Apply to a Wintersession travel course

In Wintersession 2020, RISD Global will offer 6 creative and culturally immersive art, design, and Liberal Arts courses in 4 diverse locations around Europe, Asia, Oceania, and North America.

Wintersession Travel Courses have limited capacity, as the maximum enrollment per course is 14-16 students. The application and selection process is highly competitive.

Morocco: Crafting the City
Fez, Morocco 2018

Applications are now closed!

Attendance at an infosession or permission of instructor is mandatory to apply. Check course pages for remaining infosession dates. During infosessions, faculty will explain the course details, application process, as well as their selection criteria. Once you have attended either the general Infosession or the course-specific infosession with faculty, or gained permission from the instructor in person or by email, you are invited to apply via the online application portal for one travel course of your choice.

You must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 at the time of registration.

If you are a Freshman student, you must provide approval from the Dean of Experimental & Foundation Studies as part of your applications.

If you are a Brown University student with a 2.5 GPA or above, you are also eligible to cross-enroll, but priority in the application selection process will be given to RISD students.

The scholarship application is embedded within the course application. Admission decisions and scholarship award decisions will be released on October 10, 2019.

Payment in full must be received between October 10 - October 17, 2019.

Step 1: Research
Prior to starting your application, read about each Wintersession Travel Course and attend on-campus infosessions.

**We recommend that all RISD students reach out to RISD Student Financial Services early on in the application process to ensure your account is in good standing. The time frame for travel payment is very short and extensions due to outstanding student account balances will not be possible.**

Step 2: Prepare your materials
Review the required application materials, below, and take your time to thoughtfully prepare your application. Take proactive steps to ensuring your materials are as strong as possible.

We recommend you visit the Center for Arts + Language to review your written materials with a peer tutor. They offer peer tutoring for all kinds of writing at any stage of the process including brainstorming ideas, outlining, drafting, restructuring, and practicing error correction. RISD Careers offers tips and examples for resume writing on their website.

Review the portfolio pieces you plan to submit with your Advisor or another trusted faculty member or friend. Having another set of eyes on your materials can help you see your application better from an outside perspective, strengthening your application as a whole package.

Step 3: Enter the Online Application Portal
The entire application process is completed using an online application portal, linked above. You will upload and submit all required documents there.

Note: when you click on the Online Application Portal link above, you will be directed to the RISD application portal. Please login or create an account and you will be given the option to start or continue an application for Wintersession Travel Course. All RISD students should have an account from when they applied to RISD. If you don’t know your password, click “forgot password” to reset. If you are unsuccessful accessing your account, please contact Brown University students, please create a new account.

Tip: You will continue to revisit this portal often throughout your application process, and beyond your acceptance, so it’s a good idea to bookmark it for future use!

Step 4: Scholarship
If you’re a RISD student, you will notice that the application questions for the Wintersession Travel Course Scholarship Funds are included as a part of your application. If you want to apply for RISD scholarship funds, you must answer these application questions and submit your application by October 3. Award decisions will be released by October 10. Brown University students are not eligible to apply for RISD Travel Scholarship Funds.

You may also apply external (non-RISD) scholarship awards to your Wintersession Travel Course, which qualifies for any scholarship awarded for “study abroad” as well as most scholarships awarded for undergraduate study. Visit the Scholarship page to learn more about recommended external scholarships. Begin your search now, as their deadlines may be fast approaching.

Step 5: Submit
When everything is just how you want it, you’re ready to submit!

Please Note: No travel reservations (such as flights or hotel bookings) should be purchased until you receive an official course confirmation email from RISD. Any cost incurred in such situations is the participant’s sole responsibility.

Statement of purpose (max 500 words). A key component of the application process, this statement should outline the following:

  • Why you are a strong candidate for this Wintersession Travel Course based upon your interest in this topic, cultural context, and specific geographic location
  • How you envision this learning experience will benefit the development of your art and design practice
  • Your ability to succeed within a studio environment, with site-specific resources and in a multidisciplinary context, beyond the reliance on particular equipment and/or materials
  • Explain any relevant past travel/learning experiences that might be connected to this specific travel course.

Portfolio A selection of 10-15 images of your work (JPEG, PDF, video files, or website links are accepted). The pieces you select should reflect your strongest, most recent major and non major-related, academic and/or personal work. Include titles, descriptions, and descriptive text for each portfolio piece in the appropriate spaces provided. Text saved as a part of the image may be difficult to read or see.

Resume A place to showcase relevant work/volunteer/internship opportunities, your skillset, language proficiency, and other interests or areas of expertise.

Unofficial Transcript PDF downloaded from WebAdvisor (RISD) or Banner (Brown).

You may be asked to meet with or participate in an interview with your course faculty. By October 10th the online application portal will announce an update on your application status by email. If you applied for RISD Travel Scholarship Funds, your admission decision letter will include an update on your scholarship application.

If accepted, your full payment will be required between October 10-17, 2019. If your full payment is not received by October 17, 2019, your spot will be offered to the first student on the waitlist.

You may pay with debit/credit card only. Questions regarding payment should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Services at

Registration will officially close on October 25, 2019, and you should receive your final course confirmation, after which you may move forward with your travel reservations and booking.

Confirming Passport Validity
Participation in RISD Global Summer Studies requires a valid passport. Get a jump start on this process by ensuring that your passport expiration date falls at least 6 months after your return from your travel course.

Don’t have a Passport?
US Citizens can visit to apply.

Passport expired or will expire shortly?
Begin the renewal process immediately! US Citizens can visit to renew. International Citizens, contact your local embassy or consulate to renew.

Visa / Resident Permit
You may need an entry visa to travel to your Wintersession Travel Course destination. Check the local embassy/consulate to see if this is required, based upon your nationality (some nationalities are exempt). You are responsible for maintaining your own legal status and applying for your visa (if applicable). Upon request, RISD Global will provide you with a registration letter in support of your visa application. Don’t delay the process of checking your travel documents for validity and applying for your visa. The visa application process can take in excess of 4-8 weeks following your acceptance and your failure to possess valid travel documents may jeopardize your ability to participate in your Wintersession Travel Course.

Application Portal Checklist Items
You will continue to utilize the status page of your online application portal to complete tasks and uploads relevant to your participation in your Wintersession Travel Course, such as important health and safety processes. You are responsible for checking the portal frequently and completing these tasks in a timely manner once accepted to your Wintersession Travel Course.

Pre-departure Meetings
You will meet your fellow Wintersession Travel Course participants at our mandatory pre-departure meetings, where you will learn more about your class, itinerary, assignments, important preparation actions to be taken, travel arrangements, health and safety information, and what to pack! Meeting days, times, and locations will be communicated to you upon your acceptance.


Increasing financial aid is a central pillar of RISD’s equity, inclusion and diversity commitment. With income inequality and student debt at unprecedented heights, we are working to provide greater support and access to students interested in pursuing learning experiences through RISD Global.

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1:1 Advising Session

Have questions? The RISD Global team is available to meet for a 1:1 advising session. We can give you more information about your study options, help you figure out which program makes sense for you, and assist you with the application process.

Schedule an Appointment


No upcoming events for this program at this time.