Learning Abroad in Apparel Design

Learning Abroad in Apparel Design

“What you bring back from a study abroad experience, in addition to great memories, is a new and richer perspective of the world and yourself.”
—Elizabeth Bye, Apparel Design Faculty

Study Abroad Process

This is the basic process you'll complete in order to study abroad. The order in which you do things is somewhat flexible.

Academic Planning

Review the following suggestions from the Apparel Design program before beginning your study abroad research.

Be sure to meet with your academic adviser to fill out an Academic Planning Study Abroad (APSA) form.

Prospective Apparel Design Students

  • Apparel design courses abroad may not meet apparel design course requirements at the University of Minnesota. Your academic adviser will work with the apparel design faculty to help you try to obtain approval once you are admitted to the program.

Best Times to go Abroad

  • The most convenient fit for study abroad is junior year first semester
  • Any January, May, or Summer Term
Note: If you would like to show work completed abroad in the annual fashion show, contact the program director by December 1st if you are studying abroad junior year first semester.

Fulfill Requirements

Core Major Courses


  • Credit-based internships abroad will fill the apparel design internship requirement. Check with your academic adviser for more information.

Liberal Education

  • You can fulfill liberal education requirements while abroad. Decide early which requirements you want to satisfy through courses taken abroad so you don't fulfill them on campus. Consult the Learning Abroad Center's Liberal Education database of study abroad courses that have already been evaluated or submit courses online to be evaluated for liberal education requirements.
  • Some University of Minnesota courses are approved to meet two requirements. For example, one course may count toward your liberal education requirements AND meet a requirement in your major. Study abroad courses may not meet multiple requirements.

Upon Return from Study Abroad

  • Meet with your academic adviser to discuss the study abroad return process and to go over re-entry resources to help you make your learning abroad experience a meaningful component of your academic and career pathway.


Asia and Oceania


Study & Intern in Sydney

  • This program is available each summer term.
  • Students complete a 6-credit internship, which allows them to integrate with Australians, experience the local culture first-hand, and gain professional skills.
  • Students to focus on job training, career networking, and resume building in an international setting.

University of Technology, Sydney (available through Arcadia Australia and IFSA-Butler Australia)

  • Offered each fall and spring semester, academic year, and calendar year.
  • Students may choose from courses throughout the university, including those in fashion and textile design and related technologies, computing and design, marketing, management and business studies, drawing, illustration, and design research.



Accademia Italiana, Florence (available through Arcadia Italy)

  • Offered each fall semester and spring semester.
  • Students may study studio art, fashion design, graphic design, interior and industrial design, and textile design.
  • No language prerequisite, but upper division coursework is taught in Italian.
  • Earn major credit by taking the interdisciplinary Italian Design Studio (3 credits) taught by a UofM faculty member
  • Other courses include: Made in Italy: Design & Marketing of an Ideal, Sustainable Food Systems of Italy, or Sport & Society in Modern Italy
  • 3-credit internships are available in a variety of fields


Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam (available through IES Netherlands)

  • Offered each fall and spring semester.
  • The school stresses independence and creativity through a highly individualized curriculum and instruction.
  • Students are expected to be self-reliant and extremely motivated.
  • Students are not given assignments or syllabi, but receive individual coaching from the Academie tutors.
  • The program is highly competitive.
  • No language prerequisite.

United Kingdom, England

Study & Intern in London

  • Offered each fall semester, spring semester, and summer.
  • 6-credit internships are available during the fall and spring, and 3-credit internships during the summer.
  • Past design placements include: Ralph Loren, French Connection Retail Group, Oakville Limited, Pringle Scotland, Wahl Fashion and Vivienne Westwood Studio.

Central St. Martins, University of the Arts London (available through IFSA-Butler)

  • It is offered each spring semester and academic year.
  • Students are expected to be mature and independent.
  • Students must submit a portfolio for the subject area they wish to study

University Study in the UK: Northumbria University (LAC program)

  • Offered each fall semester, spring semester, and academic year.
  • Classes are offered in Fashion, Fashion Communication, and Fashion Marketing.
  • Work is project-based and much time is spent in the studio.
  • You are expected to be independent. 

London College of Fashion (available through Arcadia London and IFSA Butler United Kingdom)

  • Offered each fall and spring semester.
  • Take classes at the Arcadia study center for 8-10 credits plus the London College of Fashion (up to 8 credits).
  • Classes at LCF focus on Fashion and Fashion Merchandising.

University of Westminster, London (available through Arcadia England and IFSA-Butler)

  • Offered each fall and spring semester, academic year, and summer.
  • Students may choose from courses throughout the university, including those in fashion design major, students can take contextual studies in fashion and art history, textile technology, fabric development and sample making, and CAD classes.

United Kingdom, Northern Ireland

University of Ulster (available through IFSA-Butler United Kingdom

  • Offered each fall semester, spring semester, and academic year.
  • Students may choose from courses throughout the university, including those in textiles and fashion design, history of design, formal design theory, fabrics, garments, and accessories.

Additional Options to Consider

College of Design Study Abroad Programs

  • College of Design faculty periodically offers short-term programs for their students. Please check with the College of Design.
  • Past titles have included: Fashion Study Tour in London and Paris, South Korea Exchange Program, and the Canada Study Tour.
  • Apparel Design faculty often learn about special summer learning opportunities through professional contacts; these opportunities will be announced in class and posted in the studio.
Global Seminars
  • 3-week, 3-credit programs at the 3000-level led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff over Winter Break or May Session.
  • Fulfill Liberal Education requirements, or earn major/minor credit.
  • Explore an exciting location and topic! Check out this year's offerings!
Freshman Seminars
  • Freshman Seminars Abroad combine on-campus instruction during spring semester with a study abroad component during spring break.
  • Seminars are 3 credits at the 19xx level and most fulfill a liberal education requirement.
  • Seminars are designed specifically for first year students as an introduction to study abroad.

Student Project for Amity among Nations (SPAN)

  • Work with University of Minnesota faculty to develop and plan your independent research abroad.
  • Design and conduct an independent research project in one of four countries.
  • Sites and faculty leaders vary each year.
  • Prepare for your summer abroad throughout the year, spend 6 – 12 weeks abroad collecting information, then complete the project at the University of Minnesota with the help of a faculty adviser.

Directed Study Abroad

  • Study abroad opportunities are not limited to formal instruction.
  • Directed study allows students to create a contract between themselves and a faculty member that outlines a project and credits to be earned.
  • This provides students the opportunity to work independently on a project of their own design while abroad, under the direction of a University of Minnesota faculty member.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

  • UROP offers financial awards twice yearly to full time undergraduates for research, scholarly, or creative projects undertaken in partnership with a faculty member.
  • It encourages students to conduct research and pursue academic interests outside of their regular courses by employing them to work on special research projects.

Work, Intern, and Volunteer Abroad Programs (non-credit)

  • An alternative or complement to study abroad.
  • Explore new interests or gain experience related to your field of study.
  • Consider paid and unpaid opportunities offered throughout the year at locations around the globe.

Student Experiences

Visit the Learning Abroad Center's Student Experiences web page for details on other students' experiences studying abroad.