Whether your dream job is working on editorial photography or creating your own fashion line, it's an indisputable fact that fashion is a wholly international industry. Studying fashion abroad is a great opportunity to enrich your education, get inspired by new, international trends, and even get some experience in the industry itself.Photo Credit: API Study Abroad
Whether you're interested in dipping your toes in high-street, mass-manufactured fashion, designing a ready-to-wear line, or trying your hand at haute couture, studying fashion design will give you the chance to visualize a design and bring it to life.
As a student, you'll learn how to produce your own designs from to start to finish, adapt preexisting clothing styles, experience the technical side of fashion, and keep up to date on latest trends, color palettes, and silhouettes.
Fashion merchandising blends an eye for style with a keen business sense. A great fashion merchandiser is skilled at forecasting future fashion trends and knows how to make crucial business decisions for a project.
Students may learn how to price garments based on their quality, direct photo shoots, and develop innovative fashion marketing strategies. Courses vary from project development to promoting fashion lines, and you may get the chance to attend a fashion show or two along the way.
Fashion photographers excel in calling attention to features of clothing or other products in innovative and aesthetically attractive ways. As a fashion photography student, you'll learn fashion photography and editing techniques, work with fashion designers and models to showcase projects, and expand your professional portfolio.
When studying fashion management, you'll have the chance to focus your work on fashion product management, brand management, or marketing. These fields put a high emphasis on collaborating with others, from designers to retailers and manufacturers.
In class, you may learn how to use trend analysis to develop a new consumer product or study how to create successful marketing and product placement strategies for the current fashion industry.
Fashion Journalism / Public Relations (PR)
As a student in fashion journalism, your goal is to communicate the latest fashion information to the masses in a digestible and exciting way. However, if you're more interested in the public relations (PR) side of things, you'll also learn how to build up brand images, interact regularly with the media, maintain rapport, and write press releases.
Both of these fields will train students to enhance their communication and presentation skills that are vital to working in the fashion industry.
Students learning the skills of a fashion stylist will learn how to work with clients and labels on various fashion projects. From doing fabric research to spotting the latest fashion trends, fashion stylist students will combine these techniques to choose the most flattering clothes for different body types and face shapes.
Courses may take students through art, design, and fashion history, as well as more practical areas like clothing construction.
Not sure where to go? Here are our picks for the top 5 places to study fashion abroad:
Home to both famous haute couture labels as well as top commercial brands, England is a great place to spread your wings as a fashion student. Make sure to keep your schedule open for London Fashion Week, and explore the many varied fashion trends born in this study abroad destination.
Every fashion student thinks of Rome and Milan for its high fashion influences and even Florence for its famous leather goods. In Italy, you'll be able to stroll through the most famous design houses in history, work in the world's fashion capital, get an in-depth look at the textiles industry, and attend a fashion week or two on the side.
France is calling for all fashion students! This country is famous for its extravagant, high-profile fashion week in Paris, as well as its high standards for chic, everyday street style. Studying in France will give you the chance to get a closer look at what it's really like to dress like a French citizen.
Japan is truly the frontrunner of unique, quirky styles and fashion statements. From the streets of Shinjuku to the colorful paths of Harajuku, Tokyo has a long history of revolutionary, youthful styles to learn from. Whether you're interested in studying the "kawaii" trend that's taking over the world or even creating a new, fun style on your own, Tokyo is the place to go.
India's fashion industry is full of vivid colors and varied textures and silhouettes, making it a great choice for students wanting to get involved in something a little different. To truly get inspired, travel to cities like Hyderabad for a unique and cultural fashion experience.
Choosing a Program
As a fashion student, you may have more than one area of interest, which opens up your program possibilities quite a bit. When choosing the right program, it may be helpful to settle on a destination or duration first, and look out for any special characteristics that will assist you in the decision making process.
For example, look for programs that take you to more than one country if you like traveling, or place you in an internship-type experience if you're not keen on spending a ton of time in the classroom.
Along the same lines, different programs may give you different (or more than one) choices in terms of housing. Common housing types include homestays and student dormitories for most programs, or hostels and hotels for multi-destination itineraries.
If you want to meet other students your age, living in a dorm would be the best choice. However, if you'd like to meet locals in your host country or practice a foreign language, a homestay would offer the perfect opportunity.
Costs & Funding
Various destinations differ based on cost of living, which would be something to keep in mind when choosing your host city. Although fashion students are somewhat restricted by their industry, you may be able to choose a more affordable alternative than, say, Paris, if you are solely focusing on a university experience. If you're studying in Europe, most major cities are just a train ride away, so you'll still be able to make it to Fashion Week if you budget correctly.
Explore your host and home university websites to see if they have any study-abroad specific scholarships to apply to. Some common options include the Gilman Scholarship; we've also compiled a comprehensive list of other general scholarships on the blog.
Here are a few fashion-specific scholarships to take a look at:
- #LiveLikeLyly Memorial Scholarship
- CBC Spouses Visual Arts Scholarship
- Fashion Institute of Technology Scholarships
- Lois Lynn Budde Scholarship and Educational Travel Fund
- International Fashion Academy Scholarship
Health & Safety
Before departure, consult your primary care provider to make sure you're up to date on all necessary vaccinations, especially if you plan on traveling to multiple countries.
Always take typical safety precautions regardless of destination, and make copies of important documents, like your passport. It may be helpful to check your government's website for the current safety precautions for your host country, but be aware that these warnings tend to be more conservative than most.