College Corner: The New School, Parsons School of Design



"Parsons School of Design enables students to develop the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing society. Students collaborate with peers throughout The New School, industry partners, and communities around the world and in New York City, a global center of art, design, and business.”

Prao Leeswadtrakul is currently a sophomore at Parsons, majoring in Integrated Design. When you speak of the Parsons name in the city of New York or anywhere in the art industry, people know what it means: a high amount of intensive workload and the recognition of talent. Everything about Parsons is intimidating. Prao is a highly talented individual that showcases her bright and outgoing personality on her Instagram.

Tell us about what you're studying!
My major is a self-directed program that requires [its participants] to take strategic design core classes (business and research). This major does not limit you to only chose one area of study, and gives you the freedom of choosing your own classes. However, you still need to narrow down your area of interest. In my case, I'm focusing on fashion design. However, most of my projects from studio class are product design. 

Tell us a little about yourself!
Well, my name is Prao and I'm originally from Bangkok, Thailand! This is my 6th year living in the States because I went to high school in Connecticut and California. I was in boarding school throughout middle school and high school, which is so different from the city. So far, this is my favorite place to be! 

What's the best part of studying at The New School?
The best part about studying at TNS is the freedom you have. People here are so open-minded and you could never feel judged. Because you constantly surround yourself with creative people, you are also constantly inspired! 

Let's talk about NYC. What's the best and worst part of the city?
NYC is great! TNS is located right in the heart of Manhattan and there are always things to do. Even though your friends might not go to the same school as you, you can never feel lonely. The [accessible] transportation makes it so easy for you to travel around (in the city and out of town).  

Was the whole process of getting into TNSpain-freee?
Hmm, I wouldn't say the process of getting in was pain-free, but hard work pays off! If you know right away [that] TNS [is] your top choice, then I recommend you focusing on this application. For me, I was so indecisive; I tried to apply to as many schools as possible, which made it harder for me. 

What are the students at TNS like?
The students at TNS are so different from regular college students. Not to be biased, but they are far more ambitious about their work because the city constantly reminds you how competitive the work field is. 

How are the professors?
So far I've been really lucky with professors, but I have heard my friends complaining about theirs. From my experience, I've gotten really helpful professors, who are always happy to help you out. If you ask, your teachers can hook you up with jobs and internships! 

How is the social scene at TNS? Was it easy to ease in and make friends?
When I first got here, socializing here was especially hard for me because the students here are more to themselves. However, as time went by, I adjusted. People here are very friendly, but at first, it was just more difficult for me to approach them. 

What do you want to say to the upcoming students that may be applying to TNS?
I want to say... apply! If you love the city, nothing can go wrong! 

What do you think the stereotype is for TNS students?
I'd say the stereotype of TNS students are probably the 'weird, artsy kids.' I honestly don't think the people here are weird . . . just artsy. We just have a different approach of expressing ourselves and have fun experimenting with our appearances! 

How would you describe your experience at Parsons?
My experience at Parsons [has] been amazing. I never thought I'd enjoy and care so much about my work. I feel like I'm creating for a purpose and it makes me proud, and motivated to even work harder. 

Was it hard convincing your parents to let you go to a non-traditional university?
For me, it wasn't exactly hard to convince my parents to [let me] go to a non-traditional school. My mother has always told me to study what I love, and I'm just very lucky to have her!


By Wen Hsiao

1 comment

  1. I've heard great things about this school, naturally, but man--$$$!

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