Sylvia Burgess

Sylvia is studying for a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Art History and Asian Studies.

Sylvia Burgess

"I have always been a visual person but have also loved a good story and Art History really combines the two, where we don't just look at the artwork, but figure out its story and how and why it is so important and relevant.

"Asian Studies has been just constantly eye opening in the best way. I am Pākehā and had only a vague overview of Asia before I started studying Asian Studies. I now feel constantly amazed by how little I knew and how much I need to know and get to be constantly exposed to new literature, film and even TV shows.

"I am hoping after I do postgrad to get involved in helping people who have western-centric art understandings to be able to appreciate Asian art in a way that is truer to the artist and the artwork. I would also love to work in creating an artist exchange, running a gallery, or helping facilitate the art world in some way.

"Being a student in the Faculty of Arts involves a lot of essays and research in some of the most interesting subjects possible. There is not highly stressful or competitive atmosphere and the staff are all really approachable. So even when you are freaked out about a test or assignment there definitely feels like there is a support network, you just need to make the first move in asking for help.

"I would encourage future undergraduates to use literally every resource available for you! Don't act like you are too cool for it — ask your lecturers for help, and make sure that you check at the Arts Students' Centre that your course selections will help you graduate in time.

"This might sound lame but learning is really cool, and university is an amazing opportunity to be in a space where you just get to learn and explore ideas you are interested in, so enjoy it while you can!"


Find out more about studying Art History or Asian Studies