Learning Abroad in Art — BA

Learning Abroad in Art

“We have shifted our view of study abroad from being simply an option for our students, to what is now an essential experience for those pursuing any of the art disciplines. The making of art doesn't happen in a vacuum and thus requires an expanded understanding of cultural, social, and historical dynamics that extend beyond our own familiar boundaries.”
—Clarence Morgan, Professor and Chair of the Department of Art

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 Department of Art before beginning your study abroad research.

Support from the Department of Art

The department strongly encourages study abroad; such experience can contribute to your liberal education as well as to your formation as an artist.  Study abroad provides the opportunity to gain international perspectives that can broaden and enhance your understanding of your own place, deepen your perspectives, and sharpen your awareness– all important elements of the process of creative thinking and visual art making.

Will studying abroad mean that it takes longer to finish my degree?

It doesn’t have to. Through an initiative with the Learning Abroad Center, the Art Department has identified opportunities for you to study abroad while continuing to make progress toward your degree. In some of the programs described here, you can take studio courses that will count toward your art major. Others allow you to complete language or other liberal education requirements. Advance planning will ensure that courses taken during study abroad will fit smoothly into your degree program. 

Program lengths vary from three weeks over the May session to summer terms, semesters, or full academic years. When you choose a program and know which courses you will take, department adviser will work with you to determine which of these courses will count toward your major. Coursework to fulfill liberal education requirements is evaluated through the Learning Abroad Center office.


All internships must be approved by the student’s academic adviser (or the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the adviser’s absence) in order to use them to fulfill requirements. This should be done during the academic planning process prior to the experience.

There are so many programs! What are the differences?

Understanding the different program types available may help you focus on specific options as you determine which will best fit with your academic goals.


Language programs can serve as an excellent means of improving your language proficiency and intercultural skills, and should help you fulfill language requirements.


Theme programs focus on a specific discipline or subject. Topics include art restoration, art, and art history.

Area studies

Area studies programs are designed for students who want to explore a country or region in some depth. Courses are offered in history, the social sciences, and the humanities. Courses in other disciplines may be offered, depending on the program.

Integrated classroom

Integrated classroom programs allow you to enroll in regular classes at foreign universities and to study alongside students from the host country. They offer the full advantage of full cultural immersion and permit you to choose from a wide variety of courses in many disciplines.

Field study

Academic field study provides study outside the classroom, a different kind of cultural immersion. Formats include internships, field research, study tours, independent study, and classroom study with structured field assignments.

Furthermore, studying abroad in art allows for:

  • Structured learning
  • Advanced studio work
  • Access to museums
  • Access to cultural events
  • Topical studies in the host culture

Each program will provide some level of pre-departure and on-site orientation, housing, academic support, international health insurance, and on-site logistical assistance. In most cases, you will earn UofM resident credit. Advising, program information, and applications are available in Learning Abroad Center.

College/Department Scholarships for UofM Students


Africa and the Middle East


MSID—International Development in Kenya

  • Earn credit through coursework, research, field placements, and internships.
  • Art internships could involve collaborative projects with local artists, organizations that promote local artists, women’s groups, and community centers.
  • No language required.


MSID—International Development in Senegal

  • Earn credit through coursework, research, field placements, and internships.
  • Art internships could involve collaborative projects with local artists, organizations that promote local artists, women’s groups, and community centers.  
  • Two years of college level French required.

South Africa

University Study in South Africa: University of Cape Town 

  • Enroll in classes at University of Cape Town
  • Learn alongside African students while taking courses in a variety of disciplines, including art.



CIEE Argentina—Buenos Aires

  • For students with a strong Spanish language background who are looking for an immersion experience in Argentina.
  • Take courses at the CIEE center and the Instituto Universitario Nacional de Arte (IUNA).
  • Coursework is available in multimedia arts, drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture.

Study Abroad in Buenos Aires

  • Study in downtown Buenos Aires and explore global & cultural issues while developing your spanish.
  • Buenos Aires: City of Arts course focuses on the art and architecture of Argentina.
  • Learn about different artistic movements in Argentina and broaden your perspective of world art.


Arcadia Chile—Valparaíso 

  • 6 week summer program in Valparaíso UNESCO World Heritage Site: Local Art in Global Boundaries
  • Interdisciplinary program that incorporates anthropology, visual culture, art history, design and heritage to discover Valparaíso's modes of representation through contemporary art

CIEE Chile—Santiago

  • Designed for students with advanced Spanish skills who can take courses at two universities in Santiago.
  • The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile offers Basic Drawing, Metal Engraving, Art in Chile, Latin American Painting, and Advanced Engraving. 
  • The Universidad de Chile has coursework in Art History, Pottery, and Photography. 

Asia and Oceania


Southern Cross University, Lismore (available through IFSA Australia)

  • Sophomores and above can attend this university for a semester or academic year.
  • Southern Cross University enjoys a high reputation among art departments in Australia.

Australian National University, Canberra (available through Arcadia Australia or IFSA Australia)

  • Located in Australia’s national capital, Australian National University has a great art school within it: Canberra School of Art.
  • Open to juniors and above for semester or academic year study.

Tasmanian School of Art, Hobart (available through IFSA Australia)

  • The Tasmanian School of Art is housed in a world-class art education facility and is located on a waterfront.
  • Sophomores and above may attend for a semester, an academic, or calendar year.

Victorian College of the Arts (available through Arcadia University)

  • Located in Melbourne, ranked one of the world's most livable cities
  • Reputable arts and performing arts college with classes in drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture 


MSID—International Development in Thailand

  • Program type: Field Study
  • Academic program built around grassroots development internships. Homestays and internship/research further enrich cultural immersion. Based in Chiang Mai but with internship options outside the city.
  • Internship placements have focused on such areas as arts and culture, sustainability and the environment, public health, education and literacy, entrepreneurship and alternative economies, and social service.
  • Instruction is in English; no prior Thai language is required. Fall semester, spring semester, or academic year; consider year option to maximize cultural immersion and gain deeper research experience.



IES France—Nantes

  • Students have many opportunities to immerse themselves in French language and culture through coursework and homestay experiences.
  • Students with French language proficiency can register for courses at the IES center in addition to courses offered at local universities.
  • IES students with prior training in studio art are eligible to enroll in one to two courses at the Ecole Régionale des Beaux-Arts.


Universität der Künste, Berlin (available through IES Germany)

  • The Universität der Künste (University of the Arts) fosters a high level of public engagement among its faculty and staff through dialogue and public exhibitions.
  • As one of Europe’s leading universities, it offers coursework in Fine Arts; Architecture, Media and Design; Music; and Performing Arts.

Exchange in Germany

  • This exchange is with Freie University of Berlin  
  • Berlin is the largest city in Germany with a vibrant cultural life and a rich history
  • Students take courses from the university’s curriculum with German students

WorkART Kunstverein Fellowship Program (Available through the Center for German and European Studies) 

  • Gather valuable insights into Germany’s art world, into the nonprofit art sector and cultural management, into exhibiting and organizing art events, and into cultural politics.
  • Work directly with artists, art management, and an interested public. 
  • Each internship fellow will work with the head and the staff of a Kunstverein chapter according to an individually negotiated schedule during a four (minimum) to eight (maximum) week internship between late May and mid-August. 20 to 30 hours of work per week. Ten fellowships are available.


Scholarship Exchange Program—Reykjavik

  • Offers a partial scholarship to study abroad.


Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan (available through Arcadia Ireland)

  • Study art on the grounds of a 16th-Century castle in rural Ireland
  • Students have personal studio space and one-on-one guidance by faculty and visiting artists. 
  • Coursework available in drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture.


  • Take classes in studio art, art history, psychology, retail merchandising, and more
  • Study Italian language to facilitate interaction with locals
  • Participate in an internship to gain international work experience

Accademia Italiana, Florence (available through Arcadia Italy)

  • The Accademia is one of Europe's premier institutes for the study of Art and Design and is for students interested in studio art, fashion design, graphic design, interior and industrial design, and textile design.
  • Classes may include photography, painting, mixed media, art history, sketching, and more.
  • No language prerequisite, but upper division coursework is taught in Italian. 


Glasgow School of Art, Scotland (available through Arcadia Scotland)

  • The Glasgow School of Art is a small and very specialized art school concentrating on fine art, design, and architecture.
  • All of its teaching and research is studio-based, and courses include painting and printmaking, sculpture and environmental art, and fine art photography.
  • Glasgow is the third largest city in the UK.

Scottish Business and the Arts (available through Arcadia Scotland)

  • 8 week summer program in Edinburgh 
  • Combines coursework and an internship with an Edinburgh Festival company during the world’s largest arts festival

University Study in the UK: University of Glasgow

  • Take courses at the fourth oldest unviersity in the U.K.
  • Choose from a variety of courses in The School of Cuclture and Creative Arts


Barcelona Summer Photography (available through Arcadia Spain)

  • 8 credit summer program
  • Courses include Spanish language and photography or culture and society course

Study & Intern in Toledo

  • Available courses include art history, social science, and many more opportunities, including an internship.
  • Students must have a minimum of two years of college level Spanish to take part.

United Kingdom

Goldsmiths College, University of London (available through Arcadia United Kingdom)

  • Popular courses at Goldsmiths include fine art & textiles, art history, drama and theater arts, sociology and communications 
  • Studio arts program for academic year only

Slade School of Fine Art, London (available through IFSA United Kingdom)

  • Slade offers a renowned Independent Studio Program (ISP) in sculpture, fine art media, and painting.
  • Located in Bloomsbury, Slade is surrounded by excellent art galleries.

Study & Intern in London

  • The program offers a professional internship placement along with coursework in the humanities, social sciences, and business.
  • Courses are taken with other US students.
  • Placement opportunities include working in art education, art studios, art galleries, and many others.

Additional Options to Consider

Non-Credit Opportunities

  • Non-credit opportunities can be a great option for students who do not need academic credit but want to gain skills and experience abroad related to their field of study.

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 Experiences

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