Study Film Abroad

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A Guide to Studying Film Abroad

As all students of Film know, the world of television and motion pictures extends far beyond Hollywood. In our rapidly globalizing world, film is becoming the medium by which artists and creative individuals from all over the world continuously shape the capacity to reach a broadly spanning audience which transcends cultural boundaries. Studying cinematography abroad will take you out of your comfort zone and into a whole new territory of creative film inspiration.

Why Study Film Abroad

Not only will studying film abroad look fantastic on your resume when seeking future employment, but it will be the adventure of a lifetime, both in your studies and in terms of personal development. Wherever you study abroad, your vision and creativity is bound to be expanded by the places you take it. There is no greater way to enhance your education than by travel, so by bringing your passion for film into a new cultural perspective you will be providing yourself with a truly life changing opportunity.


There are quite a few different ways to study film abroad, and obviously which location will provide the best experience depends heavily on your personal aspirations and interests within the film industry. Studying abroad in Los Angeles, for example, will give you an up close and personal experience under the bright lights of Hollywood, while studying film in Paris, London, or Rome might prove to be a more cultivated experience. Studying film in Tokyo will let you trail the footsteps of masters such as Ozu and Kurosawa, but studying in Mumbai will give you a behind the scenes view of the booming Bollywood industry.

Simply put, there is no “best place” to study cinematography abroad – it all comes down to what you want out of the experience. As a rule of thumb, studying abroad in a culture which is similar to your own can lead to a more refined outlook on the subject, while studying in a culture that is drastically different can lead to a more expansive outlook on the medium of film as a whole. Take this into account when considering what type of experience you want and what type of filmmaker you want to be.

There are great film schools all over the world, from Beijing to New York City – when studying cinematography abroad try to look beyond the prestige of the academy and consider the type of environment you are placing yourself into outside of the classroom as well. For example, if you are interested in making documentaries, would you rather study at an elite school in a city quite similar to your home or would you rather travel to a rural area of a developing country where significant problems beg to be brought to light? No one can answer for you - the choice is yours.

Courses & Programs

The exact film courses offered will obviously depend on what location and institution you decide to study abroad in. Most major universities have film departments, in one form or another. where it is possible to study cinematography and choose from a wide catalogue of classes. Although there are most definitely some study abroad programs specifically made for film students.

Keep in mind that in some countries the language barrier might prevent you from taking certain courses, so thoroughly do your research. Don’t forget to explore which study abroad program might offer the best opportunities both inside and outside the classroom too, such as a study abroad program based in Rome. 

It is reasonable to assume that you will want to take at least one course which examines the films of your study abroad location, whether it be historical, contemporary, or whatever. However, do not limit yourself even to this one region – how interesting will it be to take a class on the industry of your own country from an outsider’s perspective, for example? Or how about simply indulging in the most interesting course on the catalogue, one you would never have the opportunity to take at your home university?

Studying abroad is about experiencing another culture as much as it is about reflecting on your own and gaining a broader global view. Take advantage of your time studying film abroad and develop a deeper view of the medium, while also studying yourself and your interaction with the new environment you find yourself in. You may just find you will return home inspired to do great things.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

As film is becoming an increasingly utilized global phenomenon, there is no better way to get a jump start on the industry and enlarge your perspective of what is possible than by travelling to another country and living it firsthand. Studying abroad is in itself an enlightening experience. Spending significant time away from home far off in the world is undoubtedly a daunting prospect, but an experience well worth the while considering the swell of benefits, both personal and academic, that you will gain. 

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A Guide To
Studying Film Abroad


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Performing Arts Abroad

Live in Paris for two weeks or more, and explore the city on your own as well as with a group of young people. Grab this wonderful opportunity by signing up for the ‘Filmmaking Intensive Workshop’ of Performing Arts Abroad. This summer program provides training in filmmaking, allowing you to work with industry professionals from Paris, New York, and other major cities famous for their cinema...


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CISabroad - giving you the best value in study abroad

Take part in affordable Film study programs abroad with CISabroad. The organization provides comprehensive packages that include services like airport pickup, insurance, and excursions. Students can participate in intensive foreign language lessons and internship placements while completing an academic program.


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American Institute For Foreign Study

Spend a semester or academic year in the picturesque city of Prague with AIFS. Earn up to 18 credits studying at Charles University. Courses are taught in English or Czech, with no previous Czech language study required. Orientation includes a 2-week Czech Language and Culture course to help you acclimate to life in Prague, where you'l live in a university residence hall with meal allowance...


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Boston University Study Abroad

Spend ten weeks interning and studying in one of the most important capital cities in the world through Boston University's Washington, DC Summer Internship Program. More than just the capital city of American politics, Washington, DC also plays an important role in the sciences, law, business, the arts, and media both nationally and internationally. Program participants enroll in one course an...


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Athena Study Abroad's Semester and Summer Programs

Study Film in a variety of countries with Athena Study Abroad. The organization offers authentic academic experiences that include genuine cultural immersion designed by caring and knowledgeable professionals. To ensure personalized attention, Athena works only with small universities and schools.


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

Study Arts at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. You can earn credits throughout a low-cost program offered by CSA. Students can choose from various Arts courses offered year-round. A transcript will be issued. Participants can have fun with the cultural activities, and avail of low-cost housing options. They can choose between Semester, Year, Quarter, Summer, and Monthly terms. They can pay...


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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. ...


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University Studies Abroad Consortium

The Madrid program is ideal for students who wish to study Spanish and European Studies in one of the world's great capitals. Madrid is a fascinating city and has a vibrant culture that provides the perfect setting for language study or art history studies. You will be able to study Spanish language and the complexities of Spanish and contemporary European societies through a wide selection of ...


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Academic Programs International (API)

Take Film courses abroad with API. Feel secure with the support that API provides before, during, and after the program. The organization complements the comprehensive program with highly personalized attention to ensure an optimal study abroad experience for each student.


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ISA (International Studies Abroad)

Stirling is one of Scotland's most historic cities, which many major battles for Scottish independence took place in and around. Once the capital of Scotland, the city is surrounded by a large medieval fortress now mixed in with a contemporary, university town. Lush and green, Stirling is often called "The Gateway to the Highlands." The city is extremely student-oriented, pedestrian friendly, a...


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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...


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The University of Minnesota

Head back in time in Toledo, a charming Medieval walled city. Strengthen your language skills, choose from a variety of program courses, and immerse yourself in an internship. This program is offered in collaboration with the prestigious José Ortega-Marañón Foundation and the University of Minnesota. Based at the San Juan de la Penitencia residence, a converted 16th-Century convent, the progra...


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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...


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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...