There is nothing in this world that can inspire a young writer quite like travelling. Packing up from home and jetting off to see the world instills a creative and energetic mindset which will set your typewriter buzzing with new ideas. Aspiring screenwriters from all over the world should jump at the opportunity to study abroad and will forever benefit from the experience shining through in their craft.
Why Study Screenwriting Abroad
You don’t need to be a fan of foreign films or television to reap the benefits of studying screenwriting abroad. Many countries around the world have flourishing and unique entertainment industries, each with a distinctive brand of screenwriting and wit. But beyond classroom instruction, the real benefit of studying screenwriting abroad is the inspiration and perspective-enhancing experiences which come with uprooting and exploring the world. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find your voice and write the next big travel movie!
Opportunities to study screenwriting abroad are more narrow when it comes to locations, than with other subjects for a couple of reasons. First, not every country in the world is economically developed enough to have an independent entertainment industry and treat screenwriting as an academic discipline. Second, you will presumably be writing for the screen in your native language, which filters out many countries where you may not be familiar with the local dialect (this latter point is not set in stone – there are English speaking programs in some said countries (such as Spain) which offer courses related to screenwriting, as well as international schools which use English as the medium of instruction).
Beyond these exceptions, you have the freedom to go wherever you like in the world to study screenwriting abroad, and you should go wherever you feel will inspire you to the greatest heights of your craft. Some cities around the world which have thriving film and television industries include Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Rome, Sydney, Tokyo, and Mumbai, to name only a few at the cream of the crop. This is obviously a very wide spectrum of potential locations, but gives you a good survey of some of the world’s leading centers of entertainment. As a young screenwriter studying abroad in any of these cities you will be exposed to life in the big time, and enter into an environment of highly enriching cultural stimulation.
Courses & Programs
While studying screenwriting abroad, it would be a good idea to enroll in a variety of courses focused on the film and television culture of the country. This will get you thinking outside of the box and offer you valuable global perspective on the culture of your own country’s entertainment industry. While entertainment is certainly becoming more global as our world becomes more connected, many countries hold on to a distinct pride and ethic in the art of on-screen entertainment. Film History, Entertainment Business, Screenwriting Mechanics, and even delving into local Literature will all be good areas where to expand your knowledge of the field.
Of course the specific classes that will be offered is largely dependent on the country where you study screenwriting abroad and the type of program you go through. Some programs will facilitate your enrollment in a local university, where you will have full access to the course catalogue to make your own choices. Others will set you up at a small international academic institution, often a satellite of the program provider itself. Many such course listings, while more narrow in breadth, will feature at least one class on the film or entertainment culture of the country.
Screenwriting study abroad programs are commonly offered during any term, therefore when and for how long you study abroad is entirely up to you, although it is always a good idea to check in with your home university’s screenwriting department to make sure that timing works out and academic credit will transfer. Planning this out in advance will relieve a great amount of stress before you even embark on your trip!
Screenwriting is a difficult and demanding business to make it in, but for those who are truly driven to work hard and succeed, the sky can be the limit. Studying screenwriting abroad will greatly expand your knowledge and perspective of the field while also inspiring you with the creative potential which lays embedded in travel (and it won’t look bad on any job application either). This is your time to see the world and be influenced by its grandeur – so go for experience, absorb your surroundings, and never stop writing!