She may be known as M.I.A. from the rap scene but she was present in class, earning her degree in fine art, video and film at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. M.I.A. and her mother left her birthplace Sri Lanka as refugees to London during a period of Tamil turmoil, where she began her artistic career as a visual artist, filmmaker and designer before launching her career as a recording star in 2002. M.I.A.’s alma mater also boasts graduates Pierce Brosnan, Alexander McQueen and Sade.