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Travel Courses

Sam Loos India

For over 20 years, MassArt faculty members have offered international travel courses across disciplines and to destinations all over the globe. The International Education Center supports both faculty and students in these courses, from conception to the flight home. By participating in a travel course, you'll join a group of globally inspired artists and designers led by MassArt faculty experts on a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.

Travel Courses: OVerview

  • Travel courses are three-credit elective courses open to all majors, including first year students
  • Tuition for the 3 credits is included in full-time, undergraduate tuition
  • Graduate students, part-time students, and others will pay for the tuition by credit, and can inquire about tuition costs by emailing
  • In addition to tuition costs, each course has a program fee that covers the costs of travel, lodging, and all required on-site course-related activities
  • Financial Aid may be applied to the cost of the program fee
  • A limited number of partial, travel course scholarships are available for international travel courses. They are need-based and awarded based on students' FAFSA scores. The scholarship application and complete eligibility requirements can be found in the Travel Course online application
  • If you’re a Pell Grant recipient, check if you are eligible for the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship
  • In addition to the travel component, course meetings are held throughout the semester
  • If you are considering study abroad, it is critical to get a passport immediately. Visit the U.S. Department of State for instructions
  • Visit Studio Abroad for more information and to complete the online application
  • All college-sponsored international travel is dependent on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and the safety of the destination/ability for travel as reviewed by the International Education Center in consultation with relevant internal and external sources. For MassArt's international travel policy, please refer to the MassArt wiki

Spring 2024 Travel Courses

Japanese Ceramics Past and PresenT

Japanese traditional ceramics, with a distinctive use of materials, forms, and philosophy, has contributed to the development of American ceramic sculpture as fine art since the 1950’s. For American ceramicists, the decade of the 1950’s marks the beginning of a new openness to Japanese culture for inspiration and direction in the development of their work. Many American ceramicists are aware and familiar with Japanese traditional ceramics. However, little information is available about current developments in Japanese ceramics. Many Japanese ceramicists have traveled to the U.S. for exhibitions, residencies, and teaching opportunities. Some of these artists have taught or are teaching at colleges and universities in Japan, and their teaching has been influenced by their experience in the U.S. The dialogue and exchanges between Japanese and American artists influenced a new generation of ceramicists from both countries.

While in Japan, students will have the unique opportunity to meet working ceramic artists and learn firsthand about both traditional and contemporary Japanese ceramics. We will arrange for students to visit studios of ceramic artists working in a wide array of traditions and techniques. Lectures by ceramic artists and craft historians will add a theoretical and historical foundation to this experience.  We will visit museums, colleges, artist’s studios, residency sites, ceramic markets in Kyoto, Gifu, Shiga Aichi and Osaka. 

Course Title: Japanese Ceramics Past and Present
Destination: Japan (Kyoto, Gifu, Shiga, Aichi, Osaka)
Travel Dates (tentative): May 19 - June 1, 2024
Faculty: Janna Longacre • & Megumi Naitoh •
Department: FA3D - Ceramics (open to all majors)
Credits: 3-Credits, Studio Elective 
Class Meeting Day/Time: TBD
Course Fee*: $4,300 Scholarships are available for eligible students!

*Course fee includes flights, lodging, and all required on-site course-related activities; while we intend to keep the fee as published, due to ongoing cost increases as a result of the pandemic in Japan, we reserve the right to increase the course fee. Itinerary and travel dates are also tentative and subject to change.



Laos: A Journey into Culture and Craft Through A Social Enterprise

During January 2020, students experienced the mystical country of Laos through an integrative collaboration with the social enterprise, Ma Té Sai, as they travelled with Jennifer Varekamp, Professor of Fashion Design, to some of the northern villages and worked with artisans on collaborative projects. The course explored the culture of Laos, through the people, the food and the varied landscape from the Mekong River to the Buddhist temples. Students participated in a variety of workshops on traditional handwork and explored the unique atmosphere of the UNESCO World Heritage City, Luang Prabang. (Video credit: Carley Byers, MFA Film/Video, 2021)


Crossing the Pond: Exploring Communication Design in London and Leeds

The UK is recognized internationally for cutting edge and innovative communication design—Design, Illustration, Advertising, Motion Graphics and Animation. Through this interdisciplinary course, faculty members Scott Bakal, Illustration, and Elizabeth Resnick, Graphic Design, brought a student group to London in March 2019 where they visited the studios of leading designers, illustrators and animators, as well as important art museums. The next stop was Leeds, a lively, stylish, and historic city located in West Yorkshire, England, crammed with top-quality museums and art galleries and a popular location for businesses in the creative industries, especially graphic design, advertising, film and new media. There, MassArt students worked collaboratively with students from Leeds on design projects, learning across disciplines and across cultures to foster greater understanding of different perspectives, to learn new approaches to the same task, and to inform current and future professional practice.


Greece: History and Making Under the Light of the Acropolis

In the spring of 2018, students were introduced to contemporary and historical Western and non-Western jewelry, objects, art and culture beginning in Boston and culminating in a 2-week trip to Athens, Greece. While in Greece, students participated in exclusive tours and curated visits to historical sites and museums, including access to private collections not open to the general public, such as that of one of the world's leading institutions for jewelry: the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum in Athens. Students visited studios of practicing Greek artists, toured the distinguished Greed Gold Studio, and were the first group of students to be invited to work in the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Factory. While in Athens, students created projects in a variety of media, both concept and technically based, and completed the experience with an on-campus exhibit of their work. (Video credit: Gaby Gonzalez, Film/Video)

Your Identity Abroad

There are many facets of your identity that will impact your study abroad experience. Attitudes toward different groups can vary greatly across cultures, and the way a host country’s majority culture understands itself also differs from region to region. No place in the world is monocultural, and preparing in advance to live and study outside the United States will not only ease the transition, but may impact your choice of study abroad location.

As you consider and prepare for an international experience, use the Your Identity Abroad resource as a guide to examine some of the more personal aspects of study abroad.

Next Steps

Search Study Abroad Options