Visual Art

Study Abroad

"Brown University offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study abroad through a wide variety of culturally immersive academic programs. Through study abroad, Brown students hone skills that help prepare them for an increasingly interconnected world."

Study Abroad Through Brown

Among the summer study abroad programs offered to Brown students through the Office of International Programs is an intensive four week studio art immersion program in Comillas, Spain.

Situated on the Atlantic coast of Spain within striking distance of both Altamira and Bilbao, this stunning location offers accessibility to local culture, historic sites and an intensive art making experience.


Drawing I & II: Introduction and Advanced

Working on site and in the studio with traditional drawing media – charcoal, graphite, ink wash, markers and ballpoint pen – students will study the experimental and innovative potential of drawing. Weekly assignments will challenge students to encounter aspects of drawing that are fundamental to visual thinking. Projects are aimed to develop drawings that stand independently as finished works on paper. Working from direct observation, beginning students can expect individual one-on-one support daily, and experienced students develop means of visual research that build advanced-level projects. Students will be required to keep a journal/sketchbook for drawings, personal notations collected during field trips, as well as documentations of studio developments and on-site observations.

Painting I and II: Color and Pattern/Nature and Culture

This high immersion studio class will investigate painting based on information collected from the surrounding environment and within the town of Comillas. Assignments will relate to the ocean, mountains, animals, and Northern Spanish culture with an emphasis on color.  Assignments will stem from direct observation and selected visual findings within the landscape, field trips, and local architecture. The class will accommodate both beginning and advanced level students through individual and group critiques. All students will be given access to a studio space allowing for a wide range of projects ranging in scale and materials. The minimum requirement of nine highly focused completed paintings is expected within the four-week course. Basic painting and color principals, as well as conceptual critical thinking skills will be introduced. This course will include daily interaction with the professor and individual support throughout the program. 


  • Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, Museo de Bellas Artes
  • Altamira Neocaves Museum, Regina Coeli Museum of Religious Art and tour medieval town of Santillana del Mar
  • Field trip to Picos de Europa beautiful mountains, Fuente dé: cable car and route, Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liebana

Note: Excursions are subject to modification.

Housing and Meals

Students will be assigned to host families in the town of Comillas. Each homestay is matched with student preferences in mind. While Comillas is a small town, the walking distance to the classroom and studio space can range from 20-40 minutes.

Students will have weekly meals with their host families, daily lunches at the studio, and some dinners. Specific information on what meals are covered will be included when final costs are set.

Study Abroad Opportunities at Other Institutions

Additionally, during their junior year, students frequently take a semester or the full year to work at other institutions, either in this country or abroad.

These have included: Columbia University, Cornell University, The School of the Visual Arts, San Francisco Art Institute, Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City, and programs at institutions in Bologna, Copenhagen, Rome, Florence, Paris, London, Berlin, Kyoto (Japan), and Nanking (China), among others.

Courses of study at other schools must first be provisionally approved by a student’s concentration advisor. Upon completion of the course work, a portfolio, all papers, exams or their equivalent, and a transcript must be presented to the concentration advisor and approved in order to obtain credit.

Appropriate forms and more information about Brown's exchange programs may be obtained from the Office of International Programs (OIP). Additional brochures on Visual Art and History of Art programs are available on the Visual Art Department’s Resource Center in the List Art Building.