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Semester study abroad students at NABA have the opportunity to delve into design fields under the mentorship of leading industry professionals. Students choose 3 to 6 courses within one of the design-based concentrations: Fashion Design; Fashion Styling and Communication; Graphic Design; Interdisciplinary Design; Interior Design; and Product Design. Those with varying academic needs can also select courses across all concentrations for a total of 12 - 18 US credits.
June 15, 2018
Apps accepted after deadline as space permits
Complete online application
Personal statement (300-500 words)
Passport scan (photo page)
Digital photo (passport style)
Italian privacy consent form
August 26, 2018 – December 15, 2018
Academic Year: Freshman (1st year) or above
Cumulative GPA:* 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)
* contact SAI if you don’t meet requirements
First part of the course go on upon the knowledge of Italian accessories universe. In order to gain confidence in accessories basics, students will spend time to visit main accessories brands store, scouting products and taking pictures of windows and people styles.
Second part of the course will dedicated to create the concept from which they will start to design a collection, using professional features.
Lessons will have a theoretical part, where the teacher will explain the main models of shoes and bags and their peculiarities, as well as the materials used in (leathers, furs and fabrics).
Among the topics that will be studied there are components (such as heels, soles, etc.) and the technical construction of the shoe.
The theoretical part will be followed by the practical one in which each student will design different models of shoes and bags after learning the necessary skills, following their subject of inspiration.
At the end, every student will complete their own collection creating the color-materials sheets about every accessory , using some tanneries color charts that the teacher will provide.
1. Introduction to the course; introduction to inspiration, fashion sketches; pattern making, fabrics and prototypes.
2. Research; inspiration mood, colors, shape and sketches of garments.
3. Selection of garment, which will be realized
4. Pattern making, sewing toile
5. Cutting of original fabric
6. (Sewing of prototype)*
*subject to time constraints and participants' skills
Students will be lead through the course by lectures, hand-outs (consisting of relevant information), class assignments, field research, and practical learning by doing. Students are expected and urged to engage in self study and preparation. In conclusion, they will have to present a final project which will connect all of the elements focused on during the semester.
- Intro to course. Buying behavior, image and brand management
- Marketing communications planning; Marketing research; Target marketing
- Campaign Tactics and management; Advertising - Sales Promotion
- Sponsorships and Product Development
- Direct Marketing and e-commerce; Personal selling; Point-of-sale and supportive communications
- Internal Marketing; marketing channels and B2B communication; Ethical Marketing and the Regulatory environment; Global Marketing communications
Through lectures and experiential learning, the student is led to investigate the theme of the human body
discovering its true size and its sensory and phenomenal aspects. It allows questioning the key concepts of language and the fashion phenomenon such as: novelty, taste, talent, identity and homologation. It aims to demonstrate how profound the question of self-representation can be and how complex the relationship is between the lived-in body and the body represented by the fashion world. The module provides students with the basics for the acquisition of an anthropological point of view on fashion, stimulating creativity through knowledge of symbols.
Marketing and social macro trends represent the main basis from where to start a process for a product styling line. From art to social trend: students will learn how to incorporate all information for an innovative application of the trend skills which take in consideration the marketing strategies.
The course is organized around thematic areas:
- Learning how to read an image, looking through layers, is one of the most important skills that a fashion stylist needs to be successful. The research begin from the fundamental overview of art painting, digital illustration, advertising campaign and photography. Cool Hunting, from aesthetic to fashion. Scouting now to forecast the future.
- Analysis of the cool concept and practical exercises on it. Milano ground fashion scene research. The outcome will be a presentation of the identified trends, composed by images, key words and supporting materials such as textiles and objects of different kind.
Styling, style look exercise
- Identification of a current trend and practical exercise
The course is organized around thematic areas:
Storytelling Brand Image
How famous Italian brands create fashion messages trough image styling.
- Italian Brand example, will be selected and analyzed in terms styling image in order to better understand the communication and retail strategies. Key elements such, location, models look, story, make-up and hair, props, will be analyzed and evaluated. The exercise aim to know in deep the Italian Fashion actual System. In order to scout new brands, which represent Italian Modern Heritage. From fashion apparel, to luxury goods, interior design tools and unique goods (food design, cosmetics, perfumes)
Styling and Image Analysis, how to connect on line and off line styling Image
- Observe and analyse the relation of Online and Off line model to advertise a fashion image. Choose an Italian brand and design a Image story with a complete package: online and offline.
Choose, garments, objects, props and location to develop the looks in order to coordinate the display image: catalogue, web page, mobile phone, shop windows, etc.
Students are instilled with a sense of purpose, encouraged to work hard, and helped to develop their ideas and capabilities to the full. Throughout the lessons and practical assignments students will be kept focused toward their goal, which is the final exam.
- Brand Principles
- Brand architecture
- Brand communication strategies
The course will be developed simultaneously on a theoretical and practical basis
- InDesign basic tools
- How to use and manage the text
- How to use and manage the image
- How to use and manage colors
- How to use and manage layouts
- Visualization techniques
- Character Design; Color techniques; Expressive lighting
- Image composition; Storytelling; Drawing languages
The course provides students with key information relating to the history of Italian design and graphic design, seen as part of the general transformation of Italian society during 20th and 21th centuries. The course also focuses on the peculiar role of Milan, the city that epitomizes in Italy the push toward modernity.
1890-1915: Art Nouveau and Jugendstil, Avant-garde Art and Architecture. 1920-1940: the Age of the Machine, Monumentalism vs Modernism. 1945-1975: the new International Style, Pop Culture, Radical Design. 1980-2010: Postmodernism, towards a Global World, Design Culture now.
Design Objectives:The groups will be asked to develop an integrated project, which is going to incorporate issues coming from the three involved disciplines. The design process will move from a deep understanding of what a retail store offers to its customers, and what customers expect from it. An analysis on the relationship between global quality and local characteristics - focusing on both the retailers and the geographical/social/historical context - will provide extremely useful in the project development. Once this phase is over with the students will be asked to start designing a retail experience, which will incorporate: the creation of a visual brand identity the spatial analysis at the human scale and the design of the interior space the representation of the user journey and the interaction modalities.
The three retail sectors are:
Design Process: The three components of the project need to be developed through an integrated process, which requires the groups to really work together as a team, sitting together and discussing the project as a whole, not as the sum of three separate parts, since each single skill/task can be used as an input for the other two. The design activity is divided in 2 parts:
Participants of the Design Studio Course will be working together in an integrated way teams composed of maximum 4 people mixed among their practical /technical skills and profile background to develop initial research and collection of inspirations and to generate 3 different concepts.
Each concept will contain aspects related to the design of the space, together with the services offered by the store, interaction modalities and visual design.
The course offers the fundamental notions to design an exhibition or a temporary installation. Students are
involved in this design process starting from the analysis of the objects shown during the exhibition to the
design of setting, graphics, lighting and any other element useful to build an exhibition. Students are expected
to learn how to manage the process that involves the design of an exhibition. They will be able to start from a
mood-board to present the first idea of the project, then to communicate the development of the project
arriving to devise and communicate a global view of the exhibition (scale model and/or renderings, drawings,
This course is based on the development of projects through a dialogue between the students and the teacher,
during the class. Atelier-like classes are integrated with lectures about specific topics. Students are asked to use
their whole range of design and communicative tools, from drawing to physical modeling to verbal
The course is intended for students with some initial understanding and experience in Interior Design with the intention of further stimulating their knowledge and skills.
After a 45-hour Italian language course students should be able to express themselves in the present and past tense, ask and answer questions about daily life, follow a simple conversation in common situations (in a train, in a cafe, in a shop, etc.), describe people and places.
After a 45-hour Italian language course students should be capable of using the main grammar structures, the future tense, the imperfect tense, reflexive and passive forms. Students should be more accurate in the construction of sentences, able to use direct and indirect object pronouns, relative pronouns, impersonal forms. They are therefore able to conduct a conversation on common topics from everyday life (food, travel, sports, etc.).
Consolidating students' knowledge of the Italian language and improving their communication skills.
Design methodology: style, languages, technologies
Design process and decision making (company / material / technology)
"Understanding through Creating": reflect, interpret and elaborate the project. Aims of the the course are to raise awareness to design and technology process, to criticism which leads to innovation and openness in creativity, to research methodology, and to the application of knowledge from the artisan and technological "know how" through a personal project.
- Meta-design analysis
- Creative Process
- Structure, Materials Production
Courses & Registration
NABA courses run Monday – Friday between 9:00am and 6:00pm. Students complete their course registration during the SAI application process by selecting their primary course choices as well as required alternate courses. Course schedules are confirmed 4 weeks prior to the program start.
|June 15 2018
Applications accepted after deadline as space permits.
|Within 1 week of acceptance
||SAI Deposits Due
$500 Confirmation Deposit (applied toward program fee)
$300 Security Deposit (refundable)
|May 1 2018
||50% of Total Program Fee Due
Students who are accepted and submit SAI deposits after this date will have an amended pay schedule. Either 50% or 100% of Program Fee will be due within 5 business days, based on the deposit payment date.
|June 1 2018
||SAI Scholarship Application Deadline
Students wishing to apply for an SAI scholarship must have all application items submitted by 11:59pm Pacific Time on this date.
|July 1 2018
||Balance of Total Program Fee Due|
|July 1 2018
||SAI Financial Aid Verification Deadline
Students wishing to defer payment until financial aid disbursement must submit the financial aid verification forms to SAI by this date.
|August 1 2018
||SAI Pre-Departure Form Due|
|August 26 2018
||Arrival & Housing Check-in
Students arrive into the Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) or Milan Linate Airport (LIN). SAI airport pickup is provided between 10:00am and 3:00pm, and students are transferred to SAI housing.
|August 27 2018
Mandatory SAI orientation introduces students to their city while covering safety, policies, housing, and culture.
|August 29 – 20 2018
||NABA Academic Orientation
NABA orientation includes academic policies and information, as well as opportunities for students to get to know each other and meet professors.
|September 3 2018
|December 10 – 14 2018
|December 15 2018
||Program End & Housing Check-out
Students must move out of SAI housing by 10:00am to return home or pursue independent travel.
|SAI Program Fees*||USD|
Refundable at the end of the term.
Includes tuition, standard housing and SAI Signature Services (see What’s Included).
|Optional / Additional Fees:|
|Optional Private Room Housing Supplement
Private room in a shared apartment, with a shared bathroom.
|International Mailing Supplement
Students residing outside the U.S. are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.
*prices are subject to change
Note: certain SAI-affiliated US universities require specific payment arrangements. These may require that some fees are paid by the student directly to SAI, and other fees are paid to SAI by the affiliated university on behalf of the student. If you attend an SAI-affiliated university please contact your study abroad office or speak with your SAI Admissions Counselor for details.
|Budget||Low Est.||High Est.|
|Airfare to/from Milan
Visa and Permit to Stay fees.
|Books, Supplies & Course Fees
||$100 / course||$200 / course|
Includes groceries and eating out.
|$600 / month||$1,000 / month|
|Personal Expenses||$250 / month||$350 / month|
|Transportation within Milan area
Public transportation with some taxi rides.
|$100 / month||$250 / month|
Cost varies greatly by student.
|$300 / month||$1,000 / month|
This is an SAI Signature Services Program; it includes our full services!
Pre-departure and Re-entry services
SAI offers activities, at no extra cost, for students to get to know their community, city and country. Following is a sample of the activities included in this program. Please note that actual activities may differ.
SAI welcomes students to Milan with aperitivi at one of the hidden and local trendy spots in the Naviglio district.
Duomo Rooftop and Milan Walking Tour
Students admire the architecture of the spire-laden Duomo up close as they walk among the buttresses and statues and enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the rooftop. Following the tour, the group discovers the fashion district including the Galleria, Montenapoleone and La Scala.
Borromeo Islands Day Trip
Students visit the picturesque setting of the Borromean Islands, a small group of three islands and two islets on Lago Maggiore. The group enjoys a day on the lake discovering the various islands, with a lunchtime stop at the fishing village of Isola dei Pescatori.
Enoteca Ronchi has been the “wine lounge” in Milan since 1865 and is synonymous with fine wine. Students enjoy an evening of wine tasting in this historic setting.
Weekend Excursion to the Apennines
Students enjoy a unique weekend in the heart of the Apennine mountains between Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. The group stays in Garfagnana, at the base of the Apennines, and spends the days exploring the surrounding park area including: Parco Orecchielle, the Fortezza di Verrucole, Castiglione di Garfagnana, Lago Vagli and the architecture of the Ponte Sospesso. The weekend offers the opportunity to see the diverse flora and fauna of Italy and its National Park and get a glimpse of Italian culture outside of the city.
Students take a guided tour of the Fondazione Castiglione, former studio of Designer Achilles Castiglione, considered one of the greatest and most innovative designers of the 20th Century. On top of viewing designs and prototypes, the tour gives an inside look at Castiglione’s design process.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper
The Last Supper, painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the refectory of the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, is considered one of the world’s greatest masterpieces. Students visit the convent and enjoy an explanation of the painting’s influence on Leonardo Da Vinci’s history.
Students visit the Pirelli Hangar Biccoca, a contemporary art space in the Biccoca district of Milan. Formerly a factory that manufactured train carriages, the complex uses its original architecture to showcase art that is connected to the urban and public contexts.
Students celebrate the end of a successful term abroad and say their goodbyes over a delicious Italian meal.
Standard Housing: Student apartment
SAI student apartments are convenient, clean, and well equipped, with shared occupancy bedrooms (upgrade to private bedroom available). Typical residences house 2 – 8 students and contain a combination of private and shared bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and living areas. Furnishings, a washing machine, basic kitchen supplies, bed linens and towels are provided. All apartments are equipped with wireless internet. SAI on-site staff is available to respond to any maintenance needs that may arise.
Passports should be valid for 3 months after planned departure from Italy.
In accordance with Italian law students studying in Italy for 90 days or more are required to obtain a student visa. Those with Italian/EU citizenship are exempted. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for information on student visa requirements.
Students must appear in person at the Italian Consulate to present their student visa application. Our Student Visa Office is available to assist students in getting ready for the appointment; SAI provides student visa consulting for all our students at no cost.
SAI Programs is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.