Study Abroad: Switzerland

Chateau de Chillon, Switzerland

Innovation by Design: A Study Abroad Adventure in Switzerland

Since 2001, this annual month-long program has been graciously hosted in the village of
 Leysin, Switzerland, located in the Pre-Alps, 6000 feet above Lake Geneva. This program is a visual, cultural immersion experience for USU undergraduate and graduate graphic design students.

Historically, Swiss designers have had a huge influence on the graphic design profession and continue to be a major force in the direction of international visual communications and design. Based in the quaint alpine village of Leysin, students travel extensively in Switzerland while conducting experiential research related to the visual arts and commerce, specifically design. One of the great benefits of conducting a European study abroad program in Switzerland is that students can participate in three distinct cultures in one compact geographic area: German, French and Italian. The program lasts approximately 30 days and enrollment averages 40 participants. Students may enroll for up to 12 credit hours of coursework.

The curriculum includes the following courses: Design Thinking for Innovation, Cultivating Right Brain Aptitudes, Art and History of Pilgrimage, Drawing for Visual Thinking and Presentation. Students conduct on-site experiential research at varied cultural, historic and commercial destinations. They tour museums, roman and medieval ruins, and are immersed daily in European visual culture. While there, students have the rare opportunity to snowshoe (in June) the Napoleon trail, over the Alps, and sleep two nights in the medieval St. Bernard Hospice. While there, St. Augustine monks tutor them in the important design thinking principle of “empathy.”

The program is enhanced by the participation of international guest speakers. Of note is the enthusiastic support of three highly acclaimed Swiss poster designers, Ralph Shraivogel, Werner Jeker and Claude Kuhn. All have spent a considerable amount of time on several occasions presenting their work to students and discussing Swiss and international design issues. Students have also been privileged to receive presentations from Michele Sophisti, president of Swatch, SA, Ian Piper, senior media relations officer of the International Committee of the Red Cross and other notable dignitaries.

Students often have the opportunity to participate in international creative Research projects. Past partners have included Swatch AG, Victorinox, International Committee of the Red Cross, International Olympic Musem and Nestlé.

For more information or to apply for 2014, please click here

For information about this year's experience, follow this link 14th Annual USU Summer Art & Design Program in Switzerland


More Information

Office of Study Abroad website

Taggart Student Center - Room 311

Watch the Study Abroad video

Study Abroad Video