Rhode Island School of Design
Providence, RI, USA

Exchange at RISD for Visiting Students

Exchange at RISD is for students from our partnered institutions around the world, who wish to study for one semester at RISD in Providence, Rhode Island.

RISD partners with over 40 leading art and design colleges and universities around the world to offer the semester-long Global Exchange Program. Each year, RISD selects and invites a small group of competitive applicants from partner institutions to spend either Fall or Spring semester at RISD within one of our 16 Bachelor (BA) studio departments. On Exchange at RISD you will join our student body of approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students (a third of them from around the world) who are pursuing a creative, studio-based education in one of our architecture, design, fine arts and art education majors. This academic exchange is a taste of RISD's art and design education and studio culture, and an opportunity to engage and explore within our creative community.

COVID-19 Update: Due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic as well as RISD’s campus re-opening plans, all RISD Exchange activities are suspended for Fall 2020. Read more in our announcement here.

Exchange at RISD for Visiting Students

At-a-glance

When
Fall / Spring, 1 semester only

Fall Semester: September-December
Spring Semester: February-May

Who
Open to non-RISD students

Juniors (penultimate year of studies) + Seniors (ultimate year of studies).

Application Deadline
Due to COVID-19, the application for Spring 2021 is under review.
Academic Credits
12-15 RISD credits

(24-30 ECTS equivalent)

Instruction Language
  • English
Exchange at RISD
Providence, RI, USA 2018
Exchange at RISD
Providence, RI, USA 2015

About Exchange at RISD + FAQ

Explore our RISD Exchange Fact Sheet and read answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about exchange below:

Is Exchange at RISD running in Fall 2020?

Due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic as well as RISD’s campus re-opening plans, all RISD Exchange activities are suspended for Fall 2020. Read more in our announcement here.

For more information about RISD’s response to COVID-19, please review the School’s latest COVID-19 updates

Is Exchange at RISD right for me?

At RISD we pride ourselves on our rigorous, studio-based education led by distinctive faculty who are practicing artists and designers in their fields. Our exchange program is small and competitive, though our regular student body is diverse and international. Exchange at RISD is best suited for mature and self-sufficient students who seek an immersive cultural and academically challenging experience.

What courses and credits does Exchange at RISD offer?

Exchange students at RISD must register for 12 RISD academic credits (24 ECTS equivalent) and may not register for more than 15 RISD academic credits (30 ECTS equivalent). The majority of your academic credits will be in the studio department (major) to which you apply. RISD courses open to you as an exchange student will typically be at the bachelor-level (also called undergraduate study). If your schedule allows, you may enroll in RISD Liberal Arts courses or studio electives in other departments, as space is available. Please note: preference for non-major studio courses will be given to full-time RISD degree-seeking students, for whom these courses are required. Learn more about departments at RISD

Who teaches RISD courses?

RISD faculty are accomplished artists, designers, architects, scholars and educators. Beyond the studio and classroom RISD’s faculty are leaders in their respective fields, pursuing a fascinating array of projects and producing an amazing range work. Learn more about RISD Faculty

How/When do I select my courses?

Available courses vary per academic department and registration takes place upon your arrival. You will register for your courses only after meeting with your RISD academic department.

Do I need to be fluent in English?

Yes, English fluency is required. All RISD coursework is delivered in English and there are no English as a Foreign Language classes available at RISD.

When does Exchange at RISD take place?

You can apply for Exchange at RISD for either our Fall or Spring semester. The Fall semester program starts the first week of September (orientation starts last week of August), and concludes the second week of December. The Spring semester program starts the third week of February and concludes the final week of May. Exchange at RISD does not take place during our Wintersession (Jan/Feb) or Summer (Jun-Aug) semesters.

What does the academic calendar look like?

Visit the RISD Registrar’s website to view the full RISD academic calendar.

Can I extend EHP into a second semester?

No, extension of exchange semester is not possible.

How much does an Exchange semester at RISD cost?

You will continue to pay your tuition and fees to your home university. At RISD, you will be responsible for arranging and paying for your own housing, meals, supplies, materials, mandatory student health insurance and other out-of-pocket expenses independently.

How does housing and dining work?

RISD has a thriving Residential Life community with student dormitories which you may apply for and reserve for an additional feel, but only as space is available. On-campus housing is not guaranteed. Many exchange students choose to live within the local community and student apartments are easy to find as there are thousands of college students living throughout Providence.

RISD Residence Life staff members are available to provide students with information on housing options—both on campus and off—and help with resolving any issues that may arise in residences. Please see additional information for on-campus and off-campus housing below:

On-campus meal plans are available for purchase. Learn more about available meal plans and pricing and check out the on-campus dining options on the RISD Dining website.

Are scholarships available?

RISD Global does not offer scholarships for incoming exchange students from partner universities. Try contacting your home institution or local government to see if scholarships are available.

Is Exchange at right for me?

Exchange at RISD is best suited for mature and self-sufficient students who seek an immersive cultural and academically challenging experience. Exchange is available only to students currently enrolled at one of RISD’s Global Exchange partner schools or the AICAD Exchange consortium. You must be a second year university student or above, be fluent in English, and be nominated by your international exchange office to apply.

How do I apply?

If you attend one of RISD’s Global Exchange partner schools, the application process will be completed using RISD's online application portal. Learn more – Apply for Exchange at RISD

If your institution is not listed as one of RISD’s Global Exchange partner schools, but is a part of the AICAD Exchange consortium, you may apply for exchange at RISD through AICAD. Learn more – AICAD Exchange.

Where is RISD located?

RISD is located in Providence – the capital city of Rhode Island, the US’s smallest state. Known as Rhode Island’s “creative capital,” Providence is home to seven colleges as well as waterfront parks, good restaurants, dance and theater companies and amazing architecture. Adding to this unique mix of culture is the city’s convenient proximity to major metropolitan areas – Boston and New York – and the natural beauty of the Atlantic coast. Learn more about Providence, RI.

Do I need a passport?

Yes, unless you are a US citizen attending an AICAD member school in the US, you will require a valid passport that should not expire within 6 months of the return date from your Exchange semester. Additional requirements may apply.

  • U.S. citizens abroad: Check the Department of State website for renewal guidance.
  • Citizens of all other countries: Check your consulate/embassy’s website for renewal guidance. If you are a Permanent Resident you should carry your green card together with your passport.

Do I need a visa?

Yes, unless you are a US citizen attending an AICAD member school in the US; or you are a US citizen or Permanent Resident you will need to apply for a visa in order to attend RISD. Learn more – Office of International Student Services

Do I need health insurance?

Yes, healthcare in the United States is extremely expensive and student health insurance offered by RISD Global’s preferred provider is required. This is supplementary coverage meant to complement, not replace, your standard health insurance coverage. More information will be communicated to accepted students.

How does housing and dining work?

RISD has a thriving Residential Life community with student dormitories which you may apply for and reserve for an additional feel, but only as space is available. On-campus housing is not guaranteed. Many exchange students choose to live within the local community and student apartments are easy to find as there are thousands of college students living throughout Providence.

RISD Residence Life staff members are available to provide students with information on housing options—both on campus and off—and help with resolving any issues that may arise in residences. Please see additional information for on-campus and off-campus housing below:

On-campus meal plans are available for purchase. Learn more about available meal plans and pricing and check out the on-campus dining options on the RISD Dining website.

How do I get around Providence?

  • Buses: With a RISD ID card, students, faculty and staff can ride Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority (RIPTA) buses anywhere in the state for free. Travel to New York, Boston, and throughout the country is also available through a variety of private companies, including Greyhound, Peter Pan, Megabus and other commercial bus lines that depart from downtown Providence.
  • Train: RISD is a short walk from the Providence Amtrak Station, where you can catch a train from Providence to New York City (and beyond) daily and enjoy the city’s world-famous museums, galleries and cultural landmarks in just over 3 hours – or less when if you take Amtrak’s Acela Express. You can take a one-hour ride to scenic Boston, Massachusetts on the MBTA Commuter Rail to enjoy world-class dining, shopping, arts and culture while taking in the city's rich historical character.
  • Ride-sharing: On-demand transportation in Providence and throughout Rhode Island is available through Uber and Lyft.
  • Zipcar: Thanks to our partnership with zipcar, RISD students get a discount and have access to vehicles at dozens of convenient locations on or near campus. Great for day-trips!
  • E-Bikes + Scooters: Use a mobile app for short-term e-bike and e-scooter rentals to zip around the city.

Are there art supplies stores nearby? Is it easy to get what I need?

There are several on-campus and off-campus options for buying your supplies locally in Providence. On-campus options include:

  • risd:store: carries a wide variety of art supplies, as well as digital and office supplies, convenience items, and a large selection of RISD-imprinted clothing and gifts. Also located inside the store is RISD Works a retail collection featuring a rotating selection of work by RISD alumni and faculty.
  • risd:store 3D: stocks a wide variety of materials and supplies used in 3D studios from ceramics to glass, jewelry, sculpture and woodworking. Plywood, hardwood, plexiglass, glass and metal rods can be cut to size for next-day pickup. Knowledgeable and dedicated staff members are always on hand at the risd:store 3D to help source materials and answer questions.

Will my phone work in the US?

It’s essential that you have a working phone with data throughout the duration of your Exchange semester at RISD. Check with your cell provider to ensure you can add an US coverage to your plan or replace your SIM card with a local SIM upon arrival. Learn more – Office of International Student Services: Phones

How do I prepare for handling money in the US?

  1. Tell your bank your destination (Providence, RI) and travel dates.
  2. Get to know your bank’s policies for international transaction and exchange fees (if applicable).
  3. Request a pin for credit/debit ATM withdrawals.
  4. Get to know the exchange rates for US currency.
  5. Always have a backup plan! Work with trusted family or friends to understand how you will access funds if you need them in an emergency.

Learn more – Office of International Student Services: Banks

How can I prepare for my physical/mental health while at RISD?

Healthcare in the United States is extremely expensive so it is wise to do as much preventative care in your home country as possible, prior to arrival. We recommend scheduling a physical checkup with your primary care provider. If you take daily medications, request a refill with enough medication to last the duration of your trip. If you currently see a mental health professional on a regular basis, share your travel plans and brainstorm how you can maintain your mental health away from home. Once you arrive, you’ll have access to RISD’s full suite of medical and mental health services. Learn more – RISD Health and Wellness

How do I submit required documents to RISD Global, once accepted?

You will continue to utilize the status page of your online application portal to complete tasks and uploads relevant to your participation in Exchange, 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.

What other support can I expect at RISD?

RISD has a thriving campus life, supported by a team of Student Services staff. Our incoming exchange students often work with the following offices:

  • The Office of International Student Services (OISS) advocates for international students, advising on a wide variety of experiences related to arriving in, acclimating to, and studying in the US and at RISD in particular.
  • RISD Health and Wellness offers a range of services including confidential and quality health care and counseling/psychological services supporting and promoting good mental health at RISD – right on campus.
  • The Intercultural Student Engagement (ISE) office promotes cultural awareness, dialogue and interaction to foster inclusivity and understanding. RISD ISE provides resources and support for students of color; international students; students identifying within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Polyamorous (LGBTQIAP) spectrum; religious and/or spiritual students; and those dedicated to inclusive community.
  • The Center for Student Involvement (CSI) is an on-campus hub that creates and oversees opportunities for social engagement on campus, such as campus events/activities, leadership development, and service/experiential learning.

Apply for Exchange at RISD

Exchange at RISD is for students from our Global Exchange partnered institutions around the world, who wish to study for one semester at RISD in Providence, Rhode Island.

View details

Explore: Global Exchange and AICAD

Browse past and present programs

Categories

Semesters

Locations

Years

Open to

Faculty

Departments

Division

List
Map
Berlin, Germany

Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Architecture; Graphic Design; Industrial Design
Erfurt, Germany

Fachhochschule Erfurt: University of Applied Sciences

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Architecture
Jerusalem, Israel

Bezalel Academy of Art & Design

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Architecture; Apparel; Ceramics; Glass; Film/Animation/Video; Graphic Design; Industrial Design; Jewelry + Metalsmithing; Photography
Stuttgart, Germany

Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart (HFT)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Architecture; Interior Architecture
Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto Seika University (KSU)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Architecture; Film/Animation/Video; Illustration; Painting; Printmaking; Textiles
Munich, Germany

Technical University of Munich (TUM)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Architecture
Prague, Czech Republic

The Academy of Arts, Architecture & Design (AAAD / UMPRUM)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Paris, France

École Supérieure Nationale des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Painting; Sculpture
Barcelona, Spain

Escola Superior de Disseny i Enginyeria (ELISAVA)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Architecture; Film/Animation/Video; Furniture Design; Graphic Design; Industrial Design; Photography
Cologne, Germany

Köln International School of Design (KISD)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Film/Animation/Video; Furniture Design; Graphic Design; Industrial Design
London, England, UK

Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts, London (UAL)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Textiles
Lausanne, Switzerland

University of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Film/Animation/Video; Furniture Design; Graphic Design; Industrial Design; Photography
Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Apparel; Architecture; Ceramics; Graphic Design; Industrial Design; Interior Architecture; Jewelry + Metalsmithing; Painting; Photography; Sculpture
Dublin, Ireland

National College of Art and Design (NCAD)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Apparel; Ceramics; Glass; Industrial Design; Jewelry + Metalsmithing; Painting; Printmaking; Sculpture; Textiles
Milan, Italy

Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Apparel; Furniture Design; Industrial Design
Sèvres, France

Strate School of Design

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Industrial Design
Zürich, Switzerland

Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Film/Animation/Video; Graphic Design; Illustration; Industrial Design; Painting; Photography; Sculpture
Helsinki, Finland

Aalto University: School of Arts, Design and Architecture (Aalto ARTS)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Apparel; Architecture; Ceramics; Film/Animation/Video; Furniture Design; Glass; Graphic Design; Illustration; Industrial Design; Photography; Textiles
Tokyo, Japan

Tama Art University (Tamabi)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Film/Animation/Video; Graphic Design; Illustration
Eindhoven, Netherlands

Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Industrial Design; Furniture Design
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Film/Animation/Video; Illustration; Industrial Design; Painting; Photography; Sculpture; Textiles
Madrid, Spain

Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (ETSAM/UPM)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Architecture
Seoul, South Korea

Ewha Womans University

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Apparel; Ceramics; Graphic Design; Industrial Design; Painting; Sculpture; Textiles
Paris, France

French National School for Advanced Studies in Design (ENSCi Les Ateliers)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Industrial Design; Textiles
Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Glasgow School of Art (GSA)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Graphic Design; Industrial Design; Jewelry + Metalsmithing; Painting; Photography; Printmaking; Sculpture; Textiles
Basel, Switzerland

Academy of Art and Design (HGK)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Graphic Design
The Hauge, Netherlands

Royal Academy of Art the Hague (KABK)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Film/Animation/Video; Furniture Design; Graphic Design; Industrial Design; Interior Architecture; Photography; Textiles
Copenhagen, Denmark

Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KADK)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Architecture; Film/Animation/Video; Furniture Design; Graphic Design; Interior Architecture; Painting; Sculpture
Beijing, China

Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Apparel; Architecture; Film/Animation/Video; Industrial Design; Jewelry + Metalsmithing; Painting; Photography; Printmaking; Sculpture
Utrecht, Netherlands

HKU University of the Arts Utrecht (HKU)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Apparel; Architecture; Film/Animation/Video; Illustration; Graphic Design; Photography; Sculpture
Stockholm, Sweden

Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Ceramics; Furniture Design; Glass; Graphic Design; Illustration; Industrial Design; Interior Architecture; Painting; Sculpture; Textiles
Gothenburg, Sweden

Gothenburg University, Academy of Design and Crafts (HDK)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Ceramics; Graphic Design; Industrial Design; Jewelry + Metalsmithing; Textiles
Tallinn, Estonia

Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Apparel; Architecture; Ceramics; Glass; Graphic Design; Industrial Design; Interior Architecture; Jewelry + Metalsmithing; Painting; Photography; Sculpture; Textiles
Monterrey, Mexico

La Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Apparel; Architecture; Graphic Design; Illustration; Industrial Design; Interior Architecture; Painting; Photography; Printmaking; Sculpture
Sydney, Australia

Sydney College of Art, University of Sydney (USyd)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Ceramics; Film/Animation/Video; Glass; Jewelry + Metalsmithing; Painting; Printmaking; Sculpture
Santiago, Chile

Universidad UNIACC (University for the Arts, Sciences, and Communication)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Apparel; Architecture; Film/Animation/Video; Graphic Design; Illustration; Industrial Design; Photography; Textiles
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Universidad Torcuato di Tella (UTDT)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Architecture
Melbourne, Australia

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Architecture; Graphic Design; Interior Architecture; Photography; Textiles
Ahmedabad, India

National Institute of Design (NID)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Film/Animation/Video; Furniture Design; Glass; Graphic Design; Industrial Design; Interior Architecture; Textiles
Wellington, New Zealand

Victoria University of Wellington (VUW)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Architecture; Industrial Design; Interior Architecture
Canberra, Australia

Australian National University, School of Art & Design (ANU)

2020
Global Exchange and AICAD
Ceramics; Film/Animation/Video; Furniture Design; Glass; Jewelry + Metalsmithing; Painting; Photography; Sculpture
Rhode Island School of Design
Providence, RI, USA
Rhode Island School of Design
Providence, RI, USA