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Study Abroad Programs & Testimonials


No experience benefits an artist more than visiting art in person and within its historical context. Online students may not be aware of the richly-rewarding study abroad programs offered by the Academy of Art University and that online students can fully participate in these programs. Students  can join their instructors and peers for 3- to 8-week journeys in art and creativity. Each year online students from all over the United States, Canada, and even India and Japan have joined their on-campus counterparts for life-changing artistic awakenings. Together they travel, study, and make art on location with Academy instructors and peers.

The Liberal Arts department offers an annual touring seminar in Europe, which exposes students to the art of featured regions within the broader context of European history and artistic culture. Students explore the extraordinary architecture of the chosen locality as well as visit the extensive collections of paintings, sculptures, and decorative objects housed in Europe’s world-renowned museums. Countries visited in the past have included Spain, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic with spotlights on Paris, Rome, London, Prague, Barcelona, and Amsterdam to name just a few.

The Fine Art department offers an intensive program in Corciano, Italy. Academy instructors teach painting, drawing, printmaking, and book arts four days per week in this challenging 8-week workshop. Students are fully immersed in the daily life and culture of a small Medieval city. The experience of living and working side-by-side with instructors and peers enhances the creative process and connection with the Academy in ways that are not possible online or in on-campus classes.

Fashion department juniors and seniors are eligible to apply for the Scholarship Exchange Program to study in Paris. You could be the first online student to be selected for this outstanding honor and opportunity!

All the online students interviewed for this article found the experience of visiting the great masterworks in person in the environment from which they emerged, gave life-changing perspective to their own work. They appreciated the opportunity to connect with Academy instructors and peers in person and made supportive friendships that continue to grow through social networking and the online class discussions.

As student Kirah Van Sickle said so well, “Study abroad sustains the academic level of the faculty, students and university itself. It also provides a connection to art history and contemporary culture outside of the US.”

Joining the Fine Art in Italy program is one of the best decisions I have ever made. The best part of the program was forming relationships with fellow students and incredibly talented professors. If there is anyone out there trying to decide whether to study abroad with AAU - do it!

~ Liz, Painting MFA

Study abroad enriched my online studies and was a life changing experience. Seeing the classical works of Western art history in person, in their context is incredibly important. Now, when I study French photography, I have a sense for the culture from which it arose. Regardless of your age, locale, or major: Stop thinking about it, just go! I promise you won't regret it!

~ Cindy, Photography BFA

When I was choosing an MFA program, a study abroad program was essential. AAU's program proved to be a wonderful blend of cultural history, community immersion, and creative focus. As an online student, its greatest value is in experiencing a more traditional academic setting in real time. And now I have a support network and connection to AAU that I wouldn't have otherwise. ~ Kirah, Fine Art Painting MFA

The Study Abroad Program was absolutely amazing! The experience of seeing the art and the culture of the people around it can't be compared or replaced by anything else. It was refreshing to meet and study with other students. I made some great connections and friends that remain to this day.

~ Malorie, Animation BFA

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