Dunedin fashion student pulls off Italian job

Otago Polytechnic fashion design student Georgia Ferguson (20) is about to spend a semester studying in Milan, having qualified for an exchange programme on the merits of her Spectrum collection. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Otago Polytechnic fashion design student Georgia Ferguson (20) is about to spend a semester studying in Milan, having qualified for an exchange programme on the merits of her Spectrum collection. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Christmas will be an Italian affair for Dunedin tertiary student Georgia Ferguson, who is urgently learning the language after qualifying to study at an international design school in Milan.

Miss Ferguson (20) will leave Dunedin for Italy on January 10 and spend a semester studying at the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED).

The second-year Otago Polytechnic fashion design student will return to Dunedin in early August to finish her degree.

Although excited about the opportunity, Miss Ferguson was ''apprehensive'' about her limited Italian.

''The classes are all in English but I have been busy studying the language because I know I will be expected to undertake an internship with a local designer,'' she said.

She had never been to Europe and hoped to work for an Italian designer as an intern while studying.

Miss Ferguson planned to complete a master's degree overseas once she finished at Otago.

The polytechnic started an exchange programme with the IED in 2006, which had since seen 10 Otago and five IED students swap cities for a semester.

Miss Ferguson is the 10th Otago fashion student to study in Milan through the programme.

Fellow second-year student Olivia Moon (20), of Christchurch, was the polytechnic's first interior design student to go on the exchange and will leave New Zealand for Milan on February 13.

She said it was a ''dream come true''.

''... there will be a lot of project-based work, which I am really looking forward to,'' Miss Moon said.

Both students had to organise their travel and living expenses.

Tuition fees paid to Otago for their degrees covered IED costs.

Otago Polytechnic head of design Caroline Terpstra said she was immensely proud of both students.

''Olivia and Georgia both show exceptional promise as designers in their respective fields and are deserving recipients of these coveted scholarships. I am thrilled for them and I'm sure they'll make the most of this exciting opportunity,'' she said.

rosie.manins@odt.co.nz