Fashion students are now required to study away


Taken at New York City Studio.

Abigail Miller

The requirement for fashion students to study away for a semester creates an opportunity for some, but an obstacle to others.

Currently, the Fashion School has programs in places such as New York City, Paris and Florence.

Anna Mates, the marketing and communications coordinator at Kent State’s New York City Studio, said the decision to make studying away a requirement for students was not something that was thought of overnight.

“The decision took several years of planning before it became a requirement,” Mates said.

The study away requirement stretches from fashion merchandising and design majors to fashion media minors. Students who are minoring in fashion media are required to study at the NYC Studio for one semester.

Senior journalism major Jillian Holness said after completing all of the required courses for the fashion media minor, she had to drop it because of the financial burden of the study away program.

“I spent my time and energy taking the required classes,” Holness said. “The only class I needed to take was the New York City studio. I couldn’t do the New York studio because it was too expensive.”

Set to study away in Florence this summer, sophomore fashion merchandising major Anna DeAngelo said she sees the financial weight of the study away program as its largest issue, but noted that students can still use loans and financial aid.

“I believe the biggest problem when studying away, for people, is how they are going to afford it,” DeAngelo said. “Since it is a Kent State campus [Florence] you can still use your loans, FAFSA, etc.”

With the Fashion School adding several scholarships related to studying away specifically — such as the NYC Studio Director’s Scholarship — it offsets the cost, Mates said.

The school also plans to create more scholarships that further ease the financial pain students face with being required to study away, Mates said.

Despite the program’s expense, DeAngelo can’t wait to study fashion while traveling in Italy.

“I look forward to learning about Italian fashion and culture,” DeAngelo said. “Traveling is something I love to do, and I have always wanted to travel to Italy since that is where my family is from. I never thought I would be able to get the chance to travel there, due to finances, but Kent State offers an amazing program, and I could not pass this opportunity up.”

Abigail Miller is the fashion reporter. Contact her at [email protected].