ACE Scholarship Recipient: Cindy Cheung & Graphic Design Festival Scotland

Back in October of 2018, UC Davis student Cindy Cheung was able to attend Graphic Design Festival Scotland with the help of our Academic Curricular Extras Scholarship! Here’s what she has to say about the experience:

For the first time ever, I attended a design conference. What’s more, I attended a design conference overseas, without having to worry about figuring out funds for the admittedly pricey Graphic Design Festival Scotland (GDFS).

GDFS took place at The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture, located in the heart of Glasgow. Being able to participate in a whole week’s worth of design workshops, discussions, and projects enriched my study abroad experience in a way nothing else could have. On top of taking courses at University of Glasgow to further my education, going to GDFS let me take advantage of my time abroad to chase my passion for design and pursue my career goals.

So why was the festival such a great experience?

With each workshop I attended, I learned more and more about the studio culture and attitudes surrounding design in Glasgow and in Scotland. Every single day I spent at GDFS meant meeting inspiring creative problem-solvers and hearing innovative ideas. Being so totally immersed in creative energy vitalized me, and I left The Lighthouse feeling utterly elated every night.

Do you have any special memories from the event that stand out?

The last event of GDFS was a two-day live project for current students and recent graduates. Those who placed in the Top 20 would receive work placement at the studio that mentored them. With the help of mentorship from a studio based in Scotland, groups of young designers addressed a single creative brief.

The core of the brief was this: How did we want to be remembered when we were gone?

Two vulnerable days, one sleepless night, and several grueling hours of design work later, I presented my project to my group. Maybe it was the lack of sleep, or maybe it was the thick Glaswegian accent, but when “Cindy” was announced as part of the Top 20, I wasn’t sure whether I had really, truly heard my name or not.

Turns out, I had heard correctly. What followed was two full weeks at Studio Stand, an award-winning brand and communication design studio in Glasgow City Centre. Studio Stand gave me the opportunity to work on a real-world challenge involving packaging design for a well-known client.

Sounds like such a rewarding experience! Any final thoughts?

Had the ACE scholarship not been available to UCEAP students, I would have never ended up with all the wonderful outcomes…I would strongly encourage every student to consider seeking out these unique opportunities for themselves. The ACE scholarship and the UCEAP team is out there to support us and our ambitious endeavors, after all.

Personally, I am incredibly grateful for the grant I received to cover my costs, because the experience I had there was extraordinary. Graphic Design Festival Scotland turned out to be more brilliant than I could have ever asked for.

Want to have your own ACE Scholarship experience? Apply here.