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Royal Institute of Art

With just about 230 students, the Royal Institute of Art (Kungl. Konsthögskolan) is one of the smallest university colleges in Sweden. But it’s also one of the most compelling.

Located on the small but extraordinary island of Skeppsholmen in central Stockholm, the institute neighbours Moderna Museet – a cutting-edge collection of contemporary art including pieces by Picasso and Salvador Dali.

The school was founded in 1735 as a school for palace decorators assisting with the construction of the new royal palace, and moved into its current home on Skeppsholmen in 1995. And it has certainly settled in. The island is also home to an architectural and design museum, and an avante-garde independent theater.

Bachelor programmes, masters, and courses for professional artists are all offered at the institute, and master’s students generally receive their own studio space. The workshops are among the finest in Europe, well-equipped and accessible, suitable for those with disabilities as well.

An international focus is a key part of education at the Royal Institute of Art, which has partnerships with multiple exchange organizations, including European-wide Erasmus. Students come from the various Nordic and Baltic countries as well as Japan, Canada, and China.

Although Skeppsholmen is serene and secluded, the Royal Institute of Art is far from solitary. The school works closely with the community, hosting public student shows and participating in festivals on the island. Teachers and students from the school also participate in art projects, camps, and programmes in Tensta and Botkyrka, two developing suburbs of Stockholm.

But perhaps best of all, the school itself is open 24 hours a day, making it a haven for night-owls who wake up inspired while the rest of Stockholm slumbers. In short – the Royal Institute of Art is one of a kind.