From South Africa to Southampton: Claire Williams talks about braving the move.
Since the early days, there’s always been something about film that has captivated me. My family always used to have to tell me ‘it’s not real, Claire’, just to break my gaze from the world beyond the screen.
When I realised that making movies was what I wanted to do for a living, I started working towards achieving that dream. Like many before me, I experimented with my handy-cam and my loyal friends, making short films at home.
After I finished high school, I knew I wanted something substantial behind my name to support this enthusiasm I had for film, so I applied to various institutions that offered film as a field of study. One in particular took my fancy – the Oakfields College.
During my time at Oakfields I met some amazing people and really had the opportunity to explore and learn this craft. Soon enough, my loyal friends and I become known as a collaboration, almost similar to that of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton!
But then it was time to broaden my horizon and take on a new adventure, and Oakfields College had a great connection with Southampton Solent University in the UK.
For someone who had only travelled internationally a few times, the thought of moving abroad alone was more than daunting. However, I knew it was just the next step in getting closer to my end goal.
So I applied, and soon enough I was packing my bags and saying my goodbyes. After a very exhausting flight and nearly missing my connection, I made it to the other side of the world. Luckily I have some family who I stayed with and my sister was in the UK at the time as well, which made it all a little bit easier… until she dropped me off at halls that is.
I was quite worried as I’d been left to my own devices and knew only one person, but being placed in halls with fellow international students made settling in so much easier as we were all in the same boat. I met some lovely people on my course and all of my lecturers and tutors were just really great.
My time at Solent University was amazing. Yes, it had its ups and downs but it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve built up so much confidence and skills, travelled to places I probably never would’ve otherwise, and I even met the man of my dreams!
After finishing my degree, I got a job as a producer for a local video production company and then worked as a graduate assistant doing videos for Solent University. Now, I’m on my way to London for my new adventure in video production, which is getting me one more step closer to my end goal.
None of this would’ve been possible without the support from my amazing family and, of course, without Solent having made that connection with Oakfields College.
I want to thank everyone who’s been involved in making this all possible and I can only recommend that Solent continues to make international connections that give others like me the opportunity of a lifetime.
To find out more about studying media production here at Southampton Solent University, please follow this link.