By Guest Blogger Hannah Long
Studying abroad is considered the experience of a lifetime for a reason – you’ll be immersed in a new culture, learn a new language and become totally independent and self-confident. If you’re a fashion lover, studying abroad will also open your eyes to a completely new outlook on style.
If you love reading Vogue between classes, imagine how much you’ll enjoy exploring the boutiques and observing the street style in an exotic foreign city. Certain cities are known as fashion capitals around the world, and these five each offer incredible study opportunities to foreign students, as well as the perfect chance to hone your personal style!
The true fashion capital of the world, Paris is the perfect place for dedicated style mavens to experience the finest haute couture designs. Fashion has been a centerpiece of French culture since the reign of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, and if you study there today you’ll constantly be surrounded by elegant and refined designs. If you’re on a limited student budget, you may not be able to afford much, but you’ll certainly enjoy afternoons strolling the Champs-Elysees and admiring the gorgeous windows of Dior, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Once you tire of window shopping, head to the Marais for superb vintage finds.
Tokyo is known for its eccentric and inventive trends, and intrepid students will find a home with the country’s fashion-forward youth. Between tasting the country’s unique cuisine and practicing your Japanese slang, studying abroad in Japan will be an adventure from the moment your plane lands. The country’s incredible variety of fashion will simply add to this experience. Walk the streets of Tokyo, and you’ll spot a myriad of bold trends inspired by everything from traditional Japanese silk screening to popular current movies and manga.
London is a hub of street fashion and you’ll be inspired by fashionable women everywhere you turn. If you choose to find a study abroad program in London, you’ll spend weekends hunting for trends at vintage shops on Carnaby Street and the original Top Shop. London is also home to three of the top fashion institutes in the world, including the renowned Central Saint Martins, whose alum include Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen. This makes London a great spot to combine studying abroad with design classes or even an internship. After a semester studying in England, you’ll return home looking just as stylish as Kate Middleton.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo is known for its laid-back vibe, and the city’s chic effortless style is the perfect complement. During study breaks at the beach, you’ll be inspired by the natural beauty and carefree style of Brazilian women. The city’s cuisine, art and even fashion is inspired by Africa, Europe and Asia, so be prepared for a fun mix of trends and styles. During your semester in Sao Paulo, you’ll learn more than just math and history – be prepared to rock the bright colors and fun patterns that Sao Paulo fashion is known for. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to participate in Sao Paulo’s Fashion Week – Latin America’s most preeminent opportunity for budding catwalkers!
Barcelona is a fashion-forward city where young designers from around Europe congregate. Spending a semester studying in Barcelona is like getting an all-access pass to Fashion Week – you’ll see a sneak peak of all the next biggest trends. Barcelona offers the perfect mix of high-end couture and an edgy art scene, so you’ll also perfect the casual-chic look. After a long day of studying, a night spent enjoying tapas and dancing at a local club is the perfect time to model your latest fashion finds.
Each of these destinations is a great spot for fashionistas to explore the latest trends and develop their own personal style. Choose which city sparks your own fashion interests and you’ll be well on your way to the perfect study abroad adventure. You may return home with twice as many suitcases as you arrived with, but it’ll be worth it!
Hannah Long is a student at Scripps College and the current Editorial Intern at Go Overseas. She’s looking forward to studying in Paris this fall, and loves baking and playing field hockey in her free time.