Each year, a small number of selected students come to London to join the MSc Cosmetic Science (and vice versa) for part of the academic year. LCF News caught up with exchange student Virve Väyrynen to find out about her Erasmus experience…
VV: When I started to study cosmetic science, legislation and marketing in Finland at the Laurea University of Applied Sciences, I was 26 years old and had already been working with cosmetics for eight years. I felt that I wanted to learn more about the industry and find a new passion for it again.
The main reason I started my studies was that I had heard that every year one or two students could have the possibility to have an Erasmus exchange term at London College of Fashion to study Cosmetic Science. This sounded like a dream and when I started my studies in Finland it was my mission to get into LCF.
When I got accepted it felt a bit unreal. At the age of 27, I was afraid that I might feel a bit too old to be an exchange student. Luckily, I worried for no reason. Studying at LCF felt exciting and even better than I could have ever expected it to be. I was fascinated by all the inspiring people from the industry that I had the chance to meet, knowing that I could not have that possibility back home. I felt that I was in a place where you never know what world expert in cosmetics you are going to meet next. I never wanted to miss a single lecture, just to make sure that I had the whole advantage of my Erasmus term. I also fell in love with the amazing library at John Princes Street where I could spend hours with all the incredible books and magazines.
I was able to totally focus on my studies and it felt wonderful to have people around me who could give me all the answers to my questions and also provide me with tools to keep searching more by myself. I have never studied as hard as during my exchange period, but it was not because I needed to, it was because I wanted to.
I thought I was a grown up already before my Erasmus term, but during those months at LCF I grew up more than during the past few years. My studies challenged me because of the language and my different educational background compared to my classmates. In addition to all the industrial knowledge that I gained, the biggest thing that I learnt was actually that with determination and the right state of mind I can do whatever I want to.
Thanks to London College of Fashion I had found a new passion for the beauty and cosmetics industry.
MSc Cosmetic Science at LCF has an active Erasmus exchange of staff and students with three European universities: Laurea University of Applied Science in Tikkurila (near Helsinki), Finland; ITECH in Lyon, France and VIST in Ljubljana, Slovenia.