BEING AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT IN LONDON

Live each day with the breeze of the moment.

INTERVIEW


Tell Me About Who You Are And Where Your From?

Hey! My name is Ilaria Iannarilli, 21 years old. Photography Student at London Metropolitan University. I was born and raised in Rome, Italy but now I live in London.

Why Did You Apply To Study In London?

The reason why I have applied to study in London, is because there are no opportunities to study anything like photography in my home city. I always felt they do not take it very seriously. For example, here universities give space to pave a way for creative people, while in Italy, they do not get a degree but something more similar to a certificate. 

Why Did You Consider This As A Great Opportunity?

Living and studying in another country at my age is always a great opportunity, I guess. It’s that time of your life when you need to improve yourself as much as possible and to learn how to fail, moreover, to learn how to never give up even when you are down. 

What Did You Do In Terms Of Living & Settling Requirements for London? And How Did You Go About Planning?

I moved here with my best friend two years ago. We managed to find a landlord who told us to meet him at Canada Water station. Upon that date when we moved, he made us view some flats. Once all moved in, at the beginning, due to us being unemployed and with hardly any money, we decided to share the room in order to save up.

© Ilaria Lannarilli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Was Your First Impression Of London?

Since I was 15, I felt that London was my place. The first time I came here was in 2012 with my parents. We spent a week in London and I immediately fell in-love. People often ask me what i love most about this city but there are so many things that I still can’t choose… it has always held a true feeling. I guess my favourite thing is that I feel alive here, even before I became a Londoner myself.

When You Moved, How Did It Make You Feel?

I felt the happiest person in the world. The last time I came here for holidays, I cried when I left. The more I am here, the more I feel I am changing. I just became more happy.

Did Anyone Influence You To Move And Study in London?

No one really influenced my decision to move here, but on the studying front that’s not the case. I was here with my friends in November 2015 and I met an Italian girl from Milan. We started talking and she told me that she was studying modern languages here. She started talking about what kind of exams they do in her school here and more. Nothing compared to my country. I was scared and exited at the same time, feeling like I was never gonna be able to study here because I would’n be able to learn fluent English (due to my dyslexia). Then one day when I told myself “you are 19 today and you are not going to be this young forever, even if you’re going to fail… just try”, so I did.

What’s It Like To Be A Photography Student in London?

It’s cool. London is such a big city and it’s full of trends and so many different things. Whatever kind of photography you want to do, there’s a place for you here. Also, there are a lot of exhibitions to get inspired from. London is a very creative city.

© Ilaria Lannarilli
© Ilaria Lannarilli

As A Photography Student, What Sort Of Trends Do You See?

Polaroids and analogue cameras are the most fashionable at the moment, also so many digital photographers tend to use the same filters and presets from other more “famous” photographers, especially in music and wedding photography, without trying to find their style.

© Ilaria Lannarilli

What has Surprised You Most About Studying Here?

That exams are just written! Also, the number of different people (age, nationality, etc) that come together in the same class to study what they love.  

Tell Me About A Difficult Experience You’ve Had Being An International Student In London, And How You Dealt With It?

At the moment, I have never had a real problem as a student. Sometimes I feel like I struggle a bit more than people who were raised here (just because I am studying in English which is not my first language).  Financial issues can be a bit stressful here (London is very expensive), but I try to do my best and balance my studies, my job and social life. I actually sometimes manage to save money.

Tell Me About The People You’ve Met In London, While Being Here?

I met so many people, and made so many friends. A lot of them are not in my life anymore, mostly because they moved back home or somewhere else. In the last two years I have become more open to people than before, because people here are just genuine, nice and sociable. 

What Do You Do In London When You Aren’t Studying?

I have a “part-time” job, where I work 4 days a week. The rest of the time, I have university (classes, studying or taking pictures is pretty much what I do when i am not working) . I also manage to go out sometimes to catch up with my friends and to have a relationship with another photographer.

What Accomplishments Are You Most Proud Of? And Why?

My photography is improving which makes me incredibly proud of myself, I have never been an optimistic person and I don’t believe in myself that much, so being able to see my work progress is very overwhelming. Also, at the age of 19, I got the chance to live in another country, learn another language and get my first job ever. All at once.

© Illaria Lannarilli

If You Could Change One Thing In Terms Of How You Got Here, What Would It Be?

Probably nothing. Everything that happens in someone’s life makes that person who they are. I think it’s very important to stay true to yourself and allow yourself to make mistakes because that’s how we learn to survive in this world.

Finally, If You Could Give Advice, That You Wish You Knew Before, What Would You Say?

When you think you can’t do something and you block yourself from doing it, it’s wrong. It’s always good practice to try everything you want to do.

If you feel like you want to live somewhere else because the city you’re living in doesn’t satisfy you, please do it!

If your mind is telling you that you’re not good enough for anything, don’t listen to it, instead listen to your heart who never lies.

Put love in what you do, it makes you a better person.

And, always, believe in yourself even if no one does, and this is something I learned straight away before I moved to London. Live each day with the breeze of the moment.

FIND MORE OF ILARIA IANNARILLI’S WORK

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