Travel and photography were made for one another. There is something about carrying your camera all over the world and capturing that global adventure which cannot help but thrill even the most amateur photographer. For those who are more serious about the craft, the opportunity to study photography abroad is the chance to take your game to the next level in a brand new environment.
Why Study Photography Abroad
Whatever your style and interests as a photographer, there are virtually no downsides that can come from expanding your craft out into a new global context. This is your chance to meet new people, try new things, explore exotic landscapes, visit famous monuments, and capture it all on film to boot. The genuine chance to study photography abroad may just sound too good to be true, but that opportunity has never been more within your reach than it is now.
While the quality of academic programs may differ, the best location where to study photography abroad should really come down to where in the world your creative eye most attracts you. Some photographers choose a destination because of its geographical landscape, some for its historical architecture, some for its modern urban culture, and others for niche interests such as fashion, marketing, and entertainment.
So there is really no one best place to study photography abroad; the choice is entirely up to you. Some of the most popular countries in the world for photography study abroad programs include Italy, Spain, France, and Switzerland. Other destinations which can be very enriching and also provide for a much different cultural experience include Brazil, Argentina, Japan, and South Africa.
One thing to bear in mind is the language barrier. While there are many specialized photography study abroad programs out there that are taught in English, you may be prevented from enrolling in photography courses at many foreign universities if you are not adept in the local language. For students ambitious enough to double up, studying photography abroad can be a fantastic opportunity to also take your second language fluency to the next level!
Studying Photography Abroad
A nice part about studying photography abroad is that you do not have to be majoring in the subject in order to enroll in a program. There are many summer photography study abroad programs, for example, that allow you to combine your photography courses with the chance to earn academic credit in many other subjects across the arts and humanities. This means that even casual photographers can enjoy the opportunity to study photography abroad!
If you are a serious photographer that is pursuing a degree within the field, then you may want to consider studying abroad for a semester or full year instead. A benefit of this longer commitment is that you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself fully in student life while taking your pick from an extensive course catalogue. Courses in photojournalism, photo editing, marketing for photography, and, obviously, travel photography are all popular selections among international students in the field.
Some photography study abroad programs will also enable you to travel throughout several destinations, which is a great opportunity for young photographers who want to see as much of the world as possible. These specialist programs are usually led by a professor or professional and last anywhere from two to eight weeks.
Benefits & Challenges
New Scenery. You will obviously be taking a lot of pictures while you study photography abroad, so try to choose a destination that captivates your imagination. This is your chance to place yourself in any photographic environment you dream of!
New Skills. You can apply whatever new tips and tricks you learn while studying photography abroad in real time, carrying your camera everywhere you go and capturing as much of your travels as humanly possible.
New Challenges. Cultural differences play a big role in the study abroad experience, as you learn to navigate the often tricky complexities of a new country’s way of life. Being a photographer requires tact, and so does studying abroad.