10 Great Study Abroad Locations for Art and Architecture Students

Studying abroad presents an excellent opportunity for students to experience a world away from home. Spending a year in a foreign land can be especially beneficial for those who study art and architecture, since students can view up-close the priceless and awe-inspiring objects of their study. Learn about 10 great study abroad destinations for lovers of art and architecture.


1. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a treasure trove for the architecture and art student. This historical city bears the strong architectural mark of Antoni Gaudi. Buildings created by Spain's most famous architect appear throughout the city, the most well-know being La Sagrada Familia - a massive church under construction for more than 100 years. For the art student, there is the Museu Picasso, which showcases Picasso's early works and several of his other famous paintings. Catalan and Spanish art can be found throughout the city. A bonus: students who study here are only a couple hours from the impressive architecture and museums of Madrid.

2. London, England

London features extensive art offerings that make it a hot destination for international students. The British Museum houses about eight million objects spanning all of human history. The National Gallery contains countless masterpieces of Western painting. The Design Museum may be of particular interest to art and architecture students as it focuses on design in all aspects, including architecture. London is a hodgepodge of notable sites, including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and the Queen's House.

3. Paris, France

Paris is a great study abroad location for art and architecture students. The Musée du Louvre has a huge collection that includes everything from antiquities to Western European paintings. The museum itself is an architectural wonder, blending classicism and a large modern glass pyramid. The Musée d'Orsay, housed in a breathtaking Beaux-Arts facility, contains an impressive impressionism collection. Paris features a variety of architectural styles, including the gothic style found at Notre Dame and the Romano-Byzantine style found at Sacré-Coeur.

4. Rome, Italy

Rome features some of the most important structures in architectural history. The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon are only a few of the must-see sites. Vatican City, located within Rome's limits, features St. Peter's Basilica - a Late Renaissance masterpiece. Also housed within the small sovereign city-state are a series of museums with such treasures as Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and Raphael's 'School of Athens'. The oldest national museum in the world, the Capitoline Museums, will be of particular interest to art students.

5. Tokyo, Japan

Architecture students interested in modern design will find Tokyo an excellent location to study. Buildings such as the Tokyo International Forum or the Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka give students much to discuss. Artists can delve into Japanese culture by studying calligraphy, or they can visit one of many contemporary art museums, such as the Mori Art Museum. Tokyo is also home to a variety of gardens which combine both architecture and art in their design.

6. Athens, Greece

Athens features some of the most widely recognized architectural ruins in the world. The Acropolis and the Parthenon are primary tourist destinations, but other impressive sites include the Temple of Poseidon. Architecture and art students alike are liable to enjoy the city, since it features arts exhibitions at such institutions as the National Gallery and the Museum of Cycladic Art.

7. Berlin, Germany

Many of Berlin's historical buildings were destroyed during World War II, but Berlin now has an eclectic cityscape that routinely garners architecture accolades. Berlin is one of the arts centers of Europe and features many museums. The Neues Museum includes many priceless antiquities, and the Museum Berggruen has works from Picasso, Matisse, Braque and others. The Museum of Design offers a modern flair, its artifacts seeming to predict the forward-thinking cosmopolitan Berlin of today.

8. Moscow, Russia

Russia's capital and largest city features many art museums, including the Pushkin Fine Arts Muesum and the Shilov Gallery. Moscow also has some of the most widely admired architecture in the world. Highlights of the city include Saint Basil's Cathedral, the Kremlin and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Visitors should also try to make the 4-hour train journey to St. Petersburg to visit the world-renowned State Hermitage Museum.

9. Beijing, China

Beijing features a fascinating mix of traditional and modern architecture. Treasured structures such as the Tiananmen Gate and the Forbidden City are preserved, while ultra-modern constructions dominate other districts. Those studying in Beijing would be remiss not to visit the nearby Great Wall or view amazing collections of Chinese art on display at the Beijing Capital Museum and the National Museum of China.

10. Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City is a World Heritage City that features art treasures and a trove of antiquities at museums throughout. Important stops for art students include the Palace of Fine Arts, which has a massive collection of works from across time periods, and the National Museum of Anthropology, which contains many important ancient artifacts. The Coyocan neighborhood has something for everyone, including the former home of Frida Kahlo and a variety of historical architecture and museums. Other architectural highlights include the National Palace, Metropolitan Cathedral and the Castle of Chapultepec, which also features breathtaking views of the city.

Not sure whether you want to spend time away from your home institution? Learn about the potential benefits of studying abroad during college.

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