Fashion Design Student Studies in Guinea, West Africa
During the fall 2012 semester, I had the truly unique opportunity to study abroad in Guinea, West Africa. This experience as a whole was life changing, and definitely eye opening personally and artistically. My program was through Anitoch University, which sends students from all over the United States to West Africa to study Arts and Culture. As a fashion design major I apprenticed with a local tailor in Kankan, Guinea for three months. Throughout this experience I was able to learn new techniques of cutting, sewing, and construction while getting first hand knowledge of the rich and beautiful culture of West Africa.
A core part of the program was the home stay experience where I lived with a family and became immersed in the daily routines of life in Guinea. I lived in a hut within the family compound and became a part of the family’s life while having to learn a whole new African language in the process. I was able to really experience life in Guinea and learn what it means to be a part of the fashion world outside a Western society.
I made lasting relationships with my family and friends that I grew close with there, which was one of the most rewarding parts. This experience has forever impacted me and I am now focusing on applying my experience to my future in the fashion world.