Dialogue of Civilizations

Dialogue of Civilizations, offered during Summer 1 or Summer 2, is a uniquely engaging program that takes you around the world to focus on critical issues facing students and peers both locally and globally. You’ll spend around 30 days in-country with a faculty leader from Northeastern University, learning about a specific topic or course subject, broadening your horizons, and gaining the experience of a lifetime.

Art + Design Dialogues

Faculty Member: Mira Cantor



Ballyvaughn, Ireland / Dublin, Ireland / Aran Islands, Ireland



ARTE2500 – Art Explorations (Processes)

ARTE2500 – Art Explorations (Research Project)


Explore the scenic Irish countryside while deepening your artistic understanding and practice. In Ireland, you will experience cultural and physical differences in landscape and people which will inspire your imagination and help interpret your experiences in a unique way. This program is ideal for anyone interested in an immersive art experience, including art majors and minors. All students have their own studios, and you will be able to work in any medium. View the unique limestone landscape in the Burren that takes on arctic and tropical features. Though this dialogue you will learn the concept of connecting art to place and also about the Irish culture. Enjoy a special trip to Aran Islands, Galway and Dublin. Students need to be prepared for some Hiking and many weather changes.

Faculty Member: David Tames



Canada and England



ARTE 2500 – Art and Design Abroad: Studio [Alternative Realities Studio]

ARTE 2501 – Art and Design Abroad: History [Alternative Realities Seminar]


Unique insider perspectives on the rapidly evolving medium of immersive storytelling using interactive, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies. Students will learn from a wide range of guest speakers who are experts on the subject and we will attend Sheffield Doc/Fest, a top-five international film festival offering access to the latest documentary and journalistic AR and VR projects and the people who made them.


Access to the current industry perspectives and experts in the field and hands-on-experience with the design process will enhance attractiveness when applying to co-op positions, internships, and work after graduation.


Students will participate in a studio course based in Toronto working in collaboration with local media makers to produce three working prototypes and then travel to England to participate in a seminar course based on attending Sheffield Doc/Fest, a top-five international documentary festival and home of the Alternative Realities Exhibition and Alternative Realities Summit. Here students will have the chance to interact with industry experts and the creators of innovative works who are inventing the medium.


Learn more→

Faculty Member: Luis Brens



Havana, Cuba / Pinar Del Rio, Cuba / Las Terrazas, Cuba



ARTE 2500 – Photo Basic

ARTE 2501 – History-Cuba Cultural History


Engage with Havana, Cuba through the lens! Photographing the island of Cuba is an incredibly rare opportunity – now is your chance! Meet the warm and welcoming people, experience the natural beauty of the island and view the stunning architecture. Take a step into a place that is frozen in the 1950’s and witness countless vintage American cars from the 40’s and 50’s pass you in the street. There will be two trips outside of Havana to “Viñales” known for its tobacco fields, which plays a part in the production of the country’s legendary cigars. This dialogue will also visit “Las Terrazas”, the nature reserve forest. This program will require a lot of walking every day.


Faculty Member: Milda Richardson



Vilnius, Lithuania / Kaunas, Lithuania / Palanga, Lithuania



ARTE 2501 – Modern Art and Design History

ARTE 2501 – Material Culture and Architectural History


Lithuania is a small EU and NATO country often overlooked. The small scale of the venues makes for an intimate setting and easy access to numerous sites which offer experiential, out of the classroom, learning. Due to the political realities in this part of the world, the work of many talented and innovative artists never reached the West during the 19th and 20th centuries or was created underground behind the Iron Curtain. The diaspora of returning artists provides another body of works that are now exhibited in free Lithuania. Engage in making art and also meet with a wide range of residents: artists in their studios, cultural leaders, business men and women, representatives of government, as well as individuals with poignant life stories to share. Participants will enhance their understanding of global diversity through study of a marginalized country. Transfer yourself into a more sophisticated member of the global community. Several field trips (7) offer lessons ranging from woodcarving as examples of non-violent resistance to political oppression, officially sponsored propaganda art, sites commemorating significant historical events such as the Holocaust and Siberian exile. Extensive walking (under 10 miles on a daily basis) on uneven surfaces and hills.


Faculty Member: Jamal Thorne



Tokyo, Japan / Kyoto, Japan



ARTE 2501 – Western Perspectives on Japanese Aesthetics

ARTE 2500 – Cultural Empathy in Design Practices


Hairimasu, which means “to enter into,” will open students to the unique experience of entering a culture as both a humble observer and curious participant. Taking place in Tokyo and Kyoto, this program challenges students to see how a culture that values quality of craft, genuine personal interaction, and empathy for cultural outsiders can enrich their creative/professional practices. Japan is a unique environment where students can study the unique synthesis of eastern philosophy and visual culture while engaging in self reflection relating to cultural otherness. Noteworthy trips and projects include: a day trip to Kamakura, visits to contemporary art museums, walking tour of Kyoto, cultural exchange opportunities with Toyo University students, manga-ka workshop at the International Manga Museum, Ikebana workshops, tea ceremony workshop, calligraphy workshop, Kimono pattern design workshop, trip to Naoshima Island, hike up Inairi Shrine and a visit to Buddhist temples and gardens. You will be fully immersed in the language, in most cases, Japanese people do not speak English (everyone is polite and respectful to foreigners). Walking tours and hikes may take up to 4 hours.


Faculty Member: Mark Sivak



Vancouver, Cananda / Anchorage, United States



ARTG 1255 – Design Process Context and Systems Abroad

ARTG 3465 – Experience Design 1 Abroad


Introducing the only Dialogue of Civilizations program offered in British Columbia! This program explores outdoor experiences such as camping, hiking, nature photography, biking, kayaking, boating, fishing and many others in Vancouver, B.C. Canada and Alaska, USA. Through observation, participation, and research students will gain knowledge of these experiences and their history and the services, products, and technologies that enhance and define them. By using a design process student groups will identify an outdoor activity and craft a prototype experience/product/service/technology that can be rigorously tested and critiqued so it can be improved through iteration.


Faculty Member: Dana Mueller, Nathan Felde



Berlin, Germany



ARTE2500 – Documentary Photography

ARTG1250 – Design Process, Context + Systems

ARTE2501 – German Cultural History


Spend the Summer 1 term studying photography or design in Berlin, Germany! 

Berlin has become both the hope and the testing ground of what Europe will be in the next fifty years. Contemporary art scenes and venues have been flourishing and are an integral part of our students’ experience. While this Dialogue will expose students to Berlin’s complex political and social histories—through the practice of photography, design and cultural studies—we encourage them to immerse themselves in today’s Berlin to create a considered visual response to their direct observations and experiences.

Visit the Bauhaus in Dessau, Hamburg harbor, and Potsdam palaces. We have site visits to design studios, museums and galleries and invite practicing artists and professionals to our classroom. Enjoy nightlife and eating experiences only found in Berlin. This dialogue will include a lot of walking, image creation, and hard work in the studio. You will be constantly on the move, but have time for reflection and relaxation.


Learn more→

Faculty Member: Julia Hechtman



Thingeyyri, Iceland



ARTE 2500 Art + Design Abroad: Studio – Time Machine: Site Sensitivity and Iceland

ARTE 2501 Art + Design Abroad: History – Cultural and Art History: Iceland


This is a 5 week studio experience at Nes Artist Residency where students begin by collecting footage and images from a week-long road trip around 3/4th of Iceland. After that students will settle in the northwest, in a town called Skagastrond. Students will spend three weeks there and then hit the road again, looking at large-scale artworks and ending up in Reykjavik.

The projects are structured and focused on landscape and it’s influence on time and experience.  Students will participate in a series of exercises, hike on a glacier, go whale watching, visit a geothermically heated nature bath, watch the sun barely dip in the sky at midnight on the summer solstice, watch films, listen to lectures, and discuss readings. There are intense critiques and conversations every day except weekends.

Watch the “Time Machine Iceland” to learn about this program.


Besides taking advantage of the multitude of arts resources in the Boston area, students are encouraged to join faculty in workshops and tours, as well as explore study abroad for University credit.