Student experiences preparatory courses

Mon 19 Dec

Would you like to experience what studying at Willem de Kooning Academy is all about? Do you want to develop your own (visual) areas of interest through self-elected assignments? And would you like to prepare for the admission procedure? Then our preparatory courses might be for you. In this article, you can read the experiences of students who have gone before you, and find out more about the courses available in 2023!

Want to read the student experiences in Dutch? Click here.

Swasti Ramjatan (23) - followed the course S in 2021/2022 and is now a first year Illustration student

“For this course I flew over to the Netherlands in order to attend. I enjoyed it a lot, although unfortunately some of the last classes were held online due to the COVID pandemic.

I quickly developed my artistic thinking through this course. Keeping in mind that I studied science before, the arts were very new to me. However, I did my best to catch up with the level of creativity that is required for the course and eventually the rest of the WdKA bachelors.

I think this course gives good insight of what is expected from a students portfolio. This made the portfolio-making process easier. It also helps with filling your portfolio with assignments you do during classes.

The most valuable to me is the choice I made through the course. I initially wanted to study Advertising and Beyond, but soon realized I gravitated more towards the Illustrations and Graphic Design assignments. I even contacted the teachers at the last moment asking for advice on my choice and they gladly helped me out. I am very satisfied and happy with my choice.

This course is fitting for future WdKA students that are still a bit unsure about which programme they want to follow and also for those who want to fill their portfolio with some more cool art."



Jette Klaver (18) - followed the course XL in 2020 and is now a second year Graphic Design student

“ I first did ‘havo’ in secondary school and then had a gap year to think about what I wanted to study. After a while, I thought art school would be for me. I just had no idea how to make a portfolio and what art school entailed at all. I did the XL course to prepare myself as well as possible for admission hoping I would be accepted. In the end, I did and was admitted to Illustration. I wasn't really sure which direction to choose, but my lecturer on the course thought Illustration might suit me. I am now in my second year and have since switched to Graphic Design to see if that suits me more. I learned super much from the course and got a much better idea of what art school entails and what is expected of you. I also found that one of the most valuable things about the course. Without the course, I don't think I would have made it. I think this course is a very good fit for people who really want to go to art school, but are not sure if they have what it takes or have trouble getting in. After all, there is quite a lot of pressure on such an admission and it can be very scary. This course helps you to gain self-confidence in your skills and thus get the most out of yourself."

Maxe den Boer (21) - followed the course S in 2021/2022 and is now a first year Transformation Design student

"Before this course, I took an MBO course in Photography. After this course, I wanted to learn more about other techniques / materials, so I decided to take a gap year to calmly figure out what kind of further study suited me. This was the ideal time to take several courses at different schools. Although I already had a good start for my portfolio, the course at WdKA mainly helped me gain insight into how they work there, what they stand for, and what each course entails.

I did the 'small course' and that was enough for me to expand my portfolio and at the same time see what all the courses stand for. It was in the evening, so also easy to combine with other commitments. The teachers were very helpful in my search and often thought along with my questions, without pushing me in a certain direction. This gave me a good feeling about the school.

During the course, there were different assignments to choose from. There were different assignments per course, all related to the same topic. This made it easy to see what perspective or working form each course offers. As a result, I found out that the way of working and thinking at Transformation Design suits me best.

I think this course is suitable for people who have a small portfolio and want to expand it, for people who want to experience what studying at an art school entails, or for people who, like me, are hesitating between different studies."


Josefien Poos (19) - followed the course XL in 2020 and is now a second year Graphic Design student

"I started the orientation course after finishing havo in 2020, after being rejected at WdKA and HKU because they thought I was too young and my portfolio was not extensive enough. I then decided to take a gap year and take time in this year to take the orientation course and work on my portfolio. This worked out well because I am now in my second year of Graphic Design at WdKA.

In the beginning, I was quite nervous that the classes were in English, but fortunately the 1-to-1 sessions with my tutor Denise were in Dutch. I really liked that. Through all the assignments of the course, I created a very diverse portfolio, was able to experiment with techniques and materials and got a lot of tips & tricks. That helped a lot with my admission, which ultimately got me accepted as a Graphic Design student at WdKA. When I look at my portfolio before and after the course, you can see a very big difference. The course helped a lot with that, because doing everything on my own is quite difficult.

I found the most valuable thing about the course was being able to spar with someone, someone who was watching. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, this was not possible with classmates, but I did benefit a lot from the lecturers. The support in the art school admission process was also very nice. I was even helped with assignments for other art academies, although it still ended up being WdKA for me.

This course is perfect if you are still searching for what you want, because you can orient yourself within different directions. The programme is completely tailored to your personal ambitions and interests. That's what makes it so valuable!"

Interested to follow one of our prep courses? Then visit the pages below to read more about the content of the various courses that still have places left in 2023:

Online course M2 (21 Jan. to 18 Feb.) 5x on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Offline course M (18 Mar. to 22 April) 5x on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Offline course S2 (15 Feb. to 29 April) 9x on Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9. 30 p.m.