Frequently Asked Questions:
Below you will find our FAQ policy. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly if there are concerns to the questions and answers below, or if your question was not addressed. Please note that Focal Point School maintains the right to edit, modify and change the FAQ policy at any time.
1. Where should I start with classes?
There are 6 classes which are divided into two sections. 3 intro classes and 3 advanced classes. We advise you to take the intro classes if you have no to little experience in drawing. designing and painting. Intro classes mainly focus on the fundamental skills. And if you are seeking to kickstart with confidence all the skills which are necessary in the industry.
We advise you to sign up for advanced classes if you have several years of experience in drawing, designing and painting but still need the upper edge to compete in the entertainment industry. These classes are recommended for aspiring/junior concept artists to professional individuals. During the advanced classes we not only go deep with the knowledge of fundamentals but all the other skills necessary in order to stand out in our industry.
2. Do I need to register and make an account and/or subscribe to sign up for a class/term?
The less clicks you are away from your learning experience at Focal Point, the better for you and us! We will aim to keep the process of signing up as streamlined as it can be. It is mandatory to register with your basic details upon signing up. We need student data for keeping the organisational aspect in order to run our school as smoothly as we can.
3. When is payment due and what are the refund options?
In the beginning of 2019 we set up a new payment system in order to achieve the best results offering our students the most common and accessible forms of payment. The moment you sign up for a class is the moment you pay and secure your course(s) seat. Pre-orders and payment through installments are not possible at that moment.
The following states our refund policy which we adhere to:
- 100% refund deadline: 31 days prior to class start date
- 50% refund deadline: 10 days prior to class start date
- 0% refund within 9 days of class start date
Focal Point School is not responsible for covering, transactional fees, administration fees, currency exchange fees and other fees for which we are not responsible for.
4. What can I expect from each course?
Please refer to the class tabs on the website as details per class differ, such as length, price and class structure. However, in general, what you can expect from each class (but not limited to) are : lectures, presentations, weekly assignments, live demos, portfolio reviews, paint and sketch overs, guest lecturers, critique and feedback sessions, and class activities like outside plein-air paintings, museum visits, and reference trips around the Tri-City (Gdansk, Sopot, Gdynia).
5. Do I need to present a portfolio prior to starting a class?
It is not mandatory to present your portfolio; however, we highly recommend sending in your portfolio (links to websites only) .This is to calibrate the students’ needs so that the instructors can know what to focus on to help you in your professional career.
6. How many classes should I take each semester?
We recommend signing up for 1 of the full terms, ‘’Intro’’ or ‘’Advanced’’. The learning curve increases with huge leaps, as it allows the student to absorb more knowledge when three classes are taken versus one class. The classes are structured in a way where knowledge obtained in one can be used in the other and the other way around.
We advise that you assess your workload and make sure you will be able to complete the homework for all classes you sign up for in order to benefit the most from each class the most.
7. What if I am unable to attend one of the classes?
We completely understand that unexpected things can happen during the course time. If you are not able to make it to one of your classes, you will receive all the materials we covered during that class. We also offer 1 time individual online feedback sessions from the class' instructor.
8. Will I be able to master the skill of a given class?
Each class at Focal Point School is packed with knowledge for you to absorb. The instructor of the class is responsible for delivering to you the best learning experience possible. Every individual absorbs knowledge at his or her own pace. Retaking classes for this reason is common and sometimes necessary to fully learn and understand the content taught in class. The term ‘’mastering a skill’’ is dependent on practicing long term, which is something that usually every industry professional has to continually do. At Focal Point School, we help you get better faster by integrating you in a disciplined environment with industry experienced professionals where you will be motivated and challenged to deliver your best work.
9. Do you offer international student visas?
We do not offer any visas. We recommend students coming from abroad to apply for the tourist visa. Students coming from the EU and the USA do not require a VISA application when traveling to Poland. We do offer letters of approval, reference letters to smoothen the process of certain visa applications which require such letters.
10. Do you offer help on finding accommodation for students coming from abroad/ further away than the Gdansk Area?
This will depend on the amount of students requesting such help. We do not cover the cost of students’ accomodation while they are taking classes.
Disclaimer: Please note that Focal Point School is not responsible for housing choices and quality of accommodation.
11. Do I increase my chance of getting hired after I sign up for a class/classes?
At Focal Point School, it is our mission to provide you with as much knowledge as we can to give a boost in your learning curve which is guaranteed by our instructors; you will therefore by default increase your chances. The second important thing to do is network. You will be put in an environment where you are surrounded by industry veterans and fellow students, and we advise that you use that community to forge friendships, network, and hopefully increase your chances of landing a job in the industry field with the more people you know. So far our students are being hired by a significant aray of well established studios in the video game industry.
12. What is a hybrid term?
A Hybrid term is when a term is run physically and online at the same time. When Focal Point School was founded it strictly adhered to the physical aspect. We believe that the physical aspect is an important feature to work as a group, keep the morale in class high with your peers and get the best knowledge channeling from our instructors.
However in light of the current global situation we were forced to adjust to the new realities. Not all students are able to learn with us on-site. That is why we have the option open for students to not only join the live stream of our class but also can count on the interaction as if they are with us to the best extent we can realise.
13. Does Focal Point School provide certificates?
We provide certificates for students which attend and complete the course fully.
Please find below how we structure the hand outs of certificates to our students.
1) Certificate of attendance (Silver) with Instructor’s signatures - for those who attended classes (both physical and online)
2) Certificate of completion (Gold) with Instructor’s signatures - for those who attended classes (both physical and online) and completed 100% homework(s) including final task(s)
Final tasks have a deadline after the course ends so that students have a good amount of time to work on their final task. This is always announced during the course as tasks differ from term to term as we keep updating our class structure frequently.
Please also note that ‘’Focal Point Certificates’’ are no diplomas which are approved by any government and/or institution. We are a private school mainly focusing on getting our students the best we can in terms of obtaining concept design and illustration skills for the entertainment industry in order to be successful in their careers.