We are fortunate to live in a time when we can see and study many forms of international art right from our home. That doesn't mean we're limited to seeing it all on a screen.
When you study the arts abroad you can experience some of the most famous paintings, sculptures, dances, and music firsthand. Also, and perhaps more importantly, you can gain an understanding of the inspiration behind these incredible works of art.
Whichever type of art you decide to study and wherever you decide to go, you'll learn how each unique culture creates its artists.
Photo Credit: Cha-D Photographie
Rather than watching a YouTube video of Riverdance, consider learning the famous Celtic style of dance in Ireland. Perform Shakespeare in London, or play Mozart in Vienna. The opportunities are limitless!
Studying art history abroad will help you gain such an appreciation for how the art originated. Some of this understanding will come through purposeful study, but much of it will soak in unexpectedly through daily interactions with the people, the landscapes, the food, and the culture as a whole.
You will take your artistic talents to a new level when you study fine arts abroad. When new sights and smells are all around you, inspiration is inevitable. From painting to sculpture and photography to graphic design, the possibilities are endless.
The art of film-making may have started in Hollywood but you'll find there's a lot to learn about film internationally as well. Have you noticed, on screen in particular, British people are known for their dry sense of humor and French are quick-witted and romantic? When you start to understand the people, you'll have a greater appreciation for their films.
Trends move quickly these days but you'll still find many differences in the daily dress of people from countries and cities around the world. When you study fashion abroad you can study these casual, sometimes minor, differences as well as the traditional styles of dress from hundreds of years ago.
Where to Go
The options for studying art abroad are truly endless because each culture produces art. In each country and city there are people who find a career in song, dance, paint, fashion, and more.
Where you go to study art depends heavily on your style and interests. If you're fascinated by European architecture you might consider Barcelona or Athens. If you're drawn to Hispanic culture, you could study photography in Chile or Argentina.
If you're not sure where to start, here are a few favorites for studying art abroad:
You can't really go wrong if you choose to study art in any Italian city. The landscapes, the colors, the smells, the buildings, the fashion, and even the lifestyle of the people lend themselves to creating and studying art. Florence and Rome have deep roots in sculpture and painting so they work well for art history and fine art majors.
From film-making to painting to fashion, France will not leave you disappointed. You will find the most programs available for studying in Paris but there are other options located in smaller cities like Aix-en-Provence as well.
United Kingdom and Ireland
For every performer the UK and Ireland, London and Dublin particular, are fantastic choices. So many of the greatest writers, actors, dancers, and musicians have come from these two countries.
You'll find most universities will have dance, theater, and art clubs, so there are no shortage of outlets for creatives.
Some of the world's most talented musicians have their roots in Brazil making this country a great choice for studying music. The views, the colors, and the passionate people create a beautiful canvas for photography.
Planning Your Trip
Length of Stay
When studying art abroad, it's important to immerse yourself in the culture. Short-term programs, whether they're summer or J-term, will give you a good overall picture, and you'll certainly come away with a better understanding of the landscapes, the food, and the styles.
However, if you have the chance to spend a semester or a year abroad, you'll have time to pick up on the subtleties that form the deeper layers of culture. Take some time thinking about which type of program is best for your schedule.
Studying art abroad is a little different than other majors because it may be necessary to pack supplies and equipment. It's important to pack light, but you wouldn't want to buy a new DSLR camera like you would buy a new spiral notebook. You might need to bring your pointe shoes rather than buy a new pair when you get to your destination.
Research the facilities at your university. You might find that they have an art supply shop on campus that would save you some precious luggage space.
If you want to plan as much as possible, Pinterest is actually a great place to start. You can create a board specifically for your study abroad experience and add interesting pins as you go. For example, you can pin Go Overseas articles and guides that'll help you plan your experience -- like this one!
Go Overseas has several Pinterest boards you can browse through. Cool Travel Gear, Study Abroad Essentials, and Festivals Around the World are a few favorites.
Additionally, browse Go Overseas articles and apps for international travel. There are so many ways that technology can make your experience a smooth one. Talk to your mobile provider about international plans. Some now even have an option for free international text messaging!
Your options for accommodation will vary depending on which program you choose. Almost all universities offer assistance in this area for international students. Some will encourage you to stay with a host family, some will offer on-campus housing, and some will facilitate finding off-campus apartments (often shared by other students).
There are endless resources online for study abroad scholarships and many of those are specifically for students of the arts. There are also scholarships that require creative thinking such as the Go Overseas Study and Intern Abroad Scholarship.