National Institute of Design (NID)
Ahmedabad, India 2017

Global Partnered Semester Studies

On Global Partnered Semester Studies opportunities, RISD students can immerse themselves as matriculating students overseas at host institutions either in the Fall or Spring. These programs offer new and significant environments to further edify technical training and exposure new inspiration in an international, cross-cultural context.

Direct-enrollment through RISD Global Partnered Semester Studies refers to Fall/Spring semester programs where RISD students can maintain their student status while matriculating into studies at an approved partner institution. The student pays RISD tuition and may pay additional program fees through RISD (dependent upon the host). Students can participate if applications with both RISD Global and the host institution are accepted. In order to be accepted and supported by RISD Global, students must have approval of the academic plan from their departmental leadership.

Make an appointment with the RISD Global Program Advisor to plan ahead!

The RISD Global Partnered Semester Studies Fall 2024 application will close on April 1, 2024 at 11:59 PM. To be considered for the RISD Global Travel Scholarship you must submit your application by March 1, 2024

Partner school application deadlines differ from RISD's. Both application must be submitted by their respective deadlines in order to be considered.

Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE)
Eindhoven, Netherlands 2008
Kyoto Seika University
Kyoto, Japan

Apply for Global Partnered Semester Studies

The entire RISD application process will be completed using an online application portal. Apply the semester before you plan to attend.

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Explore Partnered Institutions

University of Arts London (UAL)

University of the Arts London, is a University comprised of 6 distinct Colleges. Each College has a rich history dating back to the 19th or early 20th century, and each has earned a global reputation for supporting students to produce work of outstanding quality.

DIS (Danish Institute for Study-Abroad)

Studying in Scandinavia, Students will learn how concepts and issues are perceived, lived, and theorized in Europe, and reflect on the cultural norms and values that shape their practice and our overall global society. DIS offers intellectually stimulating courses that challenge learners to examine issues from various perspectives.

Istituto Lorenzo de' Medici (LdM)

Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici (LdM) is one of the most distinctive and well-established study abroad institutions in Italy. At LdM, students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in local culture, as well as formal studies in liberal arts, design, and creative studies, which are taught in English at LdM’s two locations: Florence and Tuscania. LdM aims to foster the development of professional skills and intellectual growth necessary for undertaking creative and intellectual inquiries. This evolution is achieved through the study of the artistic traditions of the masters while embracing a culture of innovation and change. By building an expressive language, students acquire a refined set of tools for personal awareness, expression, and creativity.

John Cabot University (JCU)

JCU offers students the chance to explore Rome as a living laboratory. From Etruscan ruins and the Roman Colosseum to the Christian catacombs and the Vatican, learners will have the chance to study architecture, art, art history, archaeology, history, and religion on location at museums and historic sites.

Apply for Global Partnered Semester Studies

The entire RISD application process will be completed using an online application portal. Apply the semester before you plan to attend.

View details

About Global Partnered Semester Studies + FAQ

Is Global Partnered Semester Studies right for me?

Global Partnered Semester Studies is a great opportunity for you to continue to gain expertise within your discipline, while understanding it from a different - yet specific - cultural context and perspective.

What courses and credits does Global Partnered Semester Studies offer?

You'll enroll in the equivalent of 12-15 RISD credits at your chosen partner school. If your semester abroad period overlaps with Wintersession, you are responsible for covering any required Wintersession credits during your semester abroad.

Every partner school designs their course plans for students a little differently and available courses will vary per partner school. Some will have set courses reserved specifically for visiting students while others may allow you to enroll in any course you choose. Research your options carefully before applying so that you can ensure the credits earned during your semester abroad will work for your academic plan at RISD.

Is there a limit on how many credits I can transfer back to RISD?

RISD students attending RISD Global Partnered Semester Studies are considered enrolled at RISD and credits taken on Global Partnered Semester Studies (typically 12-15) do not count towards the 12 credit transfer limitation for regular transfer of credits from institutions outside RISD. Learn more – RISD Transfer Credit Policy

Who teaches Global Partnered Semester Studies courses?

On Global Partnered Semester Studies you’ll take courses with local faculty members employed at the partner school.

Do I earn RISD credit while on Global Partnered Semester Studies?

While on Global Partnered Semester Studies you’ll maintain your full enrollment at RISD while attending a partner school. Upon your acceptance to the host institution, RISD Global will guide you in completing the mandatory Learning Agreement for credit transfer. Before you leave and upon your arrival you will work with your RISD department to approve the courses you want to take for transfer. All studio courses will need pre-approval from your Department Head and Academic Advisor. All Liberal Arts courses will need pre-approval from the Dean of Liberal Arts. RISD Registrar’s Office can assist you in determining the type of credit offered at your host institution and its equivalency to RISD credits.

Once you return home, your credit will be transferred to your RISD transcript. Your semester studies credits will transfer as pass/fail and will not affect your RISD GPA.

When does Global Partnered Semester Studies take place?

Academic calendars vary, sometimes greatly, in different countries. Check the academic calendar of your preferred partner school prior to applying, so that you fully understand in which months your semester studies will occur.

The semester abroad replaces the corresponding semester at RISD, so if your semester studies starts or ends mid-way through the RISD semester, you are not required to be on-campus at RISD for any part of that semester.

If your semester abroad (Spring or Fall) overlaps with part of, or the entire, Wintersession you should account for any required WS credits in your semester course plan.

How much does an Global Partnered Semester Studies cost?

While on Global Partnered Semester Studies, you will continue to pay tuition to RISD and continue to receive your regular financial aid package (if applicable). You will also be billed a one-time fee for travel health insurance. You will not be charged additional tuition by the partner school, however, some students choose to purchase student housing at the partner school. While on Global Partnered Semester Studies you will cancel your RISD housing/dining plans (if applicable).

In addition, you will be responsible for the following out-of-pocket expenses (this list is estimated to assist you in budgeting for your time off-campus):

  • On or Off-campus Housing + Meals (accommodation/meal plan availability at partner school varies)
  • Flight to/from host country
  • Student Visa + Resident Permit (some nationalities are exempt)
  • Local travel/transportation
  • Supplies/Materials: you may choose to bring your art supplies and materials with you or to purchase them once on Global Partnered Semester Studies. You will find that some materials will be cheaper, and others will be more expensive once in your destination. For packing guidelines on art supplies, visit the Transportation Security Authority (TSA).

Will I receive financial aid when I attend Global Partnered Semester Studies?

Your regular RISD Financial Aid package continues to apply during Global Partnered Semester Studies (if applicable).

Is work study available?

No, work study is a US federal program for students and does not apply to institutions outside the US. Depending upon your nationality you will most likely not be eligible to work in your host country as a visiting student.

SFS Balance Payment Policy

Per Student Financial Services policy, RISD students who plan to travel on school-sponsored trips must first pay your student account balance in full. If your account has an outstanding balance you are ineligible for travel until full payment has been made and you may forfeit any funds already used to book travel arrangements.

Are scholarships available?

RISD Global partners with Student Financial Services and Institutional Advancement as well as the Office of Social Equity and Inclusion to offer limited need-based RISD Travel Scholarships for Global Partnered Semester Studies students. All RISD students are eligible to apply. The scholarship application is embedded within the course application. Learn more – Scholarship Opportunities.

Are other funding opportunities available?

Finding funding for off-campus global learning experiences can seem daunting, but persistence pays off! Explore this proven list of trusted sources for external scholarship funding for off-campus programs, beyond the scope of RISD’s Travel Scholarship Funding. You might also consider meeting with Student Financial Services to explore if you are eligible for alternate/private loans that can be applied to your semester studies.

Is Global Partnered Semester Studies right for me?

All RISD students entering sophomore, junior or senior year or at a grad level are eligible with approval from their department. You must have a 3.0 GPA to apply. Learn more about Global Partnered Semester Studies – Apply for Global Partnered Semester Studies

How do I apply?

The application process will be completed using an online application portal. Learn more– Apply for Global Partnered Semester Studies

Off-Campus Programs Policy

As per RISD's Off-Campus Programs policy, all RISD Global Partnered Semester Studies students must remain in good standing, in terms of conduct and finances, up until and throughout your semester abroad. Failure to remain in good academic standing can lead to removal from the program, either before or during the semester.

How does housing and dining work?

While on Global Partnered Semester Studies you will arrange housing and dining independently, either at the partner school or within the local community. During your semester off-campus you will cancel your on-campus housing and dining contracts at RISD (if applicable).

How do I arrange my flight?

RISD Global Partnered Semester Studies is not a group-travel program you will be responsible for arranging your travel independently, but we can offer recommendations, if needed! You will be required to submit a copy of your roundtrip airline reservation prior to travel to RISD Global.

Do I need a passport?

Yes, you will require a valid passport that should not expire within 6 months of the return date from your semester studies. Additional requirements may apply.

  • U.S. citizens: Check the Department of State website for application/renewal guidance.
  • Citizens of all other countries: Check your consulate/embassy’s website for renewal guidance. If you have an I-20 form, you must also ensure that you get it signed for travel by a member of theOffice of International Student Services (OISS) before departing the United States. If you are a Permanent Resident you should carry your green card together with your passport.

If you determine that your passport is not valid prior to travel, contact RISD Global immediately!

Do I need a visa?

This depends on your citizenship and the countries to which you are traveling to and through. Check your destination country’s consulate/embassy website for visa application guidance. You are responsible for maintaining your own legal status and applying for your visa (if applicable). Upon request, the partner school will provide you with an enrollment letter in support of the visa application upon your acceptance. RISD Global can also help, upon request.

Do I need health insurance?

Yes, travel health insurance offered by RISD Global’s preferred provider will be billed to you. This is supplementary coverage meant to complement, not replace, your standard health insurance coverage.

Will my phone work internationally?

It’s essential that you have a working phone with data throughout the duration of your Global Partnered Semester Studies. Check with your cell provider to ensure you can add an international plan to your coverage or replace your SIM card with a local (or international) SIM or e-SIM in advance or upon arrival.

How do I prepare for handling money internationally?

  1. Tell your bank your destination and travel dates.
  2. Get to know your bank’s policies for international transaction and exchange fees.
  3. Make sure you have a chipped debit or credit card, and request a pin for ATM withdrawals.
  4. Get to know the exchange rates for currency in your semester studies location.
  5. Consider that many countries are more cash-based than the US, so you can't always rely on a debit card or credit card for small purchases. Make a plan for having local cash upon arrival.
  6. 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.

How can I prepare for my physical/mental health while off-campus?

We recommend a physical checkup with your primary care provider prior to travel. 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 enrolled, you are eligible to contact our international travel health insurance provider in advance to explore local services in your course location and even make appointments and order prescriptions in advance. For further support, don’t hesitate to reach out to RISD Health and Wellness.

I am an international student. What should I think about prior to travel?

Be mindful that you may need a visa to visit the course location. Check the country’s consulate/ embassy website for visa application guidance. RISD Global can assist, upon request.

If you have an I-20 form, you must also ensure that you get it signed for travel by a member of the International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA) before departing the United States. If you are a Permanent Resident you should carry your green card together with your passport. For further support, don’t hesitate to reach out to the International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA)

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 Global Partnered Semester Studies, such as important health and safety processes and your Learning Agreement form. You are responsible for checking the portal frequently and completing these tasks in a timely manner once accepted.

What are Pre-departure Meetings?

You will learn more about important preparation actions to be taken, such as travel arrangements, health and safety information, visa application, and the Learning Agreement form process at our mandatory pre-departure meetings. Meeting days, times, and locations will be communicated to you upon your acceptance.


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Explore: Global Partnered Semester Studies

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Exchange at RISD
Providence, RI, USA 2015
Bezalel Academy of Art & Design
Jerusalem, Israel 2008