If you spend hours binging everything HGTV and your heart skips a beat whenever you hear the phrase “open-concept kitchen,” an interior design career could be your calling. However, in this competitive field, you need to set yourself apart and bring something unique to the table (and we don't just mean beautiful rugs, walls, and chairs!). By pursuing an interior design degree abroad, you will be prepared to tackle every project with creative, globally-influenced designs that will ensure your success- regardless of where you decide to base your office.
Why Earn a Degree Abroad
When comparing fabric swatches, furniture, and fixtures, an interior designer can never have too much inspiration in their arsenal. By earning an interior design degree abroad, you will learn from world-renowned professionals, all while swooning over the beautiful designs that embody international cities.
Study interior design abroad will also allow you to be immersed in another culture, which will teach you the importance of embracing new perspectives. In and out of the classroom, you will constantly be exploring the idea of cross-cultural communication. Since interior design is all about effective client communication, this ability to clearly express your thoughts and ideas will benefit you throughout your career (bonus points if it’s in another language that you picked up abroad!)
In addition to this, international design schools will help you develop a portfolio that will show your versatility to future clients. Creating a thorough portfolio will not only showcase your finished work, but also display how your unique experiences are incorporated into your designs. Unlike the majority of degrees pursued abroad, interior design degrees can easily be translated back home, since portfolios and connections tend to be more important than diplomas (especially for freelance workers).
Completing an interior design degree abroad will make you a well-rounded professional, with frequent exposure to experts in the industry and cutting-edge interior design concepts. Talk about being invaluable to a future firm!
Since every country has their own take on style and design, there are top art and design schools all over the world. As you start to explore possible interior design degree programs, think about the cities and styles that inspire you the most. Are you fascinated more by the curves and eloquence of baroque or by the sleek, contemporary look of modern design? No matter where you choose to pursue your interior design degree abroad, you will have plenty of inspiration around to spark your creativity.
Italy is known as one of the most influential art and design countries, with ingenuity exuding from over 2,000 years worth of architectural and interior design. The wide collection of styles, colors, and architecture throughout the country will provide your daily dose of design inspiration (with large scoops of gelato as rewards, motivation abounds). Florence and Milan are two of the most renowned cities to complete an interior design degree in, but there are plenty of other gorgeous, inspirational Italian cities to choose from as well. No matter where you decide to earn your degree in interior design, a trip down the west coast is a must for exploring the variety of styles and finding beauty outside of the classroom.
England is home to some of the top art and design schools in the world, making interior design one of the best majors to pursue. The cosmopolitan city of London will provide nonstop inspiration, from touring Buckingham palace to visiting the famous Design Museum. As an international hub, events like Fashion Week attract all types of design gurus to the city, giving you plenty of opportunities to rub elbows with the best of the best. In and out of the classroom you will find that there are many benefits to studying in England!
Spain is another excellent place to earn an interior design degree abroad if you want to spice up your portfolio. You will have exposure to great architects, like Gaudi, and awe-inspiring interiors, like the Mosque of Córdoba. Barcelona and Madrid offer some of the top interior design degree programs abroad, paired with the famous, bright Spanish motifs to inspire you throughout your studies. In Madrid, you will find more of a modern feel in the architecture and design, while Barcelona provides a classic style mixed with a Mediterranean influence. How will you ever decide between these two cities? It might be worth pondering over a glass of sangria.
Interior Design Degree Programs
Interior design degrees are offered as bachelor’s, master's, and doctorate degrees, and can be very hands-on, with plenty of opportunities to use modeling labs and art studios. There is often an emphasis on bigger projects in interior design programs, giving you a chance to build up your portfolio with your culturally influenced designs.
Courses required in interior design degree programs usually include an introductory class, technical drawing, textile sciences, and labs for active participation. Many interior design courses will also highlight the local culture of interior design, such as typical house styles and common textiles used in the area. In addition to these courses, with the international setting and so many resources surrounding you, the universities will often offer organized trips for learning outside the classroom.
These first-class art and design schools host some of the best interior design professors in the world. They are well-established in their profession and have many connections in the interior design field. Especially if you are interested in getting an interior design job abroad after you graduate, this is a great opportunity to gain exposure with the greats and network.
Students frequently choose to compliment their studies with an interior design internship abroad. An internship lets you start to apply what you are learning in the classroom, under the advisement of a successful, international firm. This is the perfect way to get experience with multicultural clients and professionals, and it will give you a taste of how international interior design teams function while shadowing the experts.
Benefits & Challenges
Strong, Clear Communication. Excellent communication skills are imperative for every interior designer. The most important part of the job is interpreting the client’s wants and needs for a space. By living and studying abroad during your interior design degree program, you will be guaranteed to learn direct, clear communication skills (in a variety of languages!), which will benefit you long into your career.
International Inspiration. No matter where you choose to study, global inspiration found overseas will give you a creative eye unlike any other. You will be able to bring a unique perspective to your projects as you reflect on your time abroad. Your clients will be grateful to have someone with such worldly experiences.
Exposure to Experts. At the top design schools abroad, you will be constantly interacting with professors and professionals. They often have great connections to famous design firms. Earning an interior design degree abroad is the perfect opportunity to grow your international network.
An interior design degree program is the perfect way to kickstart your career as a designer. Contact with global styles and professionals will influence your projects and set you apart in the industry. With worldly inspiration, hard work, and dedication, future IKEA creations will be based on your designs!