Learning Abroad in Interior Design

Learning Abroad in Interior Design

“Study abroad helps students prepare for their careers in a global society. They study in cultures and environments that differ from what is familiar, which prepares them to think critically about design.”
—Denise Guerin, Interior 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 Interior 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.

Best Times to go Abroad

  • Year 3: Spring semester
  • Year 3: Summer internship program in London or Sydney
  • Any January, May, or Summer term

Fulfill Requirements

Save any work done abroad including syllabi, projects, and papers to share with faculty and students upon return from your study abroad experience.

Major Coursework

  • Students can fulfill major courses abroad and stay on track academically. You will need to work with your academic adviser and faculty adviser to receive approval for coursework prior to departure.


  • All courses can be done abroad.

Architectural History

  • All courses can be done abroad.


  • Students may also try to fulfill their internship experience abroad. The Study and Internships programs in London, Rome, and Sydney have been pre-approved to cover this requirement.

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 U-Credit Abroad database of study abroad courses that have already been evaluated or submit courses online to be evaluated for liberal education requirements.

Be aware that study abroad courses may not meet multiple requirements

  • Some University of Minnesota courses are approved to meet multiple 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

  • 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.  


Africa and the Middle East

United Arab Emirates

American University in Sharjah (available through CIEE)

  • It is offered each fall semester, spring semester, and academic year.
  • Students are able to choose from classes throughout the university, including those in the School of Architecture and Design, which includes interior design.

Asia and Oceania


Study & Intern in Sydney

  • It is offered each fall semester, spring semester, and 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.
  • Interior Design students cannot participate on this program spring term as they must take an Interior Design studio course that semester to stay on track with their major.  Students can only participate in the Internship in Sydney program during the summer.

Monash University, Melbourne (available through Arcadia Australia and IFSA-Butler Australia)

  • It is offered each fall and spring semester, academic year, and calendar year.
  • Students may choose from courses throughout the university, including those in interior design studio, building, construction, materials, communications, media, ergonomics, exhibition design, furniture, AD digital imaging, marketing theory, and contemporary discourse. 

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

  • It is offered each fall and spring semester, academic year, and calendar year.
  • UTS focuses its teaching on common problem-based projects and activities, which allows for a holistic view in designing interior environments.

New Zealand

University Study in New Zealand: Victoria University of Wellington

  • It is offered each fall and spring semester, academic year, and calendar year.
  • Students may choose from courses throughout the university, including those in the history of interior design, human and environmental factors, furniture, photography, ergonomics, time-based media, CAD, theory and criticism, and Maori design



Study Abroad in Denmark - Interior Architecture

  • Offered each fall and spring semester, as well as academic year.
  • Designed for students majoring in architecture, interior design, interior architecture, and, for pre-architecture, in fine arts or studio art. 
  • Students have the opportunity to develop professional skills and knowledge through interaction with Danish architects and designers in studio, classes, and on field studies and study tours.
  • No language prerequisite.

United Kingdom, England

Study & Intern in London

  • It is offered each fall and spring semester, academic year, and summer.
  • Students may take coursework plus a for-credit internship.
  • Past placements include AdVision, British Tourist Authority, Cartoon Art Trust, Global Healthcare Communications, London Property Brochures, Simply Games, Wine & Spirit Association, and Tugboat Graphics.

United Kingdom, Scotland

Glasgow School of Art (available through Arcadia Scotland and IFSA-Butler)

  • It is offered each fall semester, spring semester, and academic year.
  • The GSA does not offer courses in the traditional sense.  The majority of your time will be spent in studio.
  • You will instead submit a portfolio to a specific department, such as Interior Design, and a committee at GSA will review your application and portfolio for admittance into that department.

Additional Options to Consider

College of Design Study Abroad Programs

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

Nora F. Studies Interior Design in Denmark
Nora found inspiration in the modern design environment of Copenhagen. She also lived with a Danish architect, who helped Nora gain a real world perspective on her career.

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