, London college of arts, westminster etc

Personally i want to go to University of Hertfordshire. I can afford their fees. There Course 3D Digital Animation-Visual Effects BA Hons is something i am really interested in. I am seen really nice reel coming out of that school which i really like. What i am not sure about this is if the 3 years of Bachelors degree at hertfordshire is equal to 4 years of bachelors degree in USA.

I assume Hertfordshire accepts on the basis of portfolio. yeah ? i will give you link to my website may be you can giude me?

Its not that i have to OR I am dying to work in USA. I am flexible and i can work anywhere but i prefer UK, USA or singaore

My whole point of asking this is
1. If i am making wise decision by going to hertfordshire. Its going to be expensive for me but i can afford it.
2. Is the degree or Hertfordshire universally recognized
3. would the 3 years degree at hertfordshire be equal to 4 years in USA, As i read on H1B FAQ's, They said that

"Two requirements for H-1B visa are
1 The occupation must require at least a bachelor degree.
2 The foreign professional should have the US equivalent bachelor degree (4 years) in a field related to that occupation.
The exception is, when you get an equivalency evaluation that says your work experience in the field is equal to a 4 year bachelor degree. Three years of work experience in the field is equal to one year of college education. A evaluation from a professional service that evaluates work experience and/or foreign degrees would be able to determine whether your work experience and college degree would be enough for obtaining h1b. Please visit our VISA Info page for more details"
If you guys wanna read more is the link * http://www.h1bsponsors.com/html/h1bFAQ/faqH1B.html *

4. How is the employment rate of hert 's graduate? i mean job scope ?
5. Do you know if international students can work on campus while they are studying? How many hours can they work and whats the pay in the beginning.
6. What do you think is the cheapest way for accommodation ? would it be better to stay on school campus/ hostel or rent an apartment outside.
7. Here is a link to my website / portfolio / Showreel - http://www.4sidepixel.com What do you think about it. Is it good enough to get in to hertfordshire ?
I have lot more questins coming , this is it for now.

Please if you think you can guide me, That will be really helpful. Thanks you for your time to real all this.
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Last edited by rajbir : 01-10-2010 at 01:34 PM.
 
Old 01-10-2010, 03:44 PM   #2
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Hello Raj

Thankyou for your kind comments about the University of Hertfordshire. I'll now attempt to answer your questions.

hmmm for some reason the quote function does not want to work at the moment... I shall quote you the old fashioned way in quotation marks " "

"What i am not sure about this is if the 3 years of Bachelors degree at hertfordshire is equal to 4 years of bachelors degree in USA."

As far as I know, yes - it is an internationally recognised degree and so far I only know of one of our graduates that works in the USA, but our degree was perfectly OK for her to work in New York. I know of other graduates that work in China and Japan (who are not from China or Japan) and our degree was correct for them. Bachelors degrees in the UK are only three year courses.

"I assume Hertfordshire accepts on the basis of portfolio. yeah ? i will give you link to my website may be you can giude me?"

Yes that's correct - we accept on the basis of portfolio and interview. As it would cost a fair amount of money to fly over for the interview we can arrange that over the telephone. Of course I would suggest coming to visit the university (and a few others while you are here) to make sure you like the feel of the campus - three years is a long time to spend anywhere if you don't like it!

"My whole point of asking this is
1. If i am making wise decision by going to hertfordshire. Its going to be expensive for me but i can afford it. "

I can't answer that question without bias I am obviously going to say yes; I work there. If it helps you make up your mind, our course has produced graduates who now work at the following 3D/VFX companies:

Activ8
AixSponza
Animated Storyboards
BlinkInk
Boutiq
Cinesite
Click 3X
Digi-Guys
Disney Production
Double Negative
EarthWare Vis
Framestore
Happy Finish
Hi-ReS
Huge Media
ImpossibleTV
Keyframe Studios
Moving Picture Company
The Mill
Passion Pictures
Pipedreams 3D
PTE media
Redvision
SEA NAVY
Saddington & Baynes
Selex SI
Spider Eye
StitchthatTV
Th1ng

and the following games companies

Sony-London Studio
Sony-Cambridge Studio
Crytek UK
FreestyleGames
Splash Damage
Kuju
Blitz Games
Frontier
Creative Assembly
Rare-Microsoft Games
Rebellion Games
Freestyle Games
Digi-Guys

please note that many of these companies employ multiple UH graduates.

"4. How is the employment rate of hert 's graduate? i mean job scope ?"

This varies from year to year - the UK economy is currently suffering the worst recession since the 1930s so it's not as high as it has been on previous years. If you ignore this year and the poor economy usually 50% of graduates work in the animation industry within twelve months of graduation. Considering that we have a large course (currently 320 undergraduate students) you can see that amounts to a lot of students finding work. Most of our students work in VFX/3D animation (commercials, films, music videos, children's cartoon series etc) or in the games industry, mainly on realtime graphics. Some students also enter the architectural visualisation industry.

"5. Do you know if international students can work on campus while they are studying? How many hours can they work and whats the pay in the beginning."

That I don't know, but if it's important to you I can find out. However the hours and pay will vary depending on the job unless you mean what is the UK minimum hourly pay? Most students have to do some work to support themselves (the UK is not a cheap place to live) but the course is very intensive and so we suggest to students to not work more than one day a week if they can. Of course that is not always possible unfortunately.

"6. What do you think is the cheapest way for accommodation ? would it be better to stay on school campus/ hostel or rent an apartment outside."

Again this is hard to answer precisely - the university offers different types of on campus accommodation which vary in cost, and the off campus accommodation also varies enormously in cost depending on how large a house/ apartment / room etc you want to rent. Most first year students tend to stay in university accommodation on campus, and then make friends in the first year that they then rent a house with in years two and three.

"7. Here is a link to my website / portfolio / Showreel - http://www.4sidepixel.com What do you think about it. Is it good enough to get in to hertfordshire ?"

I think that is best discussed privately However I would have to show it to the VFX course leader, I'm not the member of staff who would make that decision.
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:22 PM   #3
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Consider also the University of Bornemouth

In UK, the University of Bornemouth is also very well recognized for computer graphics is you want a degree. Check them out.
 
Old 01-11-2010, 04:24 AM   #4
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I didn't think just because you do a degree there's some right to get a work visa for the US or UK. Normally for a firm to hire a foreign national they have to be experienced with some skill that no other UK or US citizen can provide.
 
Old 01-11-2010, 11:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr Bob
I didn't think just because you do a degree there's some right to get a work visa for the US or UK. Normally for a firm to hire a foreign national they have to be experienced with some skill that no other UK or US citizen can provide.


Exactly you totally make sense. But DEGREE is the thing right now i need to have, Think it this was, If i dont do a degree now and i am working in my country in some good studio and later i get a offer i cant go, Just because i don't have a degree. I am thinking in future terms.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajbirdhalla
Exactly you totally make sense. But DEGREE is the thing right now i need to have, Think it this was, If i dont do a degree now and i am working in my country in some good studio and later i get a offer i cant go, Just because i don't have a degree. I am thinking in future terms.


Well actually that's not entirely true. If you were so good that a studio in the States was making an offer to you to bring you over to work for them, then there are other ways of getting in, like the O-1 visa. I've worked in the States, and I have no degree. If a studio wants you, and you're experienced and very good at what you do, then there are other options.

This whole "you have to have a degree to work in other countries" thing is largely misguided. Yes, a degree helps. But it's not absolutely necessary. And even if you do have a degree, a studio has got to want you pretty badly to go through the whole visa process anyway, regardless of whether it's an H1B visa or something else. And for a studio to want you that badly, you have to be extremely good at what you do. So focus on being really good at what you do, before worrying about pieces of paper. Because none of those pieces of paper are going to do you any good if no studio wants to hire you.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh
Well actually that's not entirely true. If you were so good that a studio in the States was making an offer to you to bring you over to work for them, then there are other ways of getting in, like the O-1 visa. I've worked in the States, and I have no degree. If a studio wants you, and you're experienced and very good at what you do, then there are other options.

This whole "you have to have a degree to work in other countries" thing is largely misguided. Yes, a degree helps. But it's not absolutely necessary. And even if you do have a degree, a studio has got to want you pretty badly to go through the whole visa process anyway, regardless of whether it's an H1B visa or something else. And for a studio to want you that badly, you have to be extremely good at what you do. So focus on being really good at what you do, before worrying about pieces of paper. Because none of those pieces of paper are going to do you any good if no studio wants to hire you.



Seriously i never care for a degree. I am just doing it so i have it incase someone asks for it, i have it, I think the same its just a "Piece of paper", I am going through this right now. I had a company from LA offered me a job but i could not take it and you know the reason. I am an aritst my self and so you all are, we do see things in same way.
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:46 AM   #8
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Anyone knows how much finances one need to show / show on file when applying for UK visa ? i asked the university of hertfordshire and they gave me a link to their website but that doesnt say how much finances i need to show ...
Wouldn't that be the amount of fees for the first term ?
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:45 AM   #9
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http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/s...adult-students/

Quote:
The money that you need depends on where you are studying and how long for. You may be allowed to show that you have a lower amount of money to cover your monthly living costs if you have completed in the past four months, or are about to complete, a course of study in the United Kingdom that was at least six months long.


http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/s...do-i-need/#sh20

So you're looking at between 5,400 and 7,200, depending on whether you're in inner London or somewhere else.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leigh
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/s...adult-students/



http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/s...do-i-need/#sh20

So you're looking at between 5,400 and 7,200, depending on whether you're in inner London or somewhere else.


thank you very much
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:37 AM   #11
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Hi there

The process is not simple (of course :( ), and I've had it explained to me and I think I understand it, but I will PM you some email addresses of staff who deal with VISA complications at the university and I suggest that you ask them any additional questions about the process and make sure you've understood it, because I don't want to get the blame for any mistakes or confusion I may make from this.

Here goes:

This is the process at Hertfordshire, I don't know how or if it differs at other universities:

You have to give the university a deposit of 4000. They issue you a receipt. The receipt has to be shown to UK immigration / VISA office to show that you have been accepted onto the course.

Next you have to provide the VISA people with your bank account details and you need to have 9400 in the account for at least 28 days prior to them checking your account. This 9400 contains 4000 to pay the remainder of fees when you arrive at the university, and 5400 in living expenses.

When you arrive at the university they will want the 4000 from you (total fees for international students on our course are 8000 a year)

which leaves you 5400 to live on...

I hope that is fairly clear.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:37 AM   #12
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