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Meet our students

Interview with two first years,
Interviews by Tessa Frings, second year iArts student


Sophie van Leeuwen

Age : 21

From : the Netherlands


Why did you choose to join iArts?

After doing the academy of performing arts for one year, I started looking for more interdisciplinary programs. Not because I didn’t like doing theater anymore, but because I was interested in more than just that. The program of iArts appealed to me because it's diverse and it doesn't exclude any form of performing arts and therefore I wanted to apply for the program. 

What are your interests?

Besides theater, I love filmmaking, singing, creative writing and painting too. I always thought that acting was the only way in which I could express my creativity, but I now think that expressing my creativity can be done, not only through performances, but through a much broader perspective.

How do you experience working in your group?

Collaborating in a group has taught me to overcome issues and misunderstandings with people. I have definitely become more assertive since I’m at iArts and I think that is a valuable skill to learn. Although I find working in groups still difficult sometimes, I think it’s good that my communicative skills are being trained and challenged.

What has been your most exciting moment in iArts so far?

My most exciting moment in iArts was the exhibition we organized for our photography and visual language project. Our photography teacher found a place in the city in which we could exhibit our work and I think it turned out really cool. This was the first time we could show the pieces that we made to a bigger public and it was nice and fruitful to hear their thoughts/opinions about them. We just started with another project where we will be exhibiting in a museum in Ghent, which I’m very excited about.  

What do you look forward to the most?

Honestly, I’m looking forward the most to next year because we will be focusing much more on our individual work. Although I mentioned before that I find working in groups very instructive, I prefer using all of my ideas and creativity to make something of my own instead of using it for a group project in which you can never completely follow your own instincts because you have to consider other people’s thoughts and opinions.





Tessa Frings


From : Germany


Why did you choose to join iArts?                                                              

I came to iArts straight out of high school. I was 17 and didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life. But I had always been doing all kinds of arts, while still being interested in the sciences, so iArts was a really good fit. Its internationality and small groups ended up convincing me to join. And while there have been ups and downs, I do not regret it!                                            

What are your interests?                             

Artistically, I have always been doing a lot of crafting. I have also taken singing classes for several years. Once I was getting a bit older, I started becoming interested in graphic design. Content-wise, I am interested in societal issues related to inequality and oppression.  

Can you recall a highlight of the first year of iArts?

My favorite project of my first year at iArts was definitely the Arts & Entrepreneurship block. We were asked to behave like a company and were free to choose a topic. We invented and participated in a “30 day artivism challenge”; under the name ThisConnected.World, we posted one micro-project every day for 30 days. During these 30 days, we really improved our ways of productively working in a group, and had a lot of artistic freedom when it came to the micro-projects. It was great to be learning this much while being so independent at the same time!

How do you experience working in your group?                                                              

I really like working in my group. While we are all very different from each other, we have found great ways of working together and really benefit and learn from each other. Working in a group with such big artistic potential and power can be really challenging, but it sure made me grow a lot. And since we’re such a small group of 8 people, we are not just classmates anymore; we became close friends, a family almost.


















What has been your most exciting moment in iArts so far?/ What do you look forward to the most?                                                               

I had never performed my own personal thoughts and feelings to an audience. I had never performed something created fully within my own mind. I had never before communicated such a clear, singular concept, born within my mind, through a medium which circumvented the sole use of language.                                                                 

Performance was one of the first classes I took at iArts. I learned how to develop a performance through a thoughtful, constructive process, refining my aim and actions until my message was clear to the audience. This was really exciting for me because I realized my ability to use a completely new form of communication. It feels like a new superpower.                                                              

What do you look forward to the most?                                                      

I am most looking forward to diving more deeply into cultural projects which exist external of iArts. Through iArts, I hope to continue being connected with professionals who can guide and collaborate with me.