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Heriot Watt University, Borders Campus, Galashiels, Scotland
Collection of printed textiles by Lisa Brown created at Heriot-Watt University, 2006

Lisa Brown

I spent this past semester studying abroad at Heriot-Watt University in Galashiels, Scotland, as part of an exchange program with PhilaU, and I had an incredible time. The town of Galashiels was not as small as I had been warned about.  True, if you took a twenty minute walk around, you pretty much saw everything, but there were plenty of shops, pubs, a night club, and a movie theatre to keep you entertained.   For people who are not used to living in small towns like I am, there was a bus station where you could catch a bus to the quaint surrounding towns, across the border to England, and to the beautiful city of Edinburgh.

Like the town, the school of Heriot-Watt was a very small, with only about 600 students.  This was a perfect setting for a new student from a foreign country, because it was easy to meet people and to navigate around the campus.  The building where most of the design students were located was the High Mill, which was once a functioning textile mill, now converted into studios and workshops for the school. 

Each discipline of print, knit, and weave had their own studio space, and I was with the printers.  Everyone got their own desk, where you could work on your preliminary ideas, meet with your professors, and also catch up on the latest gossip about British celebrities.  Once you had your final design ideas, you could take them upstairs to the CAD lab to have them digitally printed, or go downstairs to the print room where you could make your own screens and hand print with dyes and pigments onto fabric.  For the main project of the term, I focused mostly on screen printing, because I had never done it before, and I wanted to try something new.

While my time spent in Scotland was way too short, I still managed to broaden my ideas about textiles, and also about the world itself.  I learned a lot from this experience, made some lifelong friends, and got to travel around a country that I had never been to before.  I am so glad I had an opportunity like this, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
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Philadelphia University
School of Engineering and Textiles
School House Lane & Henry Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144-5497

Tel: 215.951.2750
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