Study Art History Abroad

Back to Programs

A Guide to Studying Art History Abroad

There is nothing quite like the subject of art and how it can tell a story about a country, a culture, and its people. To study art history is to study what it means to be human, and the ways in which a culture defines itself. More than that, studying art history abroad allows students to get a grasp of history that sometimes not even words can convey. From the study of art history abroad, comes a style of strategic thinking and understanding that can be applied to a variety of higher education degrees or career paths.

Why Study Art History Abroad

Venus de Milo. Tutankhamun’s Golden Death Mask. The Winged Victory of Samothrace. The Sistine Chapel. Mona Lisa. It’s incredible and historic works of art like these, and many more, that showcase why studying art history abroad can be the experience of a lifetime. The ability to absorb and see these masterpieces firsthand transforms the study of art into an even more enriching and unforgettable experience. To truly study art history, one must go beyond the pages of a textbook and out into the world where knowledge about art must begin with living it first.

Locations

Fortunately for art history students, there are numerous destinations to seek out international opportunities for hands-on learning. Narrowing down options will depend on the style, time period, and form of art you want to learn at a deeper level.

For students seeking experience to better understand ancient art forms, destinations throughout Africa and Asia can be ideal places to study art history abroad. Egypt is a well-known and perfect location for studying art history and learning more about early human civilizations, as showcased by the array of Egyptian art forms. It also doesn’t hurt to be close to locations like the Great Pyramids of Giza, that tell their own stories of human development. The same can be said when studying the art of India, Tibet, and Japan, which encompasses visual depictions characterized by surface patterning and local color.

Moving further west, locations like Greece and Italy are the perfect jumping off point to delve into Greek and Roman art, where classroom learning is complemented by easy access to iconic landmarks and a plethora of well-preserved artifacts. If medieval or Renaissance art has captured your interest, consider studying art history abroad in European destinations like the United Kingdom or Spain, where the history of both time periods is as rich as the amount of art there is to study.

For those interested in the study of indigenous cultures throughout the Americas, studying art history abroad in destinations throughout South America and Central America boast grand sculptures, architecture, and mosaics to become familiar with. Perhaps more modern accomplishments have you interested, then metropolis destinations across the United States are ideal; the U.S. provides many opportunities to explore contemporary works, as most cities have their own modern art museum.

Whichever your preferred sector of art history, the opportunities to study abroad are boundless and will only continue to grow as time goes on and human creativity is preserved.

Courses & Programs

When figuring out what art history courses to take abroad, the depth your study abroad program will take on depends on what courses you have already completed. For students who are looking to start with the basics, such as an Introduction to Art History or a survey of a specific time period of art, there are numerous options available in destinations around the world. These types of courses are especially helpful for students who are hoping to a build a foundation of knowledge that can be applied to upper level studies, such as Art History Methodology or Contemporary Art Theory.

Most art history courses abroad will focus on a specific subset of the field, like the study of Mexican art forms or 20th Century Performance Art, which allow for a deeper understanding of a specific time period and its subsequent art culture. The structure of these art history courses will vary from one program to the next, as well as from country to country.

In regards to when to study art history abroad, a summer semester program focused on Japanese art will be just as enriching as a year’s study of the Italian Renaissance. Art history courses are available year-round to accommodate any student’s schedule, but getting the most out of it will all depend on the level of work you put into your studies.

The most important thing to note about studying art history abroad, is the chance it provides to transform textbook learning to seeing and experiencing art firsthand. No matter where you might choose to study art history abroad, you’re sure to be surrounded by a destination’s art culture, in one way or another.

Studying art history abroad will typically include a component of visiting and observing artifacts and landmarks you learn about in the classroom. Some art history courses may even require students to seek out these things outside of classroom hours, and it’s highly recommend to take the time to do so, in order to attain a better grasp of your studies. 

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Ultimate Resume Builder. If your ultimate goal is to apply your study abroad experience to an art history degree or career path, studying art history abroad will help your resume stand out all the more to employers. As noted earlier, this field of study is more than just about the art - it offers a deeper glimpse into how a country and culture sees itself, and how it has been preserved by the passing of time. The strategic thinking and global perspective that comes out of studying art history can be the most rewarding benefits study abroad students can hope for.

Honed Artistic Eye. Whichever form or expression of art you may be interested in studying abroad, most art history courses will include a close analysis of visual materials, which will allow art history students to better understand the methods and intellectual structures behind the study of art. Most importantly, studying art history abroad will allow for understanding art a visual language, while fostering an ability to translate this into oral and written expression.

Read More

A Guide To
Studying Art History Abroad

READ ARTICLE

 Find Art History Study Abroad Programs Now

Save

This listing has been saved 357 times

CISabroad

You’ll have a lot to write home about during your summer in Barcelona. This postcard-perfect city is a magnet for students who want to live in a thrilling, whimsical city near some of the most splendid beaches in Europe. On Summer in Barcelona – Barcelona School for International Studies, you can opt for one or two months at the Barcelona School for International Studies, where you’ll learn fro...

Save

This listing has been saved 175 times

American Institute For Foreign Study

Spend a semester or academic year in Barcelona with AIFS. Earn up to 15 credits studying at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). No previous Spanish language study is required. The Spanish Language, Liberal Arts and Business program gives you the chance to explore Spanish language, business and the humanities. You can take courses focusing on Catalonia and Spain, international and Eu...

Save

This listing has been saved 284 times

IES Abroad

Many travelers who visit Granada insist it's the must-see city in all of Spain. With one of the clearest windows into Spain's unique historical symbiosis of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, the IES curriculum takes full advantage of Andalusia and all southern Spain has to offer including cultural excursions. Two semesters of college level Spanish are required to enroll in the Intermediate ...

Save

This listing has been saved 27 times

Boston University Study Abroad

Students in Boston University Grenoble French Studies Program enroll in one of three tracks based on their level of language proficiency or their specific academic interest. Track 1: Intermediate Language and Civilization and Track 2: Advanced Language and Culture require students to enroll in one course on French civilization and culture and one French language course. The courses are not taug...

Save

This listing has been saved 88 times

Athena Study Abroad

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 ...

Save

This listing has been saved 5 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...

Save

This listing has been saved 139 times

Center For Study Abroad (CSA) - Direct Low Cost - Budget

Study Italian Language and Culture while discovering the treasures of Ravenna. Known for its Mosaic Art, history, and culture, this paradise for mosaic lovers is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its basilicas and baptisteries are decorated with mosaics dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries. Historically, it has been a capital city three times during the Roman Empire. Our program has additio...

Save

This listing has been saved 25 times

Syracuse University

Study in the heart of London for a semester through Syracuse University's London Center program. You will take courses in liberal arts, as well as professional courses in architecture, music industry, design, business, public communications, and theater. This program includes internship placements in real work settings, allowing you to prepare for a career in today's highly globalized economy. ...

Save

This listing has been saved 52 times

University Studies Abroad Consortium

The Torino program is ideal for students who are interested in studying International Business, Art/Architecture, and Italian Studies in an exciting, cosmopolitan setting. Named the Youth Capital of Europe in 2010, Torino is an excellent location to study and practice the Italian language and to experience Italys rich culture away from the crowded tourist areas. Torino is home to many prominent...

Save

This listing has been saved 97 times

Academic Programs International

The University of Granada was chartered and given official Papal ratification by Clemente VII in 1531. Through its almost 500 years of existence, it has become one of the major intellectual centers in southern Spain. The University's Modern Language Center, the Centro de Lenguas Modernas, is housed in what was once an orphanage built in the 1700s. It was completely restored in 1992 and is locat...

Save

This listing has been saved 158 times

ISA (International Studies Abroad)

Get the chance to study at a university in Spain while immersing in rich cultural heritage! Depending on your chosen program, you will take courses at any of these universities: the University of Pablo de Olavide, the Menendez Pelayo International University, or University of Sevilla. No matter where you study, have assurance of modern facilities and highly qualified faculty. Plus, you will fin...

Save

This listing has been saved 35 times

CIEE

Don’t just study in Spain – immerse yourself in the people, places, and events that have made it what it is today. Take part in CIEE’s challenging Advanced Liberal Arts program in Seville. Awaken your senses during excursions and cultural activities. Build your Spanish language skills during homestays, a conversation exchange, and more. And dive into the Spanish history and culture during cours...

Save

This listing has been saved 1 time

Blas Summer Dance Intensive Program in Ireland

Study traditional Irish music and song by immersing yourself in this two-week intensive Blas summer program offered by the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. While the emphasis will be on practical instruction, students will also gain an understanding of the history and development of step dance, right in the heart of where it was developed!

Save

This listing has been saved 10 times

The University of Minnesota

Study in this vibrant city with a centuries-old history of intellectual advances and social tolerance. Enjoy the college-town atmosphere, nightlife, and student-centered community. Choose beginning through advanced French language courses as well as courses in humanities, engineering, sciences, and business. Based at Paul Valéry University and at the University of Montpellier, this program p...

Save

This listing has been saved 14 times

Spanish Studies Abroad

With 40 years of academic excellence in Spanish studies, Spanish Studies Abroad specially designed the Spanish Studies Program for Spanish language students entering the advanced-level with a wide range of academic interests. The program integrates thoughtful synthesis of homestays/life in the residencias, study visits, language exchanges, volunteer, and other cultural opportunities into the cu...