Study Film Abroad

Back to Programs

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. 

Read More

A Guide To
Studying Film Abroad


 Find Film Study Abroad Programs Now


This listing has been saved 1 time

Filmmaking in Paris (France)

Spend four weeks of your summer living in Paris and training in filmmaking with working industry professionals from New York, Paris, and other parts of Europe. You will spend the first week participating in PAA excursions and cultural activities, and exploring Paris on your own. The workshops are all-day intensive training sessions, and from day one, you will be writing, directing, producing, a...


This listing has been saved 4 times

AIFS Study Abroad in Prague, Charles University: Semester

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...


This listing has been saved 9 times

USA Los Angeles AD/PR Internship (Summer)

This is a lifetime opportunity that lets you gain academic and practical experience in the center of the world’s media and entertainment industry. Sign up for the Summer Los Angeles Ad/PR Internship Program and gain an insight into the city’s film industry. It involves enrollment in two required courses: Entertainment Marketing and Entertainment Promotion: Speaker Series. The former focuses...


This listing has been saved 9 times

Syracuse University London Center

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. ...


USAC CHILE: Santiago-Latin American & Anthropology Studies

Santiago, the capital and largest city of Chile, features a natural and urban framework amidst a mountainous terrain. It is situated close to the country’s central coastline, allowing you to bask in both its natural surroundings and rich culture. Head to the world’s southernmost country where you will have the chance to study contemporary Chilean society and Spanish through a semester or ac...


This listing has been saved 8 times

ISA Study Abroad in Stirling, Scotland

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...


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 5 times

Study & Intern in Toledo

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 prog...


This listing has been saved 5 times

Spanish Studies Abroad Spanish Studies Program - Seville, Spain

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...


This listing has been saved 18 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 10 times

Sol Education Abroad: Study Abroad in Granada, Spain

Learn Spanish in one of the most ancient and diverse cities in Spain-- Granada! Spain is a country of fascinating diversity, visible in its people, its countryside, and its profound history. The variety of cultures that have influenced Spain include the Romans, Moors, and Gypsies. While living in Spain, you will learn about the diversity of cultures the country offers. Come experience the fasci...