Application for Spring 2019 Now Closed.
RISD Global Exchange is open to all RISD students who wish to spend one semester in their junior or senior year at one of RISD's leading art and design partner institutions around the world. RISD sophomores and juniors are invited to apply the semester before they plan to study away.
The deadline to complete your application for Spring 2019 has now passed.
Before beginning your application, check the list of eligible partner institutions by degree type below:
Or see "Partner Institutions" section below to see schools by region.
To learn more about the program, students are invited to schedule a 1:1 advising session at RISD Global and/or attend an infosession.
No further infosessions are scheduled for this semester. Schedule a 1:1 advising session at RISD Global and/or check back for updates in Spring 2019.
Global Exchange: program snapshot
As a RISD Global Exchange student you will opt to leave the familiar behind and plunge into the unknown for a full semester. This unique opportunity allows you to inhabit the life of an art and design student at one of RISD's international partner institutions, exploring the local perspective, approach to making, and specialty skills and craftsmanship under the guidance of local faculty. Best suited for mature and independent students who seek an immersive cultural experience, Global Exchange gives you the freedom to explore, absorb, and create on your own terms in a cross-cultural context.
On Global Exchange you'll take the equivalent of 12 RISD credits, pre-approved by your department. The rest of your time is yours to fill, visiting museums and galleries, wandering the streets with a sketchbook, exploring your host city's rich historical and contemporary arts scene, and participating in campus events. Many students even take time to intern or volunteer at local studios and arts organizations, which can be coordinated for credit through RISD Careers.
Upon your return, a new evolution of your thought and practice, sparked by your global exchange experience, will fuel your work in the studio and your perspective in crit going into your final semesters at RISD.
When considering going on an exchange program there are a few things to keep in mind:
Check the list of partner institutions by degree type to see where you are eligible for exchange - Architecture + Design Partner Institutions // Fine Arts Partner Institutions - or see "Partner Institutions" section below to see schools by region. Students interested in exchange at US or Canadian institutions, visit the AICAD Mobility page.
Check the language of instruction at your preferred exchange institution. If you don't speak the local language, check the availability of courses taught in English or another language that you speak. Language will ultimately be an important guiding factor as you make your final decision on where to apply. There is no RISD language requirement for participating in exchange but the host institution you are interested in may require one. For successful exchange we recommend you develop at least a base knowledge of the language spoken in the country where you will live.
Check the partner institution's semester dates - Will you miss Wintersession? Will the exchange period include some of your summer months? Make sure you meet with an academic advisor to make sure you are on track to get the credits you need, considering the months you will be away from RISD's campus.
While on exchange, RISD students continue to pay tuition and fees directly to RISD, but the credits students earn are considered transfer credits. RISD students will receive their regular financial aid award while on exchange. Additional need-based scholarship funds may be awarded by RISD Global.
Am I eligible?
Typically students participate in exchange during their 2nd semester of junior year or 1st semester of senior year, but Global Exchange is open to all juniors and seniors.
Undergraduate students in four-year programs may participate during their junior or senior year.
Undergraduate students in five-year programs can participate during their 4th or 5th year.
Transfer students are eligible, as long as they fulfill RISD's residency requirement (minimum of two years of residency before granting a degree).
To apply, you must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, you must demonstrate general qualifications of maturity and motivation, and you must remain in good standing at RISD, in terms of conduct and finances up until, and throughout, your time on the program.
Ready to Apply?
First Step: Research Host Institutions
Begin by researching RISD's partner schools' websites and try to narrow your focus to a few programs of interest.
NOTE: Some partner schools offer courses only taught in the native language of the host country. It is very important to research this first, as language will ultimately be a guiding factor in making your final decision.
Next, meet with your department head/advisor to discuss which programs he/she recommends.
Schedule a 1:1 advising session with RISD Global to discuss the exchange process in general and to answer any questions about your selected partner schools.
Other factors to consider:
Program dates: Will you miss Wintersession or not? Will the exchange period include some of your summer months?
Credits: Will you be on track to get the credits you need? Most of the partner institutions, being smaller technical schools, do not offer a liberal arts curriculum, so expect to acquire mainly studio credits. The credits students earn while on exchange are considered transfer credits.
Tuition + Fees: While on exchange, RISD students continue to pay tuition and fees directly to RISD. RISD students will receive their regular financial aid award while on exchange.
Application Deadlines: You may only apply to a partner school upon receiving nomination from RISD Global. Please verify that the school deadline does not fall before the RISD Global Exchange application deadline. Exchange schools each have their own application forms and processes, most of which are detailed online. Please check their websites for specific instructions.
Second Step: RISD Global Exchange Application
Before applying to a partner school, you must apply for RISD's nomination. RISD Global will nominate two outgoing exchange students from RISD per partner institution each semester. Students should be aware that many of our partner schools are highly competitive and receive interest from more incoming exchange applicants each semester than RISD can nominate. To that end, RISD Global will conduct a lottery for each host institution for which we receive more than 2 applications (to maintain equity). To be eligible for the lottery, you must submit all of the required materials below prior to the application deadline.
The deadline to complete your application for Spring 2019 has now passed.
*Note: when you click on the Global Exchange Application link, you will be directed to the RISD Admissions Slate application portal. Please create an account or login if you already have one, and you will be given the option to start an application for Global Exchange.
Global Exchange Application Materials:
Approval from Department Head and Academic Advisor: Requested and submitted through Reference section in Slate. If your Department Head and Academic Advisor are the same person, both approvals will be sent as one.
Two letters of recommendations completed by RISD faculty you have had within the last year, requested and sent through Reference section in Slate. (To grant approval for Faculty’s recommendations referring to special projects or courses you attended earlier than last year, please reach out to RISD Global).
Statement of Purpose: The statement should be a concise and thoughtful discussion of how the proposed program of study at the host institution would benefit your artistic development and educational/career goals. Your essay should be tailored to your chosen host institution, just like an admissions essay.
Don't hesitate to ask RISD Center for Arts & Language for assistance. The Center is an outstanding resource staffed by talented peer tutors. The benefit of having another set of eyes on your writing cannot be underestimated.
Portfolio: 10–15 images of work in your proposed area of study. You should include your strongest, most recent major-related work. Include descriptions of each image, including the work’s title, medium, and dimensions. We highly recommend that you meet with your academic advisor if you need guidance with selecting images for your portfolio.
Resume/CV: A place to showcase relevant work/volunteer/internship opportunities, your skillset, and other interests or areas of expertise. We advise you to research the standard format for resumes/CVs in the region of the world in which you are applying.
Third Step: RISD Nomination & Host Institution Application
Once your application materials for your internal RISD Global Exchange application have been approved, RISD Global will submit a nomination for your application to your proposed host institution.
Once your RISD nomination has been submitted, please apply through your prospective host institution's exchange website. It is your responsibility to determine what type of application the exchange partner requires and when their external deadline for applications is.
Fourth Step: Acceptance & Confirmation Materials
Once your application to the host institution has been accepted, please inform RISD Global of your acceptance and begin planning for Global Exchange!
You will need to attend pre-departure sessions and submit the following documents to RISD Global before you depart:
Health and Emergency Form
Global Exchange Terms of Agreement Form
Global Exchange Learning Agreement
Passport main photo page copy
Other things to consider:
PASSPORT: Verify that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after return from exchange. You may need to complete renewal paperwork in person or by mail, which takes time! Check the embassy or consulate for specific details. A valid passport is required in order to begin the process of obtaining a visa.
VISAS: A visa is an official stamp issued by a foreign government granting permission to enter, study, or live in that particular country. It is important to begin the process of obtaining a visa as soon as you have confirmed your participation in off campus global exchange as it may take 4-8 weeks to obtain all of the proper documentation for a student visa. Costs of visas vary from country to country, so please check with your host institution or the embassy/consulate for specific details. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to secure the correct visa in time for your program start date. Most host institutions will assist you with this
ACADEMICS: You will be able to take a wide variety of courses while abroad and should try to take courses within your major that are not offered at RISD. All liberal arts courses will need pre-approval from the Dean of Liberal Arts.
The Global Exchange semester program’s costs include:
Standard RISD tuition: one-half college tuition and one-half student activity fee
GeoBlue Medical Insurance: $17.15/week
Other out-of-pocket expenses:
Flight to/from host country
Housing + Meals
Visa processing fee
Spending money and local travel/transportation
Scholarships and Grants
Check the RISD Scholarships page for more information on need-based scholarships offered by RISD Global. Scholarship requires an additional application. Funds are awarded to selected scholarship applicants once accepted by their host institution.
Also consider the following external travel scholarships:
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program provides need-based scholarships of up to $5000 for students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad. Must be a US citizen and Pell Grant recipient to apply.
Fund for Education Abroad awards scholarships of up to $5,000 for students who plan to study abroad during the fall or spring semester. FEA gives preference to students with demonstrated financial need, and strongly encourages students to apply who represent a group that is traditionally underrepresented in education abroad.
Jerome Foundation - Travel and Study Grant Program supports emerging artists who create new work in dance, film/video/digital production, and literature.
Rotary International Scholarships given by individual Rotary clubs . Contact your local club for application information and eligibility requirements.
Freeman-Asia Award provides need-based funding to assist students studying in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and several other Asian countries with study abroad related expenses.
United States - Japan Bridging Foundation awards scholarships to US undergraduate students to study for one semester or academic year in Japan.
Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program provides fully funded intensive summer language institutes overseas in fourteen critical languages.
The Boren Award for International Study is an initiative of the National Security Education Program that provides funding for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad.
RISD partners with over 40 leading art and design institutions around the world for both outgoing and incoming exchange. Exchange agreements are determined for each college/university by department, to best suit the shared academic requirements and curriculum objectives of both RISD and the host institution.
Please click below to explore exchange offerings for your devision/department:
Or explore exchange offerings by region:
Beijing: The Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA)
(Eligible RISD Departments: APPAR, ARCH, FAV, ID, J&M, PAINT, PHOTO, PRINT, SCULPT)
Ahmedabad: National Institute of Design
(Eligible RISD Departments: FAV, FURN, GLASS, GRAPH, ID)
Kyoto: Kyoto Seika University
(Eligible RISD Departments: ARCH, FAV, ILLUS, PAINT, PRINT, TEXT)
Tokyo: Tama Art University
(Eligible RISD Departments: FAV, GRAPH, ILLUS)
Seoul: Ewha Womans University
(Eligible RISD Departments: APPAR, CER, GRAPH, ID, PAINT, SCULPT, TEXT)
Australia and Oceana
(Eligible RISD Departments: CER, FAV, FURN, GLASS, J&M, PAINT, PHOTO, SCULPT, TEXT)
(Eligible RISD Departments: ARCH, GRAPH, INTAR, PHOTO, TEXT)
(Eligible RISD Departments: CER, FAV, GLASS, J&M, PAINT, PRINT, SCULPT)
Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington
(Eligible RISD Departments: ARCH, ID, INTAR)
(Eligible RISD Departments: APPAR, ARCH, CER, FAV, FURN, GLASS, GRAPH, ILLUS, ID, J&M, PAINT, PHOTO, SCULPT, TEXT)
Copenhagen: Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KADK)
(Eligible RISD Departments: ARCH, FAV, FURN, GRAPH, INTAR, PAINT, SCULPT)
(Eligible RISD Departments: TEXT - fall semester only)
Tallinn: Estonian Academy of the Arts
(Eligible RISD Departments: APPAR, ARCH, CER, GLASS, GRAPH, ID, INTAR, J&M, PAINT, PHOTO, SCULPT, TEXT)
Helsinki: Aalto University
(Eligible RISD Departments: APPAR, ARCH, CER, FAV, FURN, GLASS, GRAPH, ILLUS, ID, PHOTO, TEXT / *Recommended for seniors only)
(Eligible RISD Departments: ID, TEXT)
Paris: Beaux-Arts de Paris (ENSBA)
(Eligible RISD Departments: PAINT, SCULPT)
Sevres: Strate School of Design
(Eligible RISD Departments: ID)
(Eligible RISD Departments: ARCH, GRAPH, ID)
(Eligible RISD Departments: FAV, FURN, GRAPH, ID)
(Eligible RISD Departments: ARCH)
(Eligible RISD Departments: ARCH)
(Eligible RISD Departments: ARCH, INTAR)
(Eligible RISD Departments: APPAR, CER, GLASS,ID, J&M, PAINT, PRINT, SCULPT, TEXT)
Milan: Politecnico di Milano
(Eligible RISD Departments: APPAR, FURN, ID)
Eindhoven: Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE)
(Eligible RISD Departments: ID, FURN *both fall semester only)
The Hague: Royal Academy of Art, the Hague
(Eligible RISD Departments: FAV, FURN, GRAPH, ID, INTAR, PHOTO, TEXT)
Utrecht: Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU)
(Eligible RISD Departments: APPAR *spring semester only; ARCH *spring semester only; FAV *focus: IMT fall semester only/ AV spring semester only; ILLUS *fall semester only; GD *fall semester only; PHOTO *spring semester only; SCULPT)
Edinburgh: Edinburgh College of Art
(Eligible RISD Departments: FAV, ILLUS, ID, PAINT, PHOTO, SCULPT, TEXT)
Glasgow: Glasgow School of Art (GSA)
(Eligible RISD Departments: GRAPH, ID, J&M, PAINT, PHOTO, PRINT, SCULPT, TEXT *fall semester only)
(Eligible RISD Departments: ARCH, FAV, FURN, GRAPH, ID, PHOTO)
(Eligible RISD Departments: ARCH)
(Eligible RISD Departments: CER, GRAPH, ID, J&M, TEXT)
(Eligible RISD Departments: CER, FURN, GLASS, GRAPH, ILLUS, ID, INTAR, PAINT, SCULPT, TEXT *fall semester only)
(Eligible RISD Departments: GRAPH)
(Eligible RISD Departments: APPAR, ARCH, CER, GRAPH, ID, INTAR, J&M, PAINT, PHOTO, SCULPT)
(Eligible RISD Departments: FAV, FURN, GRAPH, ID, PHOTO)
(Eligible RISD Departments: FAV, GRAPH, ILLUS, ID, PAINT, PHOTO, SCULPT)
Buenos Aires: Universidad Torcuato di Tella (UTDT)
(Eligible RISD Departments: ARCH)
(Eligible RISD Departments: APPAR, ARCH, FAV, GRAPH, ILLUS, ID, PHOTO, TEXT)
Monterrey: La Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM)
(Eligible RISD Departments: APPAR, ARCH, GRAPH, ILLUS, ID, INTAR, PAINT, PHOTO, PRINT, SCULPT)
Jerusalem: Bezalel Academy of Art & Design
(Eligible RISD Departments: APPAR, ARCH, CER, FAV, GRAPH, ID, J&M, PHOTO)
Interested in exchange in the US or Canada? Visit the AICAD Mobility page.
Find Out More!
You're encouraged to schedule a 1:1 advising session with our RISD Global advisor to learn more about RISD Global Exchange, ask questions, and discuss your specific aspirations. You can also learn more by attending one of our lunch or evening info sessions. Dates and times are posted on this website and promoted by RISD Global on campus and on Instagram @risdglobal.