study abroad

Must-Visit Cities for Film Students Studying Abroad

Traveling is a great way to learn about the world and yourself. If you are pursuing a career in the film or arts and entertainment industries, nothing beats being in one of the world’s great cities to give you a new perspective or help you deepen your understanding of the rich history of the world — and the human stories within it. Traveling to new places gives you the chance to exchange ideas and spot new trends. Luckily, the New York Film Academy offers workshops and study opportunities all over the world.

Florence, Italy

The birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence is both ancient and modern. Whether your tastes run to the classics like Michelangelo or to more modern masters like Ottone Rosai, Florence has it all. If taste is your muse, explore the cafes and bistros. Director Franco Zeffirelli paid homage to his hometown in his 1999 film Tea with Mussolini.

Sydney and the Gold Coast, Australia


From the rugged harbor and the Opera House in Sydney to the surfer’s paradise of the Gold Coast, Australia has something for both your cultivated and wild sides. Australia’s film industry has given the world “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” the Mad Max series, “Babe,” and “Shine.” Errol Flynn, Naomi Watts, Heath Ledger, Hugh Jackman, Peter Weir, and Baz Luhrmann are just a few of the actors and directors who hail from the Land Down Under.

Paris, France


Fashion, food, film, and fine art — Paris has it all. There is so much to do and see in Paris, you’ll want to return again and again. Directors François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard and many of the other people associated with French New Wave cinema called Paris home. So many films have been set in Paris, you’re sure to recognize dozens of landmarks everywhere you go.

Beijing, China


From the spectacular Great Wall and Forbidden City to the more humble hútòng side streets, China’s capital city has something for every sort of traveler. Ancient buildings and modern skyscrapers share space in this sprawling city. China’s film industry has long and rich history and is one of the fastest-growing film industries in the world.

Athens, Greece


Western dramatic traditions started with the ancient Greek playwrights and poets. Hundreds of films from “Zorba the Greek” to “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” have been set in Greece. Spend some time in Athens and visit ancient sites like the Acropolis and the Parthenon or brand new monuments like the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, which houses the National Library and National Opera; wherever you go in Athens, you’ll be surrounded by art and culture.


Berlin, Germany


One of the major centers of the German film industry, filmmakers have been flocking to Berlin nearly 100 years. Berlin’s film, fashion, and art industries have always been edgy and inventive. If you want to be ahead of the pack, start exploring in Berlin. The Berlin International Film Festival is one of the largest film festivals in the world and takes place every February.

Doha, Qatar


Home of the Doha Film Institute and the Al Jazeera Media Network, Doha is also a city that celebrates its status as a “world city” because it is a financial center of the Middle East. Doha is an architecture and engineering fan’s kind of place–many parts of the city of new, planned communities where designers are working to create building materials that can handle the rising temperatures.


Studying filmmaking and acting for film in a country other than your own gives you the opportunity to explore and experience the world in a one-of-a-kind way. Check out all New York FIlm Academy’s study abroad options to find where your NYFA journey can take you!

The Best Foreign Films to Watch Before You Study Abroad

As you prepare for study abroad with NYFA, no doubt there are a lot of items on your to-do list — but we’re here today to remind you of a pre-travel essential that you won’t want to forget. Whether you are preparing for a course from NYFA Florence to NYFA Australia or NYFA Mumbai, watching a film created in your destination country can be an enjoyable way to kickstart your international education experience. Certain well-made films exemplify their quality through their ability to captivate the audience. They draw us in. They make the real world — our own lives — fade away, and we are engulfed by the cinematic universe (the diegesis) of the film. Some of the most enjoyable movies take us to a new, entirely foreign place and make every detail of its people, rituals, landscape, and culture magical.

One of the best ways to get excited before studying abroad and prepared for your venture into a very different world is to watch films that are based on the places you may study or visit. Listed below are some of the most enchanting foreign films from across the globe.

“Amélie” (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)

If you’re planning to study in France at NYFA Paris, this incredibly famous flick must not be missed. It follows Amélie, a quirky, imaginative romantic, who decides that her purpose in life is to help other people. The film traipses all over Paris, painting the city with wonder and mystery. It also nods, stylistically, to the films of the French New Wave, which, if you have time, are another essential as you prepare for your international education in film (see: “The 400 Blows” and “A Woman is a Woman”).

“Poetry” (Lee Chang-dong, 2010)


If you’re preparing to study in Asia at NYFA Beijing, NYFA Shanghai, NYFA Kyoto, or NYFA Seoul, this film may offer you extra inspiration. In this drama, a woman in her mid-60s signs up for a local poetry writing class. As she begins to fall in love with poetry, she discovers that she has Alzheimer’s disease. The reflective, emotionally electric film includes beautiful landscape shots of South Korean suburbs.

“Neighbouring Sounds” (Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2012)

Ideal for students preparing to venture to NYFA Rio de Janeiro, this film, shot in the Brazilian city of Recife, follows a variety of characters around the neighborhood. Some residents are bourgeois, living in buildings with high security or gated communities. Others have little money, and they show their distaste for the wealth disparity by performing small acts of rebellion. The film is acclaimed for its artful uses of sound and cinemascope.

“Ali: Fear Eats the Soul” (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974)

Gearing up for a study abroad adventure at NYFA Berlin? Check out this film first. In this West German film, Emmi, a 60-year-old German hausfrau, and Ali, a younger Moroccan Gastarbeiter, fall in love, despite ideological backlash from family, society, and eventually, even each other. With beautifully crafted indoor and outdoor shots — particularly in the famous scene where Ali and Emmi sit in a park amidst a sea of yellow chairs — this film weaves together cultural contradictions in order to portray a deeper and more meaningful tale of forbidden love.

Studying filmmaking or acting for film with NYFA is an exceptionally rich and enlightening way for students of all backgrounds to expand their knowledge and gain a new perspective on the world. Interested in learning about all our NYFA international locations? Contact us, and begin your own study abroad adventure.

Not Just the City of Lights: What you Can Learn About Film in Paris


There’s nothing wrong with studying film all your life in America. After all, cities like Hollywood and New York boast some of the best film schools in the world. But if you’re looking to study abroad and see the world through a different kind of lens, here’s why we recommend NYFA’s Paris location in the City of Lights:

Discover A New Place


There’s something exciting about visiting the set of your favorite film. It’s the reason 2013 marked the 500,000th guest to travel all the way to Wellington, New Zealand, to see Hobbiton. Even if a place looks different in reality than in film, it’s interesting seeing how the filmmakers used the place to tell their stories.

Imagine walking through one of the most famous film locations of all time. The city of Paris is a sight to behold as you marvel in its historical beauty, fine art, and rich culture. Only by visiting yourself can you see why it’s more than a popular tourist location — it’s where movies have been shot since the dawn of filmmaking. You’ll have an opportunity to investigate and understand in new ways the choices of filmmakers who pioneered new styles and forms, including French New Wave.

As a filmmaker, you’ll no doubt gain new ideas and inspiration from a city known for its beauty and style.

Find Inspiration From of the Best Films of all Time


One thing you can expect to do as a filmmaking student in Paris is to watch a lot of films. Like a game developer or musician, you should be studying other people’s work to learn different styles and techniques you may want to know and master. The only thing better than watching excellent films is getting out there and putting your own directing skills to practice. At NYFA Paris, you’ll have the opportunity to do just that, through a hands-on education that encourages you to create your own original work.

Some of the best movies ever made were filmed in Paris. These include recent critical successes like Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “Amélie,” winner of multiple BAFTA Awards, César Awards, and Best Film at the European Film Awards. “The 400 Blows,” which is considered the best French film ever made, is a 1959 drama film that was also shot in Paris.

Whether you’re exploring the vibrant streets or shooting your own project, there’s something special about knowing you’re in a city where other filmmakers created their masterpieces.

Explore the Top French Film School


La Fémis, where NYFA Paris courses are held, is one of those schools every aspiring filmmaker should attend at least once in their lifetime. Established in 1943, the Paris-based film and television school and gone on to be ranked as one of the top international film institutions in the world. It was listed as third best by The Hollywood Reporter in 2014 and is part of a world-class federal research university named PSL Research University.

Previous alumni have also proven it’s one of the best places to discover your voice and master the art of filmmaking. Graduates have won everything from the Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion, Cannes Film Festival’s Golden Palm, and Berlin International Film Festival’s Golden Bear. It is currently the most rewarded film school in the world and follows a curriculum that constantly puts students behind the camera.

Where better to learn and grow as a filmmaker than in the city responsible for some of cinema’s greatest evolutions?

Visit Where New Wave Was Born


In Paris, you’ll be where one of the most important movements in cinema’s history took place. To this day, techniques adopted by New Wave filmmakers continue influencing movies long after they were introduced. What started out in one city in the mid-1950s eventually spread throughout the globe.

A lot of the characteristics that defined New Wave cinema may not have emerged anywhere else. This is because France was in an economic crisis after World War II, and thus filmmakers had to approach their projects differently. New Wave films are recognized by their low budgets, on-location shots and sound, anti-authoritarian heroes, improvised dialogue, and unique Mise-en-shots and editing.

While studying in Paris, you’ll learn about the French New Wave from professors who grew up watching and idolizing these fantastic films.

Interested in studying filmmaking in Paris with NYFA? Learn more here.

Lights, Camera, Travel: The Importance of International Education for the Visual Arts

Through social media and emerging technologies it’s become so easy to connect with friends from all over the world, offering the illusion that the world is small. When you travel, you realize that the world is actually quite vast and there is so much to explore. And like many other artistic disciplines, the visual arts are heavily influenced by environment and geography. But what’s included in the visual arts?

Visual arts encompass many fields, influence, and inspirations, and international education can feed a person’s work for years to come. In our own visual arts programs like cinematography, photography, illustration, and graphic design, studying in an international community or location will enrich your studies as you experience local architectural, environmental, and industrial arts, as well as the folk arts and culture — ceramics, jewelry, woodwork and paper (book arts anyone?).

So how can international travel play a role in your visual artistry? We’ve got some ideas listed below. International education:

1. Provides perspective.


Whether traveling domestically or internationally, travel forces us out of our comfort zones. And for visual artists, the world provides a diversity of landscapes from which we can be inspired. From the rolling hills in a California countryside, to a sprawling Brazilian metropolis, the world is a canvas. From it, we can draw inspiration and in turn contribute by making our own mark. Whether sculpting or painting, or even designing urban spaces, exposure to different countries and cultures — both the good and the uncomfortable of it — forces us to increase our knowledge and open up our perspective.

2. Builds courage.


Being thrown into unknown situations and learning how to come out on the other side takes courage! Not only have you survived, but you’ve become a little more independent, self-reliant, and perhaps more importantly, self-reflective. It takes courage to step into the unknown and even more to survive. This newfound courage can easily spill over into other areas of your life, where suddenly, playing around with that new idea — a new brush stroke, an additional sketch — doesn’t seem so scary. You’ll find that it becomes easier to stretch yourself, to dare yourself to take those experimental leaps that it seems none of the other artists are doing, and yet you are inspired and driven to do it. International education helps to build your courage to dig deeper into your authentic self.

3. Enhances Creativity


The more time spent immersed in foreign experiences, the more flexibility and depth you are able to bring to your art. But the key here is immersion. While you may not necessarily experience cultural immersion on a trip to a Cancun resort, going there and spending time with local schoolteachers may do the trick of offering you an authentic perspective of life in a different place and culture. Traveling exposes you to different experiences while forcing you to problem-solve in a foreign environment, and at times in a foreign language, while you build alliances with people who may be very different from you. Traveling teaches you how to develop creative solutions. Add this to your education, and you are learning on a whole other level. Creative problem solving is a skill built out of necessity, that has the potential to beautifully elevate your artistic palette as well as your understanding of the world around you.

4. Exposure to the interconnectedness of art.


There are connections everywhere, and the more you travel, the more you realize that the world is a patchwork of seemingly very different people who fundamentally want a lot of the same things. International education encourages the discovery of interconnectedness — in art, in knowledge, in people. And visually speaking, seeing some of the bastions of life translated in another culture expands your definition of them. Church might have a universal definition, but architecturally it is expressed a myriad of ways from Spain to Senegal. In Japan, animation has exploded with new forms being developed regularly that can be borrowed from and built upon. Like Monet and his seascapes, the relationship between artist and his or her environment can provide a fascinating artistic oeuvre.

How has international education, studying abroad, or studying in an international community helped you develop your visual art?

Filmmaking Lessons You Only Learn When You Study Abroad

Studying abroad opens your mind to new ideas and your eyes to new perspectives. For filmmakers, it is especially useful to look at the world as if you are seeing it for the first time, and to be able to translate that freshness to your audience. Now, more often than ever before, that audience is an international one. Here are a few lessons that can only be learned by stepping out of your comfort — and time — zone.

Seeing the world through a new lens.


Travel, if it is done well, can be both disorienting and inspirational — setting you up for a great learning experience! Studying filmmaking in another country exposes you to a new culture, shaking you out of your biases and helping you to see new stories in the world around you.

The Hollywood way is not the only way.


Although it is sometimes difficult to see past the Hollywood giants, filmmakers from around the world have made their marks on American cinema. Consider the work of Akira Kurosawa (Japan), Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog (Germany), Peter Jackson (New Zealand), and Guillermo del Toro (Mexico), to name just a few. Studying in the countries of your favorite directors can offer insight into the histories and landscapes that influenced them, and can also help you gain an understanding of their international appeal. Not to mention, that you might discover new inspirations and influences of your own.

Making your way in a global market.


Globalization has forced the film industry to reinvent itself, according to The Hollywood Reporter. As international box office sales continue to increase, having an understanding of foreign markets will be vital for filmmakers. According to Wikipedia, China has become the biggest market after the United States and Canada in terms of box office dollars, while India actually sells the most tickets worldwide (at a lower cost). India is also considered the largest film industry in the world, followed by Nigeria and the United States. Breaking away from your hometown tendencies to live and work in a culture whose tastes differ from your own can help you create films that are compelling to global audiences.

Having friends in far-away places.


More than ever, making blockbusters involves an international group effort. A glorious example of this is the magical 10-year collaboration between Americans and Brits on the Harry Potter films. Studying abroad is a great way to learn to collaborate with people from around the world, and make connections that may serve you well in the future.

NYFA offers study abroad opportunities and filmmaking workshops in cities from Berlin to Mumbai. Check out our international campuses and study abroad programs, and prepare to take off!


Have you studied in a country other than your own? How did study abroad influence your work as an artist? Tell us about your study abroad experience in the comments below!