Study Creative Writing Abroad

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A Guide to Studying Creative Writing Abroad

Writers who decide to venture away from home to see the world, open up a sea of inspiration and potential stories, as they begin to no longer see the world through one single perspective. Traveling abroad sparks creativity beyond what many other experiences can, so by studying creative writing abroad, students will be expanding their realm of writing immensely. Those who study creative writing abroad will be challenged to think about the world in new ways; as students begin to experience new things and are challenged to find a way to describe the way they feel, their writing abilities will grow.

Why Study Creative Writing Abroad

Writers who travel gain knowledge, unique experiences, and credibility that all contribute to the believability of their stories. A good writer will usually spend a significant amount of time in a particular place before setting a story there, because of the importance of every detail when it comes to setting. Hence, if you study creative writing abroad it will do wonders for your story telling abilities, to say the least.

Ernest Hemingway sparked his writing career in Paris, and made several returns to Europe for specific projects in addition to living in Cuba off and on for twenty years. Vladimir Nabokov was also known for taking road trips across the U.S. with his wife to avoid their hatred of flying. These are famous writers that you should consider to be role models, so following in their foot steps would be a great step in the right direction!

While traveling abroad, reality can seem like fiction, allowing your stories to write themselves. Travel is an extremely useful tool for inspiration and can widen the scope of potential content and settings for stories, therefore if you study creative writing abroad, you will further not only your writing abilities but your writing career in general.


England. There is no shortage of writing inspiration in England. The nation is filled with a thriving art culture that allows for an influx of creativity, from museums and art galleries to live music and poetry and literature events. On top of the booming art scene in the nation’s capital of London and other major cities, England is home to some of the world’s best universities for literature, writing, and the arts. Beyond these countless internationally acclaimed English universities, England is also home to many study abroad programs specifically for American students, making the opportunity to study creative writing abroad in England even more accessible to American students.

Italy. Renowned for its rich cultural history, Italian art and storytelling can be traced from modern day back to the early Roman empire. With such a dense history, Italy was built on stories of the past written by skilled writers whose writing has helped keep history alive. If you study creative writing abroad in Italy, you will be surrounded by ancient art, architecture, and literature, which can all teach you  new writing skills and inspire you in new ways. Interpreting Italian history can open up an endless stream of inspiration and creative possibilities, and expand your approach to writing as a whole too!

Australia. Australia’s astounding scenery and diverse, eclectic people make for a perfect setting to study creative writing abroad. Both large consumers and supporters of the arts, Australians also take pride in their creative personalities, one of which may serve as just the inspiration you need for a future piece. The people of Australia are very welcoming to foreigners and live by quite egalitarian values, making studying in Australia a less intimidating endeavor. International creative writing students will have the chance to select from many well respected Australian universities as well as American affiliate study abroad programs in various cities around the country.

Courses & Programs

Students who choose to study creative writing abroad have the option of taking courses in fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, scriptwriting, and screenwriting around the world. Most study abroad programs will offer a large number of writing and literature courses, which will expand writing skills and student’s understanding of the local approach to writing both presently and historically. Other courses related to writing will hone in on production techniques and activities or workshops to practice creating original content. It is common for classes to visit famous sites, such as museums, art galleries, palaces, and cathedrals to gain cultural context and personal inspiration. Most creative writing study abroad programs will emphasize the development of student’s writing skills, personal voice, and editing or grammar skills.

Fall and Spring semester study abroad programs are good choices for popular tourist destinations, as the popular sites will be less crowded, but the Summers give large cities a whole new life, so it’s really up to personal preference as to when you decide to study creative writing abroad. Experience is typically not required for most creative writing study abroad programs, but most still require a transcript, an online application, and at least one letter of recommendation. Some of the more selective schools may ask that you meet a certain GPA requirement or submit writing samples.

Benefits & Challenges

Studying creative writing abroad will literally open up a world of opportunities to expand your writing potential. Gaining an observant, global perspective is crucial to being a good writer, and by traveling the world you will develop new perspectives and passions. By learning about new cultures you will be uniquely inspired and learn more about various styles and approaches to writing, making the opportunity study creative writing abroad once you should never pass up!

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A Guide To
Studying Creative Writing Abroad


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