fbpx Talking Foundation with Freshman Dhir Baxi — PCA

Talking Foundation with Freshman Dhir Baxi

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PCA sits down with freshman Dhir Baxi to discuss the Foundation program, life in Paris, and selecting a major.

Where are you from and where did you grow up?
I am British but originally Indian though I was born and brought up in Hong Kong, and did secondary school in Singapore. 

What made you interested in studying art in higher education in Paris?
During my university application process, I slowly realised that being in an artistic field was something I wanted to do as more than just a hobby. I never really considered coming to Paris until Kaamna from PCA came to visit my high school, after this, I realised that this was something I really wanted to try out and explore.

What major have you chosen to go into and has it changed from what you had envisioned before starting Foundation year?
I intend to choose Fashion as a major. My decision has not necessarily changed but it has definitely been solidified over my time in my foundation year. I was on the fence when I began the course but now after trying different subjects and media, as well as actually exploring the real industry through internship opportunities, I am really sure of my choice.

Are there any classes or assignments that helped you make your decision?
Our mandatory drawing classes definitely helped since this was the class that first introduced me to things like fashion illustration (which led to me choosing fashion drawing electives in the second semester). As well as the final for City as Studio. This project was extremely open and allowed me to explore something I was passionate about, I tried out a more textile focused project and it definitely helped my realise my interests and strengths further.

What inspires you about Paris?
Definitely the creativity within the general community. I have lived in extremely business centred cities and this was a nice change. It was also very inspiring to see how well connected the fashion industry was specifically. It is extremely motivating to be surrounded by people that are passionate about a creative field.

On a normal weekday, what is your life like as a PCA student?
I come to PCA in the morning and finish in the late afternoon. After this, my friends and I normally try to get some work done together at someone’s apartment or at the shared residences. If time allows it or on occasion, we will go to a bar or a restaurant before going back to our respective homes.

Do you mingle with peers in different departments?
It is definitely more difficult in your first year since Foundation in itself is such a comfortable community. However, mingling does happen through PCA activities and since the community is so tight-knit, you are bound to meet people in other departments. Especially in the second semester since we have the opportunity to choose sophomore electives from various departments. It also helps give insight on what each department is like, which also helped solidify my decision to go into BFA Fashion Design.

What was the biggest challenge you faced and overcame? Not only related to academia but life in Paris as well?
My biggest challenge so far has been the general settling into the city. The strike period specifically was difficult because typical student worries – like budgeting and language, became more difficult than usual. The city environment, as well as the university, is extremely different to the places I have grown up in but I think that since Paris is a big city, it is easy to find a group of people or area that feels comfortable because of the sheer amount of options.

Have you ever been homesick? If so, how did you overcome this?
I don’t think I have felt that homesick here but generally, when I miss home I tend to find a place that feels familiar. For example, going to Chinatown and having some comfort food or buying snacks that remind me of home have definitely help me feel more comfortable.

Do you mingle with Parisians?
Mingling with Parisians has also been difficult since the PCA environment is very international and therefore foreign to most people here. However, once I met one or two Parisians it became a lot easier to mingle with more. I think that going out of my way to mingle with Parisians has helped to make the language and environment more familiar.

Where is your favorite place to grab lunch around the PCA campus?
Probably ‘Bep’; A Vietnamese fast food place at the beginning of Rue LaFayette. It is super close and easy to find. You can get a range of things (Salad bowls, sandwiches and spring rolls), as a vegetarian it’s not very common to find a place that’s affordable and provides options so this is definitely a good find!

Where is your favorite hang out in Paris?
It would have to be in the Marais. Being in the 3rd arrondissement, it is super accessible and always has something to do. Super student budget-friendly if you do your research with Kilo shops and vintage stores as well as a fair share of cute cafes and bars!

IG: @dhir.b