Have you always been carrying a sketchbook around school or upcycling your neighbor’s trash into a repurposed piece of wall art or furniture? Perhaps you can find your calling in design. Design is the study of bringing concepts to life creatively.

Design is a broad field. Fashion design, industrial design, and graphic design are just some design programs students like you sign up for in college. Interior design and architecture are also great choices.

Studying design shapes your critical thinking and evaluative skills. Not all designs are meant for everybody, so you have to be aware of your target audience’s interests.

Studying design overseas is an excellent means to broaden your horizons and improve your creative skills. We curated below some of the best countries to study design and its different fields overseas. Let us know if your dream study destination made it to the list!

Top Countries to Study Design

1. United Kingdom

  • Reasons: center of esteemed art and design schools, vigorous culture in music and visual arts, home to world-class fashion designers and artists

The United Kingdom is not as flamboyant and extravagant in aesthetic as France is, but the UK prevails to be one of the best countries to study design. Specifically, fashion design, the United Kingdom boasts a broad selection of fashion design programs from esteemed schools and universities all over the region.

Fashion design is among the biggest industries in the world, with major brands rushing to compete with one another through their varying perspectives on design and its impact on the world. Fashion design is often taught with general design classes like drafting and illustration for a more comprehensive grasp of design basics.

The United Kingdom is the dream study destination of many design students. Universities not only offer stellar fashion design programs; degrees in graphic design, product design, and environmental design are also taught.

Thomas Burberry, Alexander McQueen, and Jimmy Choo are just some of the greatest names that started off their fashion design careers in the United Kingdom. Get top-notch design education in universities such as the University of the Arts London, The Glasgow School of Art, and the University of Edinburgh.

2. Sweden

  • Reasons: influences from breathtaking nature and surroundings, highly innovative community, versatile yet affordable degree programs

Swedish education is among the most highly sought after by many companies all over the world. Sweden produces competent and well-rounded graduates with high employability. Design students also thrive in Sweden and its innovative community. Due to this, it is no surprise how Sweden is among the leading countries for students to study design.

Innovation is essential to design. As design, especially industrial design, not only considers the visual appeal of the product, but also its functionality and usability.

Sweden is an innovative country, ranking in the world’s top three most innovative countries. It places significance in the progress and welfare of its constituents. This makes Sweden a suitable study destination for industrial design students.

Not to mention, Sweden is home to the furniture retail brand IKEA. Industrial design students can explore more of the brand’s origins and get inspiration for their design projects.

Industrial design takes into consideration the conceptualization, design, and manufacturing of a functional product. It is just one of many fine art and design programs available in Sweden. Lund University, Jönköping University, and the University of Skövde offer varied and rigorous design programs for students in Sweden.

3. Italy

  • Reasons: historically renowned for the arts, aesthetically pleasing infrastructure, Europe’s center of intellectual activity

Students flock to Italy because of the lower tuition costs than the rest of Europe. Italy also exudes an atmosphere that brings out the artist in you. With majestic sights both from the past and present eras, design students will never run out of inspiration or the drive to pursue art and design in Italy.

Italy is home to historical figures in the arts; from Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael, Italy’s history is intricately dotted with artistic pieces across different periods of civilization. Italy preserves its legacy and contribution to the arts by continuously providing quality education for fine art and design.

Italian universities offer a range of design programs, among which is graphic design. Graphic design is in demand these days, with numerous companies and entrepreneurs seeking the expertise of graphic designers to produce publicity material.

Graphic design is a growing industry as more marketing and advertising campaigns of businesses call for unique and eye-catchy visual material. Many successful graphic designers today are self-taught, but formal education gets design students like you the connections and exposure to the industry ways before your graduation.

Italy is abundant with highly regarded universities. Check out design programs in the Polytechnic University of Milan, The University of Turin, The University of Florence, and the Florence Institute of Design International.

4. Denmark

  • Reasons: high student satisfaction rates, sustainable living and innovations, progressive societal norms and standards

Despite the high living costs, this does not deter international students to pursue their education in Denmark. Denmark’s education system is well-known for it nurtures the students’ initiative and independence to succeed.

Denmark is known to be one of the best countries to study design, teaching students to appreciate the freedom their instructors allow them, as they can explore various styles and mediums to use for their creative projects.

If you are studying design, specifically interior design, Denmark’s beautiful scenery and infrastructure is the perfect inspiration for your portfolio. In the city of Copenhagen, romantic and antique styles of the past meet modern architecture. Danish interior designers also take over the world with their crisp and clean composition, with an emphasis on white space.

Get into a design program in Denmark at a highly reputable university. Check out the design programs offered at the University of Copenhagen, KEA – Copenhagen School of Design and Technology, and Aalborg University.

5. Japan

  • Reasons: creative engineering and design outlook, sustainable and calamity-safe infrastructure, most recommended for architecture design

Finally, Japan is another suitable study destination for anyone interested in studying design and design-related programs. Known for its unique takes on technology, engineering, and design, Japan is brimming with world-class degree programs and an attractive list of job opportunities.

Japanese art and design have taken over the world by storm. From manga, anime, and video games for entertainment, to smart and innovative technological developments and architecture for sturdy and calamity-resistant infrastructure. Japan is often hit by earthquakes, thus most Japanese buildings are constructed to withstand seismic activity.

Not to mention, Japan also takes into consideration mindfulness and a visual aesthetic that emphasizes minimalism. Design students interested in majoring in architecture will find that Japan’s architectural plans are some of the most holistic design plans in the world.

Studying design in Japan promises you a journey full of new information, techniques, and perspectives. Check out some of the country’s most sought-after design programs at the University of Tokyo, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and Kyoto Institute of Technology.


I hope that you found this article on the best countries to study design informative and helpful. If you are interested in knowing more, check out the Design Programs for International Students!