Studying fashion in Germany for a semester or year as a participant in a study abroad program can be the opportunity of a lifetime, giving students the chance to combine an enlightening educational experience with a fun and informative European vacation.
The Federal Republic of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 16 states, with the city of Berlin serving as the nation’s capital. The country encompasses an area of nearly 138,000 square miles (357,021 sq. km) and is home to a population of some 81 million inhabitants, making it the most populous member state in the European Union, the second-most populous nation in Europe (after Russia) and the 16th-heaviest populated country in the world. From an economic and political standpoint, Germany is perhaps the most influential nation on the European continent and an historic leader in many cultural, theoretical and technical fields.
Germany has the world’s fourth-largest economy by nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and fifth-largest by purchasing power parity. The country is an active member of the United Nations, NATO, the G8 and the G20, as well as a founding member of the European Community in 1957, which later became the European Union.
Located in the west-central part of Europe, Germany is well-known for its excellent system of higher education; and its centralized location, close to cities such as Paris and Milan that are integral to the world of fashion, makes the country a perfect locale for any student interested in studying and later pursuing a career in the fields of fashion and fashion design.
Fashion Education in Germany
Although a degree is not always a prerequisite for those wishing to pursue a career in the fast-paced world of fashion, it can help open doors that might otherwise be closed and help students reach their respective goals that much more quickly. Fortunately, students who opt to pursue at least a portion of their fashion education in Germany will find a variety of available programs designed to provide the education and training necessary to land a (often high-paying) job in this competitive field.
To be successful in the field of fashion, individuals must possess an eye for detail, superb communication skills, and plenty of business savvy—skills that are all addressed in Germany’s undergraduate and graduate fashion education programs; programs which lead to Bachelor and Master’s degrees, respectively. Most employers in the fashion industry require students to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of fashion design and business management, and many companies require students to possess at least a Bachelor of Arts degree in fashion or a fashion-related field. As a participant in one of Germany’s fashion education programs, some of the courses students can expect to encounter include:
Art History/History of Fashion
Fundamentals of Fashion Design
A bachelor’s or graduate degree program in fashion design will also typically include courses in advanced clothing or garment construction; advanced pattern making; computer-aided design (CAD); ethnic and/or regional designs; fashion history; fashion theory; the fundamentals of 2-D and 3-D design; the impact of clothing on society and/or the relationship between changes in clothing and changes in society; important concepts in fashion design; fashion show production; hats; marketing; merchandising; menswear; modeling; photography; portfolio design; product evaluation; and styling.
Why Study Abroad in Germany
Germany is home to some of the finest universities in the world and is one of the premier destinations for international students interested in studying fashion and fashion design. Students who opt to study fashion in Germany have the unique opportunity to approach their education from a different perspective, learning skills that will benefit them continuously throughout their educational and professional careers. Studying and living for a time in Germany can also be the cultural experience of a lifetime, and gives students the chance to meet like-minded youth from around the world—people who share their love of fashion and fashion education.
When not too busy with their classroom studies, participants in these types of study abroad programs will have countless opportunities to explore the cities and countryside of Germany, visiting some of the country’s most interesting sites and attractions, and taking part in some of its fun and popular festivals. Below are just some of the examples of the many things to do and see while visiting Germany.
The historic city of Lindau is located near the intersection of the Austrian, German and Swiss borders in the eastern part of Lake Constance (Bodensee). The city is connected with the mainland by bridge and railway and is home to about 3,000 residents. Bursting with medieval and half-timbered buildings, Lindau is one of Germany’s most popular tourist attractions.
The Oktoberfest in Munich is the largest Volksfest
in the world with over 6 million visitors annually. Despite the name, the Oktoberfest actually commences at the end of September and continues into the first weekend of October. An important, even integral part of Bavarian culture, the festival has been held since 1810 and continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Visitors to the Oktoberfest can enjoy a wide variety of traditional fare such as Hendl, Schweinebraten, Würstl, and Knödel, and consume large quantities of some of the tastiest German beer.
Easily the most spectacular Gothic cathedral in Germany, Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) has been Cologne’s most famous landmark for many centuries. Construction of the Cologne Cathedral began in 1248 and after many interruptions due to war and struggling finances it was finally completed some 600 years later. The cathedral is dedicated to the saints Peter and Mary and is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne.
The Holstentor is one of the two remaining city gates of the city of Lübeck in Germany. Built in 1464, the gate now serves as a popular museum, attracting thousands of local and international visitors each year. Because of its two captivating round towers and arched entrance it is often regarded as the best known symbol of Lübeck. Together with the old city center (Altstadt)
of Lübeck it is one of the top tourist attractions in all of Germany.