Why this programme

International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies
IBACS student on campus

What does this study entail?

The International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies in Rotterdam offers a unique approach to arts and culture. You will study the world of arts and culture from a sociological and economic view, but you will also be familiarised with theories on media, policy, marketing, and aesthetics.

You will study the dynamic arts and culture sector. In this world, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship are key concepts. These characteristics do not only apply to artists, but they are also increasingly essential for you: the future arts and culture specialist that engages with art and culture behind the scenes.

The contemporary cultural landscape requires creative professionals with analytical skills and in-depth knowledge of cultural policy, arts education, art markets, audiences, heritage, cultural organisations, creative industries, and entrepreneurship in a global perspective. Besides building a theoretical foundation, you will also put your broad knowledge about the arts and culture into practice during the compulsory internship.

Is this the right programme for you?

In the International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies you will learn to answer questions such as: why does one listen to Dua Lipa, while another loves Beethoven? And how come some have both in their playlist? What is the social value of art? And how is it presented to the public? And what do changing government subsidies, or the rise of private museums imply for the ways in which art is made accessible to the public?

If you are driven by an academic curiosity about the arts, creative industries, or economics and if you want to develop original and well-founded ideas about how to produce, sustain and disseminate culture, then the International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies is the programme for you.

International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies by Sunny

5 Reasons to study IBACS at the EUR 

  • You are looking for a programme that focuses on the economy, politics and sociology behind arts and culture;
  • in arts and culture it is important to see the bigger picture, this is why the programme applies an international approach;
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam has close contacts with cultural organisations in Rotterdam and beyond, which makes finding a cool internship to gain experience as a professional in the arts and culture world a whole lot easier;
  • do you have an artistic talent, as well as a hunger for academic knowledge? You can combine IBACS with a programme at the Willem de Kooning Academy or Codarts;
  • did we already tell you how much fun Rotterdam is? Rotterdam is innovative and diverse: the pop-up initiatives are flourishing like never before. The ideal environment for young culture lovers with big plans!

What our students say

Jula Gommeren

Jula Gommeren - Student International Bachelor Arts & Culture Studies

From the second year on, you start specialising. Specialising means that I can start taking more courses in society and cultural heritage. Which I am rather excited about because I aspire to work in the museum field.
Portrait picture of Jula Gommeren
From the second year on, you start specialising. Specialising means that I can start taking more courses in society and cultural heritage. Which I am rather excited about because I aspire to work in the museum field.

I have always had an interest in arts and culture. As a kid, I loved to visit museums with my mother. But I also loved to draw and craft. As I grew up, this interest did not change. While going to high school, I started thinking about working in the cultural field. However, I did not necessarily aspire to be an artist myself.

Consequently, I started to look for studies in line with this train of thought, which is when I ran into International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies. As I read about the study, it seemed to be what I was looking for. So, I visited an open day and signed up to be a ‘student for a day’. these activities ensured me that IBACS was, indeed, what I was looking for.

I am now in my second year of International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam. And I am thrilled that I choose to study IBACS. The first year was extensive and focused on all parts of the cultural field. From the second year on, you start specialising. Specialising means that I can start taking more courses in society and cultural heritage. Which I am rather excited about, because I aspire to work in the museum field.

Portrait picture of Jula Gommeren

Fozhan Khamsehpour

Fozhan Khamsehpour - Student International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies

I knew I loved the creative industries and wanted to be involved, either as a creative myself or behind-the-scenes. I felt that this degree would give me a holistic foundation to work from.
Portrait picture of Fozhan Khamsehpour
I knew I loved the creative industries and wanted to be involved, either as a creative myself or behind-the-scenes. I felt that this degree would give me a holistic foundation to work from.

The International Bachelor of Arts & Culture Studies is a great degree to pursue if you are unsure how to navigate through the creative industry. It offers courses from every angle of the art world - history, economic, sociology, philosophy, and more. This is the main reason why I chose this bachelor. As a creative person, I didn't know which path was the right one for me. I knew I loved the creative industries and wanted to be involved, either as a creative myself or behind-the-scenes. I felt that this degree would give me a holistic foundation to work from.

Over the last two years, I can confidently say that what I love about this program (and Erasmus as a whole) is the degree of independence you are granted as a student. This was a struggle and gives you more room to procrastinate. However, once I overcame that, by creating to-do lists and holding myself accountable, I feel as though the skills of proactivity & organization are something, I will take with me for the rest of my life.

Portrait picture of Fozhan Khamsehpour

Sunny Mkhungo

Sunny Mkhungo - Student International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies

The Bachelor makes use of everyday practical examples and unpacks them thoroughly for us to see the versatile nature, not only of the creative industries but of society as a whole.
Portrait picture Sunny Mkhungo
The Bachelor makes use of everyday practical examples and unpacks them thoroughly for us to see the versatile nature, not only of the creative industries but of society as a whole.

I chose the International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies not only because of my great interest in the creative industries but also because of the broad nature of the bachelor and, its career opportunities.

The cultural and creative industries are important in our everyday life. That’s way this bachelor allows you to study in almost any industry at almost any position. Whether it is in government positions, modern art galleries, creative agencies or the fashion industry, the opportunities are endless. IBACS made me feel secure knowing I’d find the right career path regardless.

I’ve always wanted to be involved in some sort of creative process and the International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies has opened my eyes to the endless opportunities they are. From the 'Sociology of Arts and Culture' to 'Economy of the Art Market' and my personal favourite 'Arts, Culture and Media'.

This bachelor is by far one of the most interesting bachelors to study. It makes use of everyday practical examples and unpacks them thoroughly for us to see the versatile nature, not only of the creative industries but of society as a whole.

Portrait picture Sunny Mkhungo

Eeske Kuipers

Eeske Kuipers - Student International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies

As it is an international course, I learn new perspectives on the world every day. IBACS is an open community where I get to enjoy the experience of studying abroad, while still studying in my home country.”
As it is an international course, I learn new perspectives on the world every day. IBACS is an open community where I get to enjoy the experience of studying abroad, while still studying in my home country.”

When deciding on where to go after high school I looked at which experiences of high school I had enjoyed most. These were my art, art history, and Spanish classes, as well as the trips abroad. Slightly scared to admit it, I knew my future would lie in the art world. Creating, designing, and drawing had always been my passion, so initially I turned to the art academy. I was convinced that studying at a university was not for me. I was very wrong!

Dual Degree in Arts and Science (RASL)

As much as I loved to work with my hands, I was missing more of a challenge in the theoretical aspect. Through researching my options, I learned of the RASL dual degree, where I could combine both the practical and the theoretical aspect of studying art. IBACS turned out to be the perfect solution. As it teaches me about the whole world that exists around the production and the consumption of art. Studying art from the historical, economic and sociological perspective helps me understand the industry and teaches me how to find my own path in it.

An open community

What I enjoy most about IBACS is the great atmosphere between both students, tutors and lecturers. As it is an international course, I learn new perspectives on the world every day. In an open commu­nity where I get to enjoy the experience of studying abroad, while still studying in my home country. Additionally, Rotterdam offers a great amount of cultural activities and I have recognised many of the examples from class within one bike ride through the city.

Julia Baraban

Julia Baraban - Student International Bachelor Arts and Culture

For me, IBACS is freedom, creativity, passion. Here, you never cease to dive into art in all its forms and manifestations. From art throughout the centuries to art in economics, each new course has something to surprise you with, and this is the best part of IBACS.
For me, IBACS is freedom, creativity, passion. Here, you never cease to dive into art in all its forms and manifestations. From art throughout the centuries to art in economics, each new course has something to surprise you with, and this is the best part of IBACS.

My journey to IBACS has been a long one. But it all comes down to this – I have traveled from Canada to the Netherlands for this programme because I knew that it would give me precisely the thing I was searching for – the ability to express myself.

Freedom, creativity, passion
For me, IBACS is freedom, creativity and passion. Here, you never cease to dive into art in all its forms and manifestations. From art throughout the centuries to art in economics, each new course has something to surprise you with, and this is the best part of IBACS – it always keeps you striving for more knowledge.

Pursue your interests
I have welcomed IBACS into my life with an open mind and heart, so I didn’t encounter any struggles with it in my first year. However, the only thing I have to say is – be brave enough to pursue your interests. Arts and Culture programme gives you the means, you only have to use them. Communicate with your fellow students, strike up discussions with professors, choose essay topics that really speak out to you. Remember, you are the only person who decides what your university experience will be like!

Samuel Jakob

Student International bachelor Arts and Culture Studies

I always wanted to study something connected to the arts, but I never felt talented enough to go to arts academy. This bachelor offered me the opportunity to find my way into the arts world through the theoretical and academic route.
Young man with brown hair and white t-shirt
I always wanted to study something connected to the arts, but I never felt talented enough to go to arts academy. This bachelor offered me the opportunity to find my way into the arts world through the theoretical and academic route.

I found the International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies by coincidence. I was about to start a different bachelor here at Erasmus University Rotterdam, but when I read through the IBACS study schedule I was hooked.

I always wanted to study something connected to the arts, but I never felt talented enough to go to arts academy. This bachelor offered me the opportunity to find my way into the arts world through the theoretical and academic route. Finally, I was about to start studying what I’m really interested in and what I believe to be one of the most meaningful and fascinating fields.

Career perspectives

I put aside the purely practical considerations which had earlier led me to study Business Administration. Sometimes it is questioned whether an Arts and Culture bachelor will land you a good job. However, there are many talented, intelligent, and enthusiastic students in my year, who will certainly be valued on the job market.

As a society we are moving away from seeing success solely measured by economic parameters. If you go into the creative fields because that is where your intrinsic motivation and interest lie and you’re in it with your heart, you’ll inevitably be successful. That is not to say that it is not possible to also just earn good salaries in these areas.

Great fundament

Studying IBACS also inspires you to get into practicing art. You can go with the Dual Degree in Arts and Sciences (RASL), but in the era of the internet you can also just teach yourself.
Lastly, I believe this bachelor to be a great fundament. You can go many different routes after obtaining your bachelor. You can become entrepreneurial, jump right into the job market, do a specialising master, or even try your luck as a practicing artist with broad background knowledge of the world of arts and culture.

Young man with brown hair and white t-shirt

Sabine van Ewijk

Student International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies

Working together with people from different backgrounds has taught me valuable skills that I will certainly use in my future career.
Portrait photo of IBACS student
Working together with people from different backgrounds has taught me valuable skills that I will certainly use in my future career.

Why did you decide to study IBACS?

I have always been interested in making art and looking at art, but never thought about studying anything related to it until I found out about IBACS. I knew I wanted to study in Rotterdam, because of thevibrant cultural scene in the city. I first started out as a RASL Dual Degree student, combining my studies at Erasmus with an arts degree at Willem De Kooning Academy. However, during my second year, I realised that I am more interested in cultural management and policy, and that I wanted to devote my time to IBACS entirely.

What do you find most interesting about IBACS?

The most interesting about IBACS to me is the diversity in both the curriculum and the students. What I really enjoy is looking at the cultural and creative industries from different perspectives. Although I chose my focus to be Culture and Economics in my second year, I enjoyed the courses on sociology, media, policy, and philosophy just as much. Working together with people from different backgrounds has taught me valuable skills that I will certainly use in my future career. I think the study programme is a great basis if you would like to pursue a future in the cultural and creative industries.

What kind of struggles did you encounter and how did you dealt with them?

Personally, I don’t think I have had any study-related struggles. The learning environment at Erasmus is very pleasant, and there is always room to ask questions to your lecturers or tutors. Most students are also curious and eager to learn new things, which is very motivating and a guarantee for an amazing time as an IBACS student at Erasmus!

Portrait photo of IBACS student

Avril Hensen

Avril Hensen - Alumna International Bachelor Arts and Culture Studies

IBACS unites people who contribute to the professionalization of the sector as fundraiser, marketer or business manager.
IBACS unites people who contribute to the professionalization of the sector as fundraiser, marketer or business manager.

"After my graduation I started my own business: Montgó Kunstmanagement, for fundraising, organizing, text and advice in the arts and culture sector.

Management talent that can handle changes in the cultural sector, and is able to apply an innovative approach is scarce in the cultural sector. This is exactly why Arts and Culture Studies, where you learn to look at the complete picture of the business of arts, is so important. IBACS unites people who contribute to the professionalization of the sector as fundraiser, marketer or business manager.

My company is doing very well. I work for interesting music venues, festivals and museums and hence contribute to many fun events. I was able to turn my hobby into my job!"

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