Internationalisation has become a vital challenge when constructing a professional future. It is also an opportunity for students to test their capacities for innovation and creation in a different cultural context.
As part of its strategy to harmonize its degree courses at international level (both inside and outside Europe), the Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs facilitates studies at foreign schools and universities through the Erasmus system in Europe but also through inter-institutional partnerships outside Europe.
In addition, the Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs encourages mobility by opening its doors to professional circles in countries outside France.
Study trips abroad: about fifty students from the School are permitted to pursue their fourth year studies in a foreign country, either for one semester or for one full academic year. Students are given this opportunity depending on their good results and projects. They are selected by the International Commission on the basis of merit, and are assessed according to the following criteria: average marks, letter of motivation, portfolio, project, and opinion of the coordinator of the teaching sector concerned.
The School can provide these students with aid to facilitate their stay in a foreign country. The grants from the School may, if necessary, be complemented by aid for mobility from regional councils and also from the Franco-German Office for Youth and the Erasmus Scholarships of the Europe Education and Training Agency. Furthermore, in 2010, the Carla Bruni Sarkozy Foundation offered grants to three scholarship students who were admitted to an art school in New York.
This mobility functions through partnerships formed with foreign institutions that have adopted a principle of reciprocity. The School has established numerous partnerships with comparable institutions abroad, usually universities, in order to foster the mobility of its students and teachers, and to be more receptive to international developments.
Today, the School collaborates with a network consisting of over 65 partner academic institutions all over the world: 26 in Europe and 29 outside Europe.
There are two types of partnerships:
1. Within the framework of the European system, the Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs is a party to the Socrates programme. Thanks to the participation of this European programme, the School is in a position to facilitate student mobility. These partnerships reflect a bilateral commitment to achieve favourable conditions for mobility. Students departing from a European school or university automatically receive a study grant from the Erasmus programme. These subsidies can be complemented by a grant from the School.
2. The Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs also has direct cooperative relations with art and design schools or universities. Most of this cooperation covers establishments outside Europe. Agreements determine the links of this cooperation between the Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs and about twenty foreign universities. In general, the coordinator, in consultation with the pedagogical team of his/her educational sector, proposes the choice of partner schools. This is always based on teaching priorities, which are defined in relation to educational objectives and challenges posed by innovation. Agreements are established on the basis of recognition of the characteristics of the teaching programme and courses proposed by each of the two partner schools.
These partnerships do not guarantee admission to the foreign partner institution. Students must present their artistic file and the documents specific to each institution. The selection of students will therefore be based on the quality of their file.
In both cases, students are exempt from registration costs, the academic fees having been paid to their original establishment (the Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs). Sometimes, particularly in the case of certain American schools, they may have to pay specific expenses linked to the nature of the teaching, depending on the department selected.
Students on a foreign study trip, within the framework of an Erasmus partnership or an agreement outside Europe, are committed to carry out the training programme proposed by the partner school and validated by ENSAD. At the end of the study trip, they must request the partner institution to sign a “study contract” that recapitulates all the courses they have followed.
During these study trips, students obtain either marks or assessments, and in the case of the Erasmus system, credits. They can also sit for examinations or diplomas in the foreign host establishment that then become part of their educational career, like values added to their course. However, these examinations or diplomas acquired in a foreign establishment do not, under any circumstances, replace the examinations and diploma of the School.
Teachers attached to the relevant sector of the School validate the studies pursued abroad. Students are assessed on their return to France. They must present to the Validation Commission of the School the work they carried out during their study trip abroad, as well as the marks and credits obtained (ECTS/European Credit Transfer System) during that period. They must also submit to the Commission a detailed report of their study trip abroad. The date of the Validation Commission is fixed at the beginning of the academic year.
Foreign students at the École national supérieure des Arts Décoratifs:
As part of a reciprocity policy, the School receives approximately the same number of foreign students as the number of its own students admitted to study trips abroad. The study trips of foreign students at the School are defined after examination of their file by the coordinator of the teaching sector selected by the foreign student. Foreign students are accepted to follow one semester or one year of training at the School.
Students received within the framework of the exchange programme benefit from the same rights and obligations as the students of the School. The period of a study trip is certified and a report of the credits obtained (ECTS) is handed over to the foreign students.
A mobility that opens the doors to professional circles abroad:
1. Professional internships abroad: as part of the fourth year of their degree course, students are obliged to carry out a professional internship. The Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs encourages its students to be mobile and undertake professional internships in foreign companies. Consequently, the School may provide financial aid to the best candidacies submitted by its students (average marks, project). All students have the possibility of carrying out their professional internship abroad. About ten students can obtain a grant from the School to achieve this.
The attribution of these grants is submitted to a Commission that meets twice a year, in mid-January and at the end of May of the academic year.
Students are thus permitted during the fourth year of their degree course at the School to undertake in succession a study trip and a compulsory internship in a company abroad.
2. The international action taken by the School also fosters other types of mobility abroad, such as mobility centred on the discovery of a topical aspect in a creative field relating to the specialization of the student through educational trips. The International Commission, on the proposal of each of the ten teaching sectors at the School, examines annually all the projects of educational trips. These trips are defined in consultation with the students and depend on the projects linked to the teaching programme of the sector. They cover all students enrolled in the third year of the course, in other words, 127 students for the period 2009-2010.
3. Mobility based on recent developments and processes of creation with the players and decision-makers of the professional, political, economic and social world.
On the initiative of the teachers, these development projects pave the way, through a multi-disciplinary cultural approach, to a reflection on the new forms and challenges of the creative process. These initiatives, which are implemented in a different cultural environment, usually in emerging countries or those facing difficulties (Mali, Cambodia, India, etc), are linked mainly to areas of training and innovation. The advantage of this type of mobility is that it prepares students from the very beginning of their training at the School to face the major international debates in their field of specialization, as well as a wide diversity of creative trends. These projects take the form of workshops.
Exchanges with foreign schools or universities also make it possible to exchange teachers, set up exhibitions or organize colloquia, workshops and other events. These actions are the object of specific partnerships.
Today, the Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs has built up a significant network of cooperation with foreign educational institutions and professionals in the five continents, with a higher concentration on the North American continent and Europe, but it also remains very open and attentive to Asia and Latin America.
Furthermore, the School is a member of several international associations that constitute important networks for exchanges and collaboration between schools in Europe and the rest of the world:
• ELIA, the European League of Art Institutes
• CUMULUS, the International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media
• ICSID, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design
• ART ACCORD, an art school of the Ministries of Culture and Communication and of Education)
• FDE, France Design Education, an association or French art and design schools belonging to the CUMULUS network.