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A Guide to Interior Design Degrees Abroad

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!

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A Guide To
Interior Design Degrees Abroad


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Master in Interior Design – MA.DE.IN - IED Rio

The graduate course in Interior Design - MA.DE.IN offers methodological tools for the designer to have the necessary skills to work with different programs and projects. All course subjects include practical exercises based on solid theoretical and conceptual training. Focused on research, application of methodologies, and projective processes, the course approaches different spaces and scal...


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Middlesex University, London UK

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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TEAN: Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees in New Zealand

For those wanting to study abroad beyond a semester, TEAN can assist you in finding a program in 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. TEAN is an official representative of the be...


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Degree Programs at The American University in Dubai (AUD)

The American University in Dubai (AUD) degree programs are supported by appropriate technology and facilities. AUD is also accredited by the Commission on Colleges (COC) of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Students' success in a chosen field of endeavor is, in our view, the ultimate test of the effectiveness of the educational experience offered by AUD.


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Degree Programs at the University of Westminster, London

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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MSc Urban Design

The Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University MSc Urban Design program allows students to engage in the complex issues of space production in the dynamic Chinese context. The program considers interplay between spatial design and social, economic, environmental, and political issues evident in a range of urban settings. The program is taught across the Departments of Architecture and Urban Planning a...


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BA: Interior Architecture, Fashion Design & Graphic Design

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...


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Paris College of Art Undergraduate Degree Programs

Located in the heart of Paris, and deeply connected to the art and design professional industries in France and Europe, Paris College of Art offers American degree programs to students from around the world. On the undergraduate level, PCA offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Art History, Theory, & Criticism; Communication Design; Fashion Design; Fine Arts; Interior Design; Illustration;...


Color Design and Technology - Specializing Master

The Specializing Master in Color Design and Technology, held in collaboration with Associazione Italiana Colore, aims to provide advanced training to professionals, so as to enable them to understand and manage the many technological and design issues, often across many disciplinary areas, typical of all those professional and research sectors in which the use and management of color are essent...


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Interior Design School, Florence (1 yr, 2 yr or 3 yr)

The design school's academic level is ideal for students new to the field of Interior Design. For the entry level student, there are three options, a one year, two year or three year interior design course options. The one year course is a basic but intensive two (2) semester course that addresses all of the fundamentals of the interior design profession. The second year at the school is much m...


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Cappex: American Scholarships

Cappex partners with universities in the U.S.A. to recruit international students and offer them guaranteed scholarships if accepted. Come to AmericanScholarships to get your scholarship matches and apply to multiple universities with a single, free online application. Cappex is the U.S.A. leader in helping students find the right college, apply for admission and discover scholarships. C...


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Open Up Career Opportunities with a Degree with Curtin

If you’re pursuing higher education study in Western Australia, aim for its most preferred university - Curtin University! Belonging to the top two percent of universities across the world, Curtin welcomes students of diverse cultures and nationalities in our campuses in Perth, Malaysia, and Singapore. Enroll in your preferred degree, and join more than 50,000 students from over 130 countr...


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Study in India - Exchange Semester, BA, MA, MBA, Post-Grad

Whether you are interested in an exchange semester or want to pursue your bachelor, master or post-graduate degree in India, we assist you in locating and enlisting in the best suited study programs. Our services cover all formalities, from the selection of the most suitable educational institute and the first point of contact to the application process and finding appropriate accommodation. ...