Meng-Chiao Tsai originally came to New Zealand to study animation after completing his Masters at the National Taiwan University of Arts.
“The reason I enrolled with Media Design School is that I wanted to go a place I`d never been before and I thought that New Zealand would be a cool place to go,"
“Also, my friend told me that Media Design School had a good reputation in the local industry, so I just went for it."
Adjusting to life in New Zealand turned out to be a little trickier than Meng-Chiao had initially anticipated: “ I`m not an English native speaker, and the New Zealand accent is so different from what I had learnt. So basically I could not catch up with what my lecturer in GDCT said in my first class!"
Meng-Chiao eventually got used to the Kiwi accent. “Things got better when I got used to everything," he says, and he ended up having a great time at Media Design School.
After graduating with a Graduate Diploma of Creative Technologies in Animation in May 2013, Meng –Chiao landed a job at Oktobor Animation in Auckland, which he says he wouldn't have been prepared for without the help of his tutor, Roger Feron.
“I admired Roger Feron, I was in his creature animation class and I learned stuff that I`d never done before such as studying how a cat walks and a bird flies. It was really useful when I worked in Oktobor."
These days, Meng-Chiao is a freelance animator in Taiwan who predominantly works on local TV commercials and animation short films.
He still loves working in the animation industry because, as he says: “Animation is the most interesting subject in the world. For me, doing character animation is like being given an action figure and playing with it. Is there any other work that pays you for having fun?"
As for whether he'd encourage his peers in Taiwan to pursue a qualification at Media Design School?
“I recommend people who are really interested in media arts to study at Media Design School, especially people from overseas. It has bunch of cool lecturers; not to mention that New Zealand has the coolest movie production house in the world, Weta, in the country."