The presence of study abroad programs is steadily on the rise -- 332,727 American students went abroad during the 2016-2017 academic year, an increase of 2.3 percent over the previous year, according to the latest data from IIE. Fine or Applied Arts (which encompasses interior design) is one of the top five major fields of study.
“The opportunity to study at an international level can be a game-changer for a student’s education and future design career,” says ASID CEO Randy Fiser, Hon. FASID. “This continual, annual increase in interest highlights the success and significance of these programs. The design community is a global community -- and gaining new perspectives and an informed worldview is a vital element to creating impactful design.”
As U.S. design students increasingly look to expand their curriculum on an international scale, being classified as an American designer is experiencing a shift in definition.
Global programs not only educate students on international design movements, from minimalistic Scandinavian design to French Art Nouveau, but also shape the way they approach projects and how they view the surrounding environment.
For international students looking to receive a “Made in America” design education, these satellite programs offer the same quality degree as their home university, with the potential added benefits of a more diverse environment and faculty, closer location and reduced expense.
The increase in American satellite campuses also highlights the growing interest in the impact of design, and the recognized value of an American design education and its ability to establish a global network.
Students with a universal understanding of design are equipped with the knowledge to seamlessly communicate and collaborate with both local and global design perspectives.
Rather than being confined to a singular, national definition, American designers should be defined by a democratization of design with a learned ability to transcend boundaries and produce cohesive, impactful work for a universal audience.
Institutions to Study Abroad
Looking to receive a design education, internationally? Review a few stand-out programs below to start your search:
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Hong Kong
“SCAD offers the area’s largest concentration of art and design degree programs in the heart of the Sham Shui Po district, where a fusion of ancient heritage and Western influence inspires visitors from around the globe. SCAD offers degrees in more than 40 areas of study, as well as minors in more than 60 disciplines.
"With the flexibility of our programs, you can begin your journey at one location and continue it at another. It's an incredible opportunity to explore different cultures and absorb a variety of artistic perspectives without interrupting your progress in completing your degree.” - SCAD Hong Kong.
“Parsons Paris is the European campus of The New School, an innovative university based in New York City. Degree programs and summer and study abroad courses build on the curriculum of Parsons School of Design, a globally acclaimed art and design school.
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"Established in 1921, Parsons Paris invites students interested in college in Paris to join our modern atelier, where they will find interdisciplinary learning and small classes that prepare them for careers in fashion, management, digital innovation and curatorial practice.” - Parsons Paris.
“Building on deep connections forged over several years with some of Europe’s leading creative agencies, educational institutions and civic leaders, ArtCenter established a permanent, year-round studio for students in the innovative concept shopping mall Bikini Berlin when the complex opened in 2013. The satellite studio hosts transdisciplinary studio projects, giving ArtCenter students an immersive experience in a city known for reinvention.
"More than a study abroad program, the studio environment is designed to deliberately remove students from a traditional setting and move them into the atmosphere of a pop-up design office, organized and operated by faculty and students like a professional creative agency.” - ArtCenter Berlin.