Study Art & Fine Arts Abroad

Back to Programs

A Guide to Studying Fine Arts Abroad

Art is one of the most prominent, defining factors of a country and its culture. National culture is both reflected and influenced by the local art, giving art mediums significant power in determining the identity of a nation, such as Picasso’s Guernica in Spain documenting national suffering from the civil war or Hokusai’s Great Wave in Japan depicting Mt. Fuji and traditional island lifestyles. Studying fine arts abroad will give you a glimpse into a culture that no other subject or experience can offer.

Why Study Abroad

When studying fine arts abroad you will experience a nation’s culture through the creative lens of a current or former inhabitant of that country. This will not only give you an idea of the sociopolitical issues faced by a particular country through history, but it will also allow you to view the art as it is intended to be seen – in person. Viewing art in its most organic environment is to see it within its intended context, which is live in person in a museum, art gallery, theatre, music hall, or other art venues. The reaction or interpretation of art can be greatly influenced by the context in which it is presented, which is why studying the arts in its most natural habitat is more fulfilling than in the classroom.


With a historically deep art culture in just about every major city, Italy offers countless opportunities to study fine arts. Rome is the perfect example of a city that has integrated modern society into a preserved ancient culture. With the Sistine Chapel, the Trevi Fountain, and the Piazza de Campidoglio, amongst many other museums, theatres, sculptures, and architecture, there is no shortage of art to study and experience in Rome.

To help spark your creativity and appreciation for the arts, it is beneficial to engage in new surroundings. Studying fine arts in China is a perfect opportunity to achieve a new cultural perspective. Not only does China provide rich landscapes unique from the rest of the world, but its traditional art culture dates back several thousands of years. Studying fine arts in China will heighten your awareness to detail and will broaden your perspective on ancient techniques of precision in calligraphy, non-oil based painting, and terracotta pottery.

France’s artistic techniques cannot go unnoticed when considering locations to study fine arts abroad. Though France offers just about every medium of art, it is most notably renowned historically for its paintings, because of Monet, and architecture due to Stephen Sauvestre (one of the Eiffel Tower architects). France’s traction for fashion and film has grown recently, too. Most fine arts programs in France take place in the nation’s capital and art capital, Paris. However, it is also common to find study abroad programs in most of the nation’s other major cities, like Lyon and Nantes, as well as smaller towns like Pau and Arles. By studying the arts in France you will essentially be studying abroad in the main hub for modern art.

As a colonizer of many colonies, and consequently a nation filled with international diversity, England’s cultural identity has fluctuated greatly throughout time. A benefit to studying art in England is that you will have the opportunity to see most of Great Britain by traveling to the British Isles, Scotland, and Ireland, allowing you a wide array of art cultures to explore.

The Tate Modern in London is one of the most famous museums in the world and it’s reason enough to study fine arts in London! English art is most distinguished by its portrayal of idyllic scenery and landscapes, and there’s no better way to gain a better appreciation for theses landscapes than to see them in person. Through studying English art and being surrounded by famous churches and cathedrals, you will understand the historic progression of the nation through art.

Courses & Programs

While studying fine arts abroad, you can gain a more general overview of a nation’s art culture and history through humanities and art history courses, or you can hone in on a more particular field, such as studio art, sculpture, pottery, painting, ceramics, illustration, jewelry making, textile design, glass art, shoemaking/design, theatre, dance, or photography (and many, many more).

Fine arts courses abroad typically run for a full semester and last roughly three to four months. It’s highly recommended to study art abroad during either the fall or spring semester as the traffic from tourists is typically much less congested. Less congestion gives you easier access to the famous sites and subjects you will be studying (and more hands-on time with your professors).

While most art courses will have regular class meetings, it is very common for teachers to encourage their students to get outside of the classroom for field based project work. Some fine arts courses abroad will even offer daily activities, such as museum trips or live theater performances, as an alternative to the day’s lecture. Develop your personal style, theatre persona, or dance foundation while learning in some of the most world renowned locations for the arts. Most fine arts study abroad programs require little to no experience/qualifications, as long as you are enrolled as a full time student.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Gain an Understanding and Appreciation of a Nation’s Culture. Art is how we define historical periods, so studying the collection of a nation’s art provides an in depth look into that country’s history. Through studying a nation’s history, you gain a better understanding of the current national sociopolitical customs. 

Not all Artists are Starving. Unlike the United States, most countries have some sort of administration of culture and art that funds and preserves national art. As a result, artists in Europe are often held to a higher regard and live more comfortable lives. The recognition of the importance art has on society is something the U.S. lacks. Though famous American artists and performers often live affluent lifestyles, it is nearly impossible to get that initial spark to kickstart a career as an artist. 

Get Connected with the Local Art Scene. The hopes of studying fine arts abroad is that you will learn to network in an unfamiliar art culture. You’ll make stronger connections to what you learned abroad to your own country’s national art model as a way to progress the industry. 

Read More

A Guide To
Studying Fine Arts Abroad


 Find Art & Fine Arts Study Abroad Programs Now


This listing has been saved 2 times

Arts and Culture in Cameroon

Carleton College, one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges, now operates the long-established Arts and Culture in Cameroon program previously offered by Antioch Education Abroad. The Arts and Culture in Cameroon program allows students to expand their creative faculties in the visual and performing arts in an enriching cross-cultural learning environment. Students develop a foundation ...


This listing has been saved 7 times

Hellenic International Studies in the Arts

Study in Paros with the Hellenic International Studies in the Arts in Greece for a semester or an academic year. The program emphasizes self-exploration, individual creative expression, and appreciation of the beauty and artistic atmosphere of this island nation. Participants from different parts of the world can join in this study abroad program throughout the year.


This listing has been saved 12 times

Semester in Costa Rica

On our Semester in Costa Rica program, you’ll live minutes from the heart of San José and study at Universidad Veritas. Use this capital city as your launch pad to explore the country’s biodiversity. At the University, you can take courses taught in English or Spanish, ranging from topics like Costa Rican culture to art studies. San José is the perfect place to improve your Spanish, with langua...


This listing has been saved 18 times

AIFS Study Abroad in London: Semester or Year

As one of the world’s top university cities, you can expect plenty of wonderful opportunities while on a study program in London! Join AIFS students in England’s vibrant capital for a semester or academic year and earn up to 15 credits attending classes at Richmond, the American International University in London. AIFS in London offers a unique academic program: Traditional Academic Program,...


This listing has been saved 8 times

IES Abroad Madrid - Language Area Studies Semester/Year

The IES Abroad Madrid Program is designed for those who want to experience the vitality of Spain! Live in its capital city and through course enrollment at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), one of the country's most distinguished universities. Students enroll in Spanish language courses as well as courses in their academic major. Field study trips are organized to compliment spec...


This listing has been saved 22 times

Boston University: London Internship Program

The London Internship Program of Boston University offers a semester of study and work in England's exciting capital city. This program combines a professional internship with coursework that examines a particular academic area in the context of Great Britain's history, culture, and society, and its role in modern Europe. Courses in each academic area are taught by selected British faculty excl...


This listing has been saved 33 times

Athena Study and Intern Abroad in Florence, Italy

Athena's partner school in Florence, Italy, Lorenzo de' Medici (LdM), is a private institution located among several buildings in the center of this charming Renaissance city. The campus' main building dates back to the 13th century and, before being renovated, was originally a convent and church. Florence was the heart of the Renaissance, and its artistic flair is still tangible. With that ...


This listing has been saved 10 times

Semester Study Abroad in Seville, Spain - Adelante Abroad

Seville, Spain is a beloved destination among tourists. Enjoy a semester in one of southern Spain's most popular Andalusian cities! In Seville, students are sure to develop their Spanish language, conversation, and reading composition skills. Language acquisition and cultural immersion are always at the forefront of Adelante Abroad's programs. Candidates have the option to take up to five cour...


This listing has been saved 2 times

Budget Low Cost - Charles University - Year Around

Study Liberal Arts & Sciences in Prague, at Charles University. Courses in English. Low cost. Open to all students and adults worldwide. Low cost University type housing. Cultural activities and field trips (excursions). Earn academic credit. Summer Semester, and Academic Year terms available. Electives taught in English include: Art & Culture, Sociology, Psychology, History, Literature, Econ...


This listing has been saved 5 times

USAC ITALY: Viterbo-History, Art, Photography, & Journalism

Bordered to the north by Tuscany and the south by the metropolitan area of Rome, Viterbo is a medieval city boasting of historical, artistic and monumental legacies. At the same time, it offers plenty of social and recreational opportunities. With a lively university community and active art scene, Viterbo is a bustling modern town located approximately one and half hours from Rome and Florence...


This listing has been saved 31 times

API at LdM in Florence, Italy

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 w...


This listing has been saved 10 times

ISA Study Abroad in Madrid, Spain

Broaden your knowledge and perspective in Spain through our study abroad program! Through ISA, you can enroll in courses (based on your Spanish proficiency) at any of these universities in Madrid. • Universidad Antonio de Nebrija: Spanish Language, Liberal Arts and Business; Hispanic Studies; or Spanish Language and Regular Courses • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid: Business and Communicat...


This listing has been saved 3 times

CIEE Language and Culture in Lisbon, Portugal

Without a doubt, Lisbon is a happening place to study abroad. Each year, the beautiful capital city hosts numerous international events, including the world’s biggest music festival, Rock in Rio-Lisboa. There’s always something to do while exploring and enhancing your understanding of Portuguese society and culture. You’ll enroll in a variety of courses in both English and Portuguese, stay with...


This listing has been saved 22 times

Study Abroad in Rome, Italy at John Cabot University

Studying abroad is an incredible opportunity to build your resume while you experience the world, learn a new language, and make international friends. As an American university in the historic center of Rome, Italy, John Cabot University allows you to become a part of our international campus community representing 70 countries while you experience the incredible city of Rome. We accept st...


This listing has been saved 14 times

New York University Florence

Located on a stunning 57-acre estate, NYU Florence is set amidst beautifully manicured gardens, cypress-studded hills, and olive groves. The centerpiece, Villa La Pietra, is a magnificent 15th-century mansion that houses an Early Renaissance art collection and is the venue for an active lecture series featuring notable writers, historians, and global leaders. Four other villas complete the esta...