As an Art or Art History major, you are encouraged to explore study abroad programs, especially those that permit the exploration of artworks in their original cultural contexts. Consider taking courses that are not offered by the UI but enrich your understanding of Art or Art History by looking for classes that are unique to foreign environments and universities. Programs are available in almost every language and many programs are also available in English. You may choose to study Art or Art history, to fulfill General Education requirements, to study a language, to complete research in a special topic, or to do an internship.

After reading through this MAP, make sure to head over to our First Steps page to learn about our Discover Study Abroad sessions and how to start planning your time abroad. Ideally, you should begin to plan your study abroad experience at least two semesters in advance of your departure date. Be in touch with a Study Abroad advisor and your advisor in the School of Art and Art History early on in the planning process.

For more information about fulfilling Art & Art History major requirements abroad, look over the Art & Art History study abroad page and contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

The summer after your first or sophomore year is a great time to study abroad—especially if you are interested in fulfilling your World Languages requirement abroad. In general, Art & Art History majors are encouraged to study abroad during their junior or senior year. Just be sure that you are on track to graduate on time when you return! Your faculty advisor can help you see how study abroad can fit into your academic timeline by customizing a Sample Plan on MyUI.

Summer and winter programs are highly recommended, especially for double majors who do not have time to study abroad during the school year. While you might not be completing course work that applies to your major, you can take general education and World Languages requirements. More information about fulfilling academic requirements abroad as an Art & Art History major is available on the Academics tab of this MAP.

Before you enroll in courses abroad, be sure to consult with a faculty advisor in the Art & Art History department and a Study Abroad Advisor to discuss which of your academic requirements can be taken abroad for credit. Double majors should be sure to check out the Major Advising Page (MAP) corresponding with their second major, as there are likely study abroad options relevant to both majors.

General Education Courses

Art & Art History majors, especially those who are in their first or second year at the UI, are encouraged to fulfill General Education requirements abroad. The World Languages requirement, in particular, lends itself to study abroad. Most study abroad locations will offer coursework that will count as part of your General Education requirements. For more information, check out our General Education Program MAP.

Major Requirements

Early planning is the key to successfully finding equivalencies for your major requirements on a study abroad program. Classes offered by our partner universities will provide you with a perspective on your field that is unique to the country and cultures where you are studying and that will augment the education you receive at the UI.

A minimum of two-thirds of the semester hours required for your studio major must be completed at the University of Iowa (27 s.h. for the BA in Studio, 41 s.h. for the BFA, and 30 s.h. for Art History). Contact your academic advisor to see how study abroad will fit in to your plan of study.

Art History courses must be approved by the head of the Art History Department prior to departure if they are intended to fulfill requirements. For planning your Art History course sequence, be sure to consider carefully how classes you might take abroad can relate to those that you will take at UI. For information about petitioning for Art History credit for courses taken abroad, please consult the Art & Art History study abroad webpage.

Minor Courses

The Studio Art and the Art History minors each allow up to 3 s.h. of transfer credit towards a minor. Be sure to check with your departmental advisor to confirm transfer credit limits. This limitation does not apply to study abroad programs that grant resident credit. Consult the Minor in Art History webpage for more information.

One elective studio art course could be applied without a portfolio review, as long as the topic isn't graphic design. Graphic design courses cannot count for the minor even if it's an elective. Required studio art courses do need a portfolio review.

For the art history minor, few art history courses are electives, so the course would have to be reviewed and approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. You should plan to supply your academic advisor with a copy of the course syllabus; they may ask you for additional information as well. Additional requirements may need to be fulfilled before a course will be applied to the minor.

Honors Courses

You may be able to receive Art & Art History honors credit for courses taken abroad. For more information, consult with the Art & Art History Honors Advisor. Keep in mind that if you are pursuing University Honors it is possible to earn an Honors Commendation for 12 hours of Honors coursework taken abroad. For more information, please refer to the Art & Art History Honors page.

A Note from the Painting and Drawing Faculty:

Students who are contemplating foreign study in drawing or painting should be aware of the range of class expectations and quality of work in programs available abroad. Upon returning to this campus and requesting credit for work done abroad, students should also be realistic about the credits they expect to receive. Our usual three credits per class are given for an intense 16-week semester of work here. During foreign study, drawing and painting classes often meet irregularly (to facilitate travel). Consequently, the work we see accomplished is not enough and nowhere near the level (intensity and quality) of what is produced in a semester here. If you are a student who has cleared for the BFA in drawing or painting, please be advised that there is very little offered abroad that is the equivalent of the personal direction you receive in our Intermediate or Advanced Painting and our Concepts of Drawing. To keep developing at this level, you should plan on doing your own work outside of the classes. These comments regarding portfolios of returning students are not in response to any one particular program. Rather, we are trying to give the student some idea of what is generally seen in the portfolios of students who travel to learn.

But, drawing and painting students take heart! The School of Art and Art History wants its students to be able to study and have a great and rewarding time abroad. However, before you leave, they (and Study Abroad) strongly recommend that you do research on the courses you intend to take and that you get all of your coursework approved by your art advisor before you leave the University of Iowa. Also, you should be prepared to do work outside of your study abroad classes if you are seeking to get specific art course credit.

Alternatively, think about finishing any remaining GEP course work or completing requirements for your minor or second major while abroad. Students who study Studio Art abroad will be responsible for transporting their work back to Iowa.

Funding your trip abroad

Various scholarships are available for UI students planning to study abroad. Information about these scholarships is available on our scholarships webpage. All students are strongly encouraged to consult with a faculty advisor and a Study Abroad Advisor about financing their study abroad experience.

The School of Art and Art History has worked closely with Study Abroad to select programs that fit art and art history majors particularly well. All areas of emphasis within the art and art history majors include options for study abroad. Consider your area of emphasis, your career interests, and your academic goals.

You can start your search with the recommended programs below, but feel free to browse our program database for other possibilities. The specific programs recommended below may change, so check with your major advisor and Study Abroad for the latest updates.

All students who study abroad must be in good academic and disciplinary standing. Each program listed has coursework taught in English unless otherwise stated. In addition, each program has specific eligibility requirements that may include GPA, prerequisites, and/or class standing. For more information about the program, click on the button below the program description.



ISEP Linnaeus University, Sweden
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Through ISEP, UI students can study at the Linnaeus University, which is the second largest university in southern Sweden. Art-related courses focus on digital design and art education. Courses include Digital Video and Moving Images; Photo/Digital Editing; Digital Graphics 1; Art and Art Education; and Ceramics, Design, and Sustainability.


ISEP Estonia
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

The University of Tartu was founded in 1632 and is one of the oldest in Northern and Eastern Europe. While known for their research, Tartu’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities offers a wide variety of courses. Courses include Digital Photography, Looking at Art, Classical Animation, Painting NOW with Renaissance Techniques, Sketch, Drawing, Sculpture, Painting, Knitting, and Performing Arts Practice.

Czech Republic

CEA Prague Full Curriculum
Fall, Spring

This program offers UI students the opportunity to study at Anglo-American University (AAU) and to choose courses from their full curriculum offered in English. AAU offers an array of art history courses including Survey of Western Art, Prague Art and Architecture, and Monsters and the Supernatural in Japanese Art and Culture. Other courses offered include Introduction to Drawing, Documentary Film Seminar, Pop Culture and Media Theory, and Cross-Media Art Studio.


CEA Florence: SRISA
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Summer

Students participating in this program will take classes at Santa Reparata International School of Art (SRISA). They offer a wide range of coursework in Italian language, art history, and studio arts. Courses include Beginning Jewelry, Drawing I, History of Photography: A Hands-On Approach, and Graphic Design Studio.

Wells College Florence: Lorenzo de Medici
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

Wells College facilitates enrollment for UI students at Lorenzo de Medici. In the School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, students can take courses that focus on art history. Lorenzo de Medici’s School of Creative Arts offers coursework in the following areas: cinema, drawing and mixed media, graphic design, painting, performing arts, photography, sculpture and ceramics, and theater.


CIEE Summer in Paris

CIEE Paris offers three summer sessions, and in each session, there is something for the arts. All courses are taught by faculty from a range of Parisian institutions who are specialists in their respective fields. In-class work is augmented with co-curricular visits to the city’s rich variety of cultural institutions. Courses include Contemporary French Cinema; Paris Collage: History, Culture, Architecture; and 19th-Century French Painting: From Courbet to Dada.


IES Barcelona
Fall, Spring, Academic Year

IES Barcelona offers several art history courses that allow students to explore artists and artistic movements that have influenced art and architecture in Catalonia, Spain, and the wider world. Most of the courses aim to view Barcelona through an artistic lens, utilizing the city’s neighborhoods, churches, parks, and other public spaces as a dynamic, living museum. Sample courses include Great 20th Century Artists of Catalonia and The City as a Place to Live: The Barcelona Experience.

USAC Madrid
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Summer

In addition to required Spanish language coursework, USAC Madrid offers elective courses in art history and visual arts that help students connect with Spanish culture through various art forms. Some of these elective courses are taught in English, while others are taught in Spanish. Examples of courses include Drawing Madrid, Spain as Seen by Photography, and Survey of Art I: European/Western Art.


South Africa

IES Cape Town University of Cape Town
Fall, Spring

Students will enroll in the top-ranked university in South Africa - the University of Cape Town (UCT) - and take a service-learning course, in either health or sociology, with IES. UCT offers a wide variety of courses in art history, dance, drama, and film. Courses include Acting, Dance Performance, World Cinema, Media in South Africa, Approaches to Art History, Critical Studies in Art History and Visual Culture, and Introduction to African Art.



Iowa Regents Semester in Australia: University of Tasmania
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Calendar Year

The University of Tasmania’s (Utas) School of Creative Arts and Media brings together programs in art, cinema, media, music, and theatre. Example courses include Acting for Screen, Stage Management, Japanese Anime and Film, The Golden Age of German Cinema, and Stage Studio Art.

TEAN: University of New South Wales
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Calendar Year

The School of Art and Design at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) is highly ranked. They offer courses in the areas of fine art, design, media arts, and art history and theory. Examples of courses are Painting, Studio in Context, Drawing: Studio Practice, and Creative Exploration. Within their School of Arts and Media, UNSW offers courses such as Screen and Sound Production, Intro to Film Studies, and Screen Production.

New Zealand

TEAN New Zealand: University of Otago
Fall, Spring, Academic Year, Calendar Year

The creative heart of the University of Otago is the School of Performing Arts. They feature coursework in dance, music, performance, performing arts, studio production, and theatre studies. The university also has a robust art history and visual culture program and film and media studies. Examples of courses include Medieval Art, Art in Japan, Understanding Contemporary Media, Voice and Movement, Drama on Stage and Screen, and Theatre: Ancient to Contemporary.