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Fine Arts Degrees Abroad

Artists looking at international degree programs should expect a significant focus on studio courses which will help them develop their craft and portfolio throughout the program. Many countries offering bachelor’s and master’s degree programs have a strong emphasis on creating and showing your artwork, and less focus on theory, compared to programs in the United States. Depending on the country and program, students studying international art or fine arts can get more direct attention from professors as well as have the opportunity to train under renowned artists by studying art abroad.

Why Study Art Abroad

Art students should consider an international art or fine arts degree in order to build their portfolio, learn specific training in a method or style, and build a network of international artists and other students. Both bachelor’s and master’s candidates will gain a new perspective on culture and identity, which will inevitably influence their artistic direction and subject focus. 

Students who pursue an international art degree will benefit from instruction at schools that are recognized for a specific discipline and whose professors may present different training and processes that will expand their artistic vocabulary. For example, many European art schools have much smaller studio and instruction spaces than the large universities in the United States - great training for any future artist!

Locations

Most of the top places to earn an art or fine arts degree abroad are located in Western Europe.

Italy: Italy’s history of art innovation and traditions surrounding craft and artisan training make it an obvious first location to consider for anyone thinking of pursuing an art degree abroad. Many of the institutions offering international programs for this type of degree in Italy are schools specifically focused on art and design. Top cities for finding art programs are Rome, Florence, and Milan. In Italy, the majority of institutions will be art schools or art and design institutes rather than comprehensive universities offering multiple colleges. Students will be able to take advantage of a close proximity to some of the world’s most breathtaking museums, including the Uffizi Gallery, Sistine Chapel, and the The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and may even be able to attend events like the incredible Venice Biennale. 

France: With world-famous fine arts schools and museums, as well as a widespread cultural appreciation for art, France gives students another opportunity to learn in and out of the classroom. Paris is the central and most popular destination within France for international art degrees, and offers an interesting perspective because so much of its history and culture revolve around art. Students who obtain an art degree in France will have some of the finest museums as their classrooms, including the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, and Pompidou. Outside of Paris, painters can choose to study the famous plein air method in the very French countryside where it was made famous by Monet and Renoir. In France, there is a fairly equal balance of degree programs from full universities and colleges focusing on art.

England: Studying fine art in the UK offers students the opportunity to get an international degree in an English-speaking country. London offers the most art degree programs as well as the cultural influence of one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Students obtaining an art degree in England will benefit from the ever-changing and impactful shows at the Tate Modern and Saatchi Gallery, as well as more historical perspectives, such as the National Gallery and British Museum. There are several excellent and renowned art programs outside of London for students who prefer to study in a smaller city, such as Nottingham, Bath, and York. The majority of art degree programs in the UK are at universities offering multiple other disciplines rather than specific art schools, although within London the balance is pretty equal.

Academics & Degrees

Art students can find any artistic discipline offered in the U.S. in an international fine arts degree program, such as photography, sculpture, ceramics, painting, and printmaking. For many young artists the courses and professors of the program can be more important than that actual location, so it is a good idea to lay out expectations and priorities before making a decision. Students should also investigate the language of instruction - for specific programs some professors may only instruct in the local language. If participants have experience in the language or are able to do focused instruction to become familiar with art-related terms, this may not be a barrier.

In order to be eligible for master’s level art programs, students will usually need to submit their portfolio and artist’s statement, as well as some goals. For bachelor’s degree programs students may need to submit a portfolio of previous work or in some cases could be admitted without previous experience, depending on the program and school.

According to the requirements of the country, school, and degree program, students may find course instruction to be quite different from art courses in the United States. For fine art degree programs that are rooted in tradition and history, students may have more emphasis on creating work and learning traditional methods rather than more abstract discussions on art theory. This is especially true for more artisan disciplines, such as jewelry making, book making, or leatherworking, in which artists should expect to gain significant training on practical methods. Theory is still a part of most international art degree programs in some capacity, and for certain areas, like fashion, painting, and photography, there will still be a significant emphasis on art history and theory.

Advanced art degree programs place a high value on independence and self-motivation, with professors serving more of a guiding or training role rather than giving assignments. International art students should be prepared to receive feedback on their work and ideas as well as learn skills that will help them develop their practice and career. 

Benefits

Artists who pursue an art degree abroad will make themselves more competitive candidates for fellowships and residencies, both internationally and back in the U.S. due to their experience abroad and focused training. When applying for group or solo shows, students who are able to show their international studies will be able to reference certain international galleries and spaces they have worked in or seen first hand which will help them stand out from the crowd. In addition, artists who choose to pursue a master’s of fine arts degree abroad will be qualified for college and university teaching positions and have the potential to earn a higher salary in the future.

An international art degree offers the opportunity for students to gain insight into what it means to be a working artist as well as take their artistic practice and skills to the next level. By setting aside time to focus on their work, becoming immersed in a new culture or language, and surround themselves with serious young artists, international art students will reap the benefits of their degree both personally and professionally in the long run.

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Work towards a Fine Arts degree with John Cabot University. Located in Rome, Italy, the program provides unique opportunities in a city of culture, history, art, and creativity. International students participate in a variety of organized activities, including community volunteering, student government, and educational travels all over Italy.

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Enroll in Fine Arts courses at the Istituto Europeo di Design. The institute offers first-level academic diplomas, three-year courses, and masters courses. Students can also take part in advanced training courses and professional development programs.

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At Griffith, one of our goals is to develop graduates who will make a difference to the world in which we live. Griffith is a large public institution which offers more than 300 degrees across a diverse range of study areas. Griffith’s 5 campuses are located in sub-tropical South-East Queensland. Enjoy either the relaxed, beach lifestyle of the Gold Coast, or the bustling, inner-city life o...

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For those wanting to study abroad beyond a semester, TEAN can assist you in finding the a program in Australia or New Zealand to earn your Bachelor's degree, Master's degree, or PhD. Our services are free to you. We do not charge you for the work we do on your behalf. By utilizing TEAN's services you are saving money on international postage, phone calls and more. We help with: - Selecting ...

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Build an international professional network while earning a graduate degree in Fine Arts with Mente Argentina. Students develop necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their chosen careers and immerse in their host culture by participating in numerous activities, like the La Bomba Percussion Show.

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Partake in a degree program in Fine Arts at The American University in Dubai. The university offers students state-of-the-art facilities and exceptional academic staff. Spend the weekends getting to know the locals and their culture, and have a cultural and educational experience of a lifetime.

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Franklin University Switzerland is an English-speaking, US- and Swiss-accredited non-profit university based in Lugano, Southern Switzerland. The university offers bachelor’s and master’s programs, foundation programs and summer courses in a highly international academic learning environment. Our community of scholars and students represents over 50 nationalities from all corners of the globe. ...

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The University of Westminster is a diverse and dynamic university located in the heart of London, England. With a vibrant learning environment and a commitment to educating for professional life, the university has a distinguished 175-year history. It offers a wide range of bachelors and masters courses, ranging from Business Management and International Relations to Conflict Resolution and Mus...

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At Middlesex, no matter where in the world our students come from, we give them the tools and opportunities they need to make their own path to success, to grow as individuals and to stand out from their peers back at home. We offer a broad range of industry relevant courses and our academics draw on their experience and employ practical teaching techniques. We provide our students with the op...

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Whether you want to study undergraduate and graduate degree programs or shorter-term semester and year-long programs, Across The Pond can help. For over 10 years we have been helping students from the USA, Canada, Latin America and Norway to find and apply to over 40 of the top colleges and graduate schools in England and the rest of the UK. Our team of UK Study Experts, who have had first-h...

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Be inspired by immaculate Renaissance architecture, passionate art pieces, as well as a vibrant and historical culture! Florence is arguably one of the most desirable cities in the world and offers a great learning environment as well as opportunities for internships, service learning, and volunteering. Ideal for someone who doesnt mind the hustle and bustle of a touristy city and for those...

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The American University of Beirut has long been admired for the strength and breadth of its academic programs and its commitment to a broad-based liberal arts education. All entering undergraduate students are required to complete a number of general education courses that provide them with the opportunity to explore many different disciplines. The University's Faculties of Agricultural and Foo...

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The University of Otago welcomes study abroad students from universities throughout the world, and enrolls international students in degrees from bachelors through to PhD. Live among local students of the university, all within 15 minutes walk of campus and the Dunedin city center in New Zealand. The two to six-bedroom houses or apartments typically have at least one local student living in the...

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University of New York in Prague is the largest and leading English language Higher Education Institution in the Czech Republic. Teaching takes place in English and currently, more than 800 students from more than 60 countries study at UNYP. Lecturers come from the United States, EU and the Czech Republic (more than 20 countries in all), and bring with them both academic and professional backg...

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Study for your design degree at the Marbella Design Academy in Southern Spain and be awarded an official UK Bachelor of Arts degree. Marbella Design Academy is an international design school situated near Marbella and offers TOP design education. The Academy offers 3-year Higher Education courses in Interior Architecture, Graphic Design, or Fashion Design. With 22 years of experience, the Aca...