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Studying Fashion Design Abroad

Fashion is a global, multibillion dollar industry that permeates every aspect of modern culture, most notably film, music, mass media, advertising, and business. International experience in the fashion industry is undoubtedly valuable, in one of the most competitive fields in the world, so fashion students should take full advantage of the priceless opportunity to study fashion abroad. Students that study fashion design abroad will experience new cultures while gaining a more dynamic perspective of the industry and expanding their understanding of the business on an international level. 

Why Study Fashion Design Abroad

The transnational quality of fashion is fundamental to innovation within the industry. Trends and cross-cultural collaboration are fuel for the fire that is innovative fashion. Design, production, marketing, distribution, each step of the process involves scores of people working together across borders. Most prestigious opportunities to study fashion design abroad are located in fashion capitals like Paris, Rome, Madrid, Florence, and Milan. Gaining experience in the inherently international industry of fashion and merchandising provides a deeper understanding of the field as a whole, and it won’t look bad on a resume either.


Most fashion study abroad programs and academic internships are offered by host universities, but there are also fashion design schools specializing in a more fashion-focused catalogue of courses.

Europe is rife with opportunities to study fashion design abroad. The best places to study fashion design abroad are by far France and Italy, but there are excellent opportunities to study fashion abroad in England, the Netherlands, and Spain too. These countries have a long history of fashion, and have produced leading industry moguls, like Louis Vuitton, Coco Chanel, Versace, Gucci, and Burberry.

Fashion study abroad programs in Asia and the Middle East have increased over the past few decades, with fashion and merchandising courses offered anywhere from China to Israel to India. These locations are great alternative destinations to study fashion design abroad for those less interested in mainstream European trends or those who want to experience something a little more exotic than the familiar traditionally Western techniques.

Other top locations to study fashion design abroad include Australia, Argentina, and South Africa. These locations each provide their own unique spin on passion, whether integrating tribal fashion characteristics or integrating historically significant components.

Courses & Programs

Most study abroad programs dedicated to fashion design and merchandising offer basic courses in the field. However, each will vary in the specific types of courses available, so students will need to research individual program course catalogues before selecting a program. Academic institutions usually offer both summer and semester fashion courses, but several fashion schools offer year-long study abroad programs, or even undergraduate or masters degree programs abroad in fashion design.

On the more professional side of things, students can take courses in fashion business, luxury brand marketing, communications, public relations, technology, or trends and innovation, which will all be beneficial for a future career in fashion. There are also some concentrations to look for when browsing through opportunities to study fashion design abroad, such as courses or programs focused on the Italian Fashion Experience or French Fashion and Culture, which will provide students with an even more in depth look at the local fashion culture.

On the more physical and artistic side of the field, there are opportunities to study fashion design abroad on a variety of levels. Taking classes such as photography, stylistic techniques, textile and experimental surfaces, footwear and visual merchandising, jewelry making, or pattern making, will benefit students greatly by expanding their skill set and understanding of various aspects of the field as a whole.

Benefits & Challenges

International Nature. Fashion is a cross-cultural field that depends on international collaboration for inspiration, innovation, and continuous production of new trends. Students who study fashion design abroad will gain a deeper understanding of the inherently global quality of fashion and how fashion functions differently from one culture to the next.

Employment. Study abroad experience is always a competitive feature on a resume if you are looking to work in your home country or abroad, but studying fashion and merchandising in one of the world’s fashion capitals will no doubt set you apart from other applicants and provide you with incredibly valuable skills. Studying fashion design abroad will also be a great opportunity to network and, if you decide you enjoy living abroad, make connections that could lead to a future job or career in the country of your choice.

Internship Experience. Many fashion design study abroad programs combine coursework with internship opportunities, and these are most definitely programs fashion students should consider. The fashion industry is extremely competitive, and that does not exclude obtaining fashion internships abroad. By attending a program that combines these two valuable components, students will put themselves even that much more ahead of their peers.

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A Guide To

Studying Fashion Design Abroad


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This program allows students to acquire excellent technical skill while simultaneously developing and refining their creative abilities. To be able to design and construct a collection of clothing and accessories in various domains of the fashion industry, specializing in a specific market in their final year. This program is divided equally between design and patternmaking two distinct skil...


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The Cracow School of Art and Fashion Design offers a two-and-a-half-year full-time program that enables students to release their full potential. At the school, students are in the heart of a vibrant community, alive with creative energy, Students are surrounded by people who love what they do, who have ideas and talent, plans and passion. What happens in the classroom reflects what goes on eve...


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Take part in a fully supported study abroad program offered by CISAbroad. The organization provides comprehensive and affordable programs that ensure student needs, such as housing and insurance, are covered. Programs are offered in various destinations across the world, providing students with plenty of options.


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Spend a semester or academic year in the classic city of London with AIFS. You’ll earn up to 12 credits through a variety of courses studying at Richmond, the American International University in London. AIFS in London offers a unique academic program. Because of the wide range of degrees offered by Richmond, AIFS students have an array of courses to choose from to help fulfill and complemen...


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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 ...


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Study this Summer at the University of East London. Low cost, including housing. Open to all students and adults worldwide. Courses in Liberal Arts, Business, Science, and Technology. Earn 3 - 4 academic credits. 4 week program starting in early July. No GPA required. Early registration is advised ! See CSA website for additional details.


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Experience Australia's stunning rainforests and beaches while studying Fashion Design in Gold Coast or Brisbane with the University Studies Abroad Consortium. Students can enroll at any Griffith University campus. The program is in the perfect location from where students can explore the best attractions in the country.


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Take Fashion Design courses abroad with API and experience creativity and cutting-edge innovation. API provides study abroad programs in 40 key cities across Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.


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Study in one of the most renowned universities in the world with International Studies Abroad. Worldwide participants can live and study in South Korea, Italy, and New Zealand. Students have the chance to enroll in Fashion Design for an academic year and gain skills and industry knowledge in a short period of time.


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Experience studying and living in Toledo through a program offered by the University of Minnesota in collaboration with Jose Ortega y Gasset Foundation. The program is based in a converted 16th century convent, and offers modern learning facilities with great views of the city and convenient access to public transit and the downtown area. It provides a wide range of courses in the Arts, Social ...


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Enroll in Fashion Design courses in Florence or London with New York University. Students receive high-quality education and the opportunity to enjoy excursions to nearby cities and other fun activities. Students also take part in language exchange dinners, student-run clubs, regional food tastings, and visit galleries and museums.


About the Accademia Italiana Program The Accademia Italiana is considered one of the best fashion and design schools in Italy, as numerous experts in the field have testified. Founded in 1984 the Accademia Italiana has campuses in Florence and in Rome, and programs in cooperation with prestigious universities from all over the world. The Accademia Italiana offers bachelor's programs and some...


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Live and study alongside locals in New Zealand's coastal town, Palmerston North. With our flexible course enrollment program at one of New Zealand's most prestigious universities, Massey University, you will be able to access the Palmerston North campus' full-course curriculum. Choose from hundreds of high-quality courses to meet your academic requirements back home. With an 80-year tradition ...


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Curriculum Highlights: Multi-country summer program in Europe: Earn up to 8 credits in the summer while studying in 9 amazing European cities. Students from the U.S. and other countries travel together (with the professors) taking classes, visiting universities, companies and international organizations. Open to all majors. U.S.-accredited university. Acquire a solid understanding of European...