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A view Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery in London, England.

Program at a Glance

Sotheby's Institute of Art

Country or area United Kingdom - England
City London
Class Level Jr, Sr
Experience Type International
Minimum GPA 3.0
Term Fall sem, Spring sem
Taught In English
Language Prereq no
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About The Program

Turn your passion for art into an exciting career at the Sotheby's Institute of Art in London and gain an inside view of the business behind the art. Train with historians, curators, lawyers, marketers, and faculty while taking classes steps away from the British Museum and National Gallery. You'll have access to pre-sale art viewings at Sotheby’s auction house and talks by art experts. Each experience builds creative and professional skills. Pitch an idea to a panel of art dealers or intern at the mayor's office on a public art installation. Program field trips will take you to a variety of commercial galleries, artists’ studios, art fairs, and museums.

Where you'll study

London is one of the world’s most important and relevant art centers. It’s also home to Sotheby’s Institute of Art, which evolved from a small connoisseurship program into a world leader in art business education and object-based learning. The institute primarily offers PhD and MA programs—attending its newer exchange program for undergrads means you’ll be in close proximity to future players in the international art world. You’ll take classes at the London campus in an 18th-century building in Bedford Square just minutes away from the British Museum and National Gallery. Every day your studies will extend to local and foreign museums, commercial galleries, artist studios, art fairs, and markets as well as to Sotheby’s Auction House. Visits to the institute’s auction house give you privileged access to pre-sale art viewings, lectures by art experts, and art handling lessons.


The study center arranges field trips and activities to introduce the local culture and special features of your host country. There may be other optional excursions, which you can explore after arrival.

Visits to London’s many museums and art exhibits

Spring weekend trip to the Highlands or English countryside

Thanksgiving lunch and a show

Throughout this internship, I assisted with opening receptions of new art exhibitions and communicated with art professionals in London. I improved my IT skills, including database management, and learned transferable skills that can be applied in future jobs. For a college student without any professional experience, this internship was eye-opening and an important stepping stone for my career. It strengthened my professional skills, widened my vision, deepened my understanding of the art industry, and reassured my passion for art.

Xinyi Huang UC Davis Art History United Kingdom - England

I learned about the business of the art world, something I had little clarity on. The lecturers were top academics and leaders in their fields with amazing breadths of experience. This opportunity taught me so much about myself, my passions, my interests, and a clear understanding of what I want in a career and work environment.

Rowen Fields UC Los Angeles Art History United Kingdom - England

My work placement at ArtExplora in London was a valuable experience that allowed me gain insight into an international arts foundation, as well as identify and develop my strengths, transferable skills, and areas to improve upon.

Flora Mehdi UC Santa Barbara Communication and Art United Kingdom - England