How to Choose the Right School

You have already made your first important decision: to earn a degree in art and design. Your next step is to choose the school that’s right for you. It’s a choice that will not only determine your path over the next few years—but will shape your future career.

As you research arts academies, you should compare certain key aspects of the schools you are considering.

To help you in this process, we have selected five important questions to ask yourself.

1 - What makes the school unique?

For NABA, the answer to this question is manifold. For more than 35 years, NABA has been continuously refining its unique methodology, which encompasses a wide variety of learning experiences: from theoretical lectures to hands-on practice, from individual project work to team collaboration, and from self-study to mentorship. Across these modes of study, our outstanding faculty members emphasize free experimentation and interdisciplinary innovation, and they constantly highlight connections between artistic and professional contexts.

Thanks to NABA’s long-standing collaborations with leading Italian and international companies, students have the valuable opportunity to create design responses to actual company briefs. Thus, students gain real-world experience that develops their critical thinking, conceptual problem solving, and practical design skills.

NABA’s location in Milan, - the world’s capital of fashion and design, gives students the chance to participate in international design events and contests. They can also visit design studios, manufacturing facilities, flagship stores, and top galleries and museums.

Our campus is located in the Navigli (canals) district, one of the most loveliest and liveliest areas of Milan. The 17,000 sq m campus boasts an excellent IT infrastructure and features laboratories for computer graphics, video editing, 2D and 3D modelling, sound design, tailoring, printmaking, model-making, painting, and light design.

2 - Does the school have a good reputation?

NABA consistently receives the highest accolades from design opinion leaders and independent authorities. In recent years, it has been featured in Frame Publisher’s Masterclass Frame Guide to the World’s Leading Graduate Schools in Fashion Design and in Frame’s corresponding guide to leading schools in product design. NABA has also been listed in Domus Mmagazine’s Top 100 Schools of Architecture and Design in Europe.

NABA students have won awards in several international contests, including Vogue Italia’s Who’s on Next?, Accessori 2012, Orange vous confie les clés by Orange France, Lipton Ice Tea Limited Edition 2012, Milano Moda Graduate by the Italian National Chamber of Fashion, and a cover design contest hosted by Rolling Stone. Our students have also been finalists in contests hosted by ADCI (Art Directors Club Italiano (ADCI), by Design and Art Direction (D&AD), and by Vogue Talents.

NABA is a member of the prestigious Industrial Design Association (ADI). NABA is recognized by the Italian National Chamber of Fashion, which organizes Milan’s Fashion Weeks.

3 - Does the school help students find internships and jobs? Does it offer ongoing support to alumni?

NABA has more than 35 years of successful partnerships with major global companies, resulting in a proven track record of career placement opportunities for our graduating students. NABA boasts excellent placement rates, with 80% of our alumni working within one year of graduation.

Today, former NABA students are working in top companies and institutions in Italy and abroad, such as: Alcantara, Giorgio Armani, Costume National, Jil Sander, Marni, Miroglio Fashion, Pirelli (PZ ero), The Swatch Group, Trussardi, and Driade.

Through our dedicated Career and Placement Office, NABA helps students and graduates identify and apply for internships and staff positions with prospective employers.

The Career and Placement office has internship agreements with Armando Testa, BMW, Diesel, Giugiaro Architettura, Gucci, Luceplan, Pininfarina, Pirelli, Etro,. Luxottica, Nestléè Italia, and Siemens. The office also gives students valuable advice and assistance in drafting their résumés, writing job search letters, and organizing their professional portfolios.

If you are considering applying to NABA, we have a dedicated team of educational advisors  who will be happy to give you information on program curricula, post-graduation career opportunities, and the companies that collaborate with each program. To meet a representative from NABA, come to one of the several events  we organize during the year on campus, online, and at educational fairs abroad.

4 - Is the school nationally accredited, and are its degrees accredited?

Many people fail to ask this question when researching design schools, but it’s very important. Companies want staff members who have a top-quality education, so they look for new hires with degrees from accredited institutions. They know these institutions are more likely to offer academically rigorous degrees.

For students, earning a degree from an accredited school gives them a better chance of having their credits transferred, should they decide to earn a graduate or doctoral level degree from another reputable university.

Accredited at both the university and program levels by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and, Research (MIUR) since 1981, NABA offers rigorous, internationally recognized degrees for bachelor’s and master’s students.

5 - Do the faculty have industry experience?

All of NABA’s lecturers are professionals in their fields.

They come from leading design and architecture studios, fashion companies, advertising and marketing agencies, and art and culture institutions.

Still more are renowned art curators, critics, published authors, or contributors to influential art and design magazines. And all bring a current, real-world perspective to their lectures and workshops, through which they inspire students to learn, experiment, and grow.

Of course, all faculty members have the educational qualifications required for the courses they teach.