RISD Global Exchange is open to all RISD students, to spend their juniors or senior semster in one of our partner schools around the worlds.
RISD sophomores and juniors are invited to apply the semester before they plan to study away. 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
- Check the language of instruction at that institution. If you don't speak the local language, check the availability of courses taught in English or another language that you speak. It is very important to research this first, as language will ultimately be the guiding factor to your final decision.There is no RISD language requirement for participating in exchange but the host institution you are interested in may require one and it is a good idea to have 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.
- 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.
The application for Spring 2019 semster is now open!
The deadline to complete your application is Wednesday, October 10th, 2018. The link to the application will be live soon.
To learn more about the program, please schedule a 1:1 advising session with our Global Advisor and/or attend an infosession at RISD Global (Prov Wash, 321 ).
- Undergraduate students in four-year programs may participate during their junior or senior year (typically 2nd semester of junior year or 1st semester of senior year). Undergraduate students in five-year programs can participate during their senior or fifth year.
- Transfer students are eligible, as long as they fulfill the two-year RISD residency requirement.
- Minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.
- Students must demonstrate general qualifications of maturity and motivation, and remain in good standing at RISD, in terms of conduct and finances.
How to Apply
First Step: RESEARCH
Begin by researching the exchange program school websites (listed by country below) and try to narrow your focus to a few programs of interest. Next, meet with your department head/advisor to discuss which programs he or she recommends, and with RISD Global to discuss the exchange process in general. Department heads and RISD Global may also be able to connect you to other RISD students who have made exchanges, or to incoming exchange students on campus.
Some of the courses at the partner schools will be taught in the native language of the host country and some will have a few courses offered in English. It is very important to research this first, as language will ultimately be the guiding factor to your final decision.
Other factors to consider:
Will you miss Wintersession or not? Will the exchange period include some of your summer months?
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.
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.
When researching which partner school you are interested in, 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 details.
Second Step: RISD Global Exchange Application
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 (for equity). To be eligible for the lottery, students must submit all of the required materials below prior to the application deadline.
Global Exchange applications for the Fall 2018 semester are currently closed. The deadline for the Spring 2019 semester will be in early October 2018.
Please complete the Global Exchange Application on Slate (for exchange outside of the US and Canada) or Slideroom AICAD Exchange Application Form (for exchange within the United States and Canada).
*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.
RISD Global 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 faculty recommendations completed by RISD faculty (Requested and submitted through Reference section in Slate.)
Statement of Purpose: The statement should be a concise and thoughtful consideration of your goals and reasons for participating in exchange at your chosen partner institution. Your essay should be directed to that school. Discuss how the proposed program of study at the host institution would benefit your artistic development and educational and career goals. Do not hesitate to ask RISD Center for Art & 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. To make an appointment please visit their website, or just stop by the College Building, room 240.
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. You should verify if the exchange partner has a preference of how you present and submit your portfolio (hard copy, online, memory stick, CD/DVD). We highly recommend that you meet with your academic advisor if you need guidance with selecting images for your portfolio.
Resume/CV: this is a place to showcase your relevant work and school experience, as well as any additional special skills, experiences, or areas of interest - be creative! We advise you to research the standard format for resumes/CVs in the country of the school to which you are applying.
Third Step: 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. It is your responsibility to determine what type of application the exchange partner required and when their external deadline for applications is. Once your nomination has been submitted, please apply through your prospective host institution's exchange website.
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 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
- Flight itinerary
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 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 this process of obtaining a visa as soon as you have confirmed your participation in the off campus global exchange as it may take 4-8 weeks to obtain all the proper documentation for a student visa. A valid passport is required in order to begin the process of obtaining a visa. Costs of visas vary from country to country, so please check the embassy or consulate for specific details. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to secure the correct visa in time for your program start date.
Students 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. Prior to applying to study abroad you should verify with your academic advisor and the head of department that you are eligible to study abroad and complete the necessary courses here at RISD first. Some students like to take a class in the local language and therefore, must be pre-approved by the Dean of Liberal Arts.
While you are abroad for the semester you will be charged for the standard semester tuition and fees. Other finances to take in consideration that you will need to pay out of pocket for include:
- Flight to/from program site
- GeoBlue Travel Insurance (required of all students) $16.65/week on exchange
- Visa processing fee
- Spending money: food, travel, etc.
Scholarships and Grants
Check the RISD Scholarships page for more info on need-based scholarships offered by RISD Global. Also consider the following 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.
- 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 suite 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.
- Ahmedabad: National Institute of Design
- Seoul: Ewha Womans University
Australia and Oceana
- Canberra: School of Art (Australian National University)
- Melbourne: RMIT University (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)
- Sydney: Sydney College of the Arts (University of Sydney)
- Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington
- Copenhagen: Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
- Tallinn: Estonian Academy of the Arts
- Helsinki: Aalto University
- Paris: French National School for Advanced Studies in Design (ENSCI Les Ateliers)
- Paris: Beaux-Arts de Paris (ENSBA)
- Sevres: Strate School of Design
- Berlin: Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK)
- Cologne: Köln International School of Design (KISD)
- Erfurt: Fachhochschule Erfurt (University of Applied Sciences)
- Munich: Technische Universität München (TUM)
- Stuttgart: Hochschule fur Technik, Stuttgart (University of Applied Sciences)
- Milan: Politecnico di Milano
- Eindhoven: Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE)
- The Hague: Royal Academy of Art, the Hague
- Utrecht: Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU)
- Barcelona: Escola Superior de Disseny i Enginyeria (ELISAVA)
- Madrid: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM)
- Gothenburg: HDK - School of Design and Crafts, Gothenburg University
- Stockholm: Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design
- Basel: HGK Basel (Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst)
- Geneva: Haute école d'Art et de design Genève (HEAD)
- Lausanne: Université d'Art et Design de Lausanne (ÉCAL)
- Zurich: Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZhdK)
- Buenos Aires: Universidad Torcuato di Tella
- Monterrey: La Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM)
- Jerusalem: Bezalel Academy of Art & Design