Art and Visual Culture Study Abroad Guide
Why study abroad?
College of Design International Programs provide personal, academic and professional benefits that will extend far beyond your last day abroad. Studying abroad will help you to become more independent and flexible, to develop problem-solving and leadership skills, to increase your creativity and confidence, and to handle stressful situations better.
Depending on the program you choose, you’ll have the opportunity to study with College of Design faculty members and/or distinguished local lecturers. You can fulfill degree requirements while seeing the world. Museums, galleries, buildings, outdoor spaces and monuments abroad will become your classroom as you explore first hand what you’ve been learning about in textbooks here in Ames.
Many of our programs also emphasize links with local universities and professionals through studio visits, guest lecturers and workshops. In addition, studying abroad can also help you to develop dynamic portfolio pieces that will set you apart from other job applicants.
What types of programs are available?
The College of Design features three types of international programs to help you fulfill your goal of studying abroad.
Since 1991, more than 2,000 students have studied in Rome through the College of Design’s flagship international program — the first fully licensed study-abroad program in the Iowa regents’ system. Full-semester study options are available for graphic design, interior design, integrated studio arts and BA students each fall, and for architecture, community and regional planning and landscape architecture students each spring. The summer program offers classes for industrial design students. Students attend classes at our studio facilities in the historic center of Rome at Palazzo Cenci-Bolognetti, a 16th-century building located in the Piazza delle Cinque Scole near the Tiber River.
The College of Design offers a variety of short-term programs throughout the academic year that are led by College of Design faculty members. Some programs are major-specific and others are open to all majors in the college. Time abroad ranges from five days to five weeks, and students earn between two and four ISU credits depending on the program.
Some majors in the college have agreements that allow students to study for a semester or an academic year at a partner institution abroad where classes are normally taught in English. Exchange programs are limited to smaller numbers of students (usually two per semester) and provide the additional advantages of a more independent experience abroad with a higher level of cultural immersion. Students pay ISU tuition and fees when participating, and credits are transferred back to ISU from the host institution. Students from the partner institution will travel to Ames to study while ISU students are abroad.
What is available in 2017-2018 for Integrated Studio Arts majors?
College of Design Rome Program: Integrated Studio Arts majors participate in the program during the fall of the fourth year. During this semester, you will be able to fulfill degree requirements, including studio options (ArtIS 227, ArtIS 238/338/438, ArtIS 305) and art history (Art H 492).
Short-Term Faculty-Led Options
Ghana: Developing Perspective: This program seeks to introduce students to the unique culture and history of Ghana including the various art and design traditions particular to different tribal groups including the cultural traditions of the tribes; dance, food, traditional governmental systems, and the history of slave trade. We will also engage in traditional crafts workshops to better understand the processes. We will partner with the NGO-Our Talking Hands on a service-learning project.
University of Western Australia in Perth, Australia
When can I go abroad?
Year 1 – Core program
Participants in College of Design study abroad programs must be accepted into their program of study because our programs are usually major-specific. In addition, you should have a certain amount of knowledge about your major before you travel abroad to study it. However, it’s never too early to start thinking about studying abroad and start saving money for an experience after you are accepted into a program of study.
After you have been accepted into your program of study, you can focus more on exploring options specific to your major, and you can establish a savings plan to help finance your experience abroad.
College of Design Rome Program: Take Dsn S 301 in the spring of your third year. You will submit your ISUAbroad application for the program during Dsn S 301.
Ghana: Developing Perspective: Submit your ISUAbroad application for the program by September 2. Take ArtIS 362 in the fall of your third year. Travel will take place over winter break.
University of Western Australia exchange: Apply at ISUAbroad before the application deadline, which is normally in October before the exchange starts in February.
Ghana: Developing Perspective: Submit your ISUAbroad application for the program by September 2. Take ArtIS 362 in the fall of your fourth year. Travel will take place over winter break.
Fall semester: Participate in the College of Design Rome Program or in the University of Western Australia exchange
Can I afford to study abroad?
A study abroad experience may be more affordable than you think! Consider the study abroad options for your major as soon as possible and start saving money. Even putting $50 or $100 into a savings account each month can make a big difference. Scholarships from the College of Design, Iowa State University and independent entities are available at the links below. You can also use financial aid to fund a study abroad experience. The Office of Student Financial Aid will receive a list of students committed to participate in a study abroad program, and each student’s aid will be adjusted to assist with the expenses listed in the program budget.
College of Design scholarships (search by major or by study abroad)
For questions about study abroad financial aid, please contact Tiffany Ahrenholtz in the Office of Student Financial aid.
What is the application process?
All ISU students interested in studying abroad need to create an application for their chosen program through ISUAbroad. The program links above will take you directly to ISUAbroad program brochures where you can learn more about each program and start your application, which will be completed in two parts. Each program’s application asks for different information, but in general, you must complete all signature documents, questionnaires and learning content in both application parts. After you submit the first part of your application, the faculty member leading the program and/or the college’s international programs coordinator will review it. If you are accepted to participate, you will be asked to formally commit to your offer at ISUAbroad. There will then be a second part of the ISUAbroad application to finish prior to departure.
Are there any other international options available?
College of Design students may also participate in programs offered through other colleges, the ISU Study Abroad Center or non-ISU programs. A searchable database of all programs is available here. If you want to explore other options, you will need to investigate with your academic advisor and your department how courses may or may not meet ISU degree requirements. ISU will not automatically accept transfer credit from all institutions, and a review of your work completed abroad may be required for the department to approve credit transfer.
Who can I talk to if I have questions?