Tokyo: Bike Building
Tokyo, Japan 2018

RISD Global works to create and support a variety of immersive travel, learning, and exchange opportunities for RISD students beyond campus.

Experience is a powerful teacher. With diverse programs like European Honors Program, Wintersession travel courses, Global Summer Studios, and Global Exchange with partner schools around the world, you choose the location, duration, and course of study that makes sense for you. Each off-campus learning opportunity enables you to travel and explore your interests in new contexts, and challenges you to engage your practice in new ways.

France: Gastronomie + Printmaking in Richelieu
Richelieu, France 2016
Japan: Papermaking and Puppet Theater
Tokushima, Japan 2019

What We've Done

Over 1350 students and 125 faculty have engaged in RISD Global off-campus travel programs and initiatives since 2016. Explore our recent programs and initiatives!

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Global Programs

European Honors Program

Founded in 1960, RISD's European Honors Program (EHP) is a unique art and design pre-graduation residency-style program that welcomes a select group of students from all RISD departments at RISD’s site in Rome.

Global Exchange + AICAD

RISD partners with over 40 leading art and design colleges and universities around the world to offer the semester-long Global Exchange Program. Through this exchange, you have the opportunity to study with our partners, and students from partner universities can study at RISD.

Wintersession Travel Courses

RISD Wintersession Travel Courses are rich, short-term global learning opportunities, led by RISD faculty, that take place for up to 5 weeks between fall and spring semesters.

Global Summer Studies

Global Summer Studies are open to undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at RISD or in other art and design institutions worldwide, as well as recent graduates and new professionals practicing in the field.

COVID-19 Update: Global Summer Studies 2022 are under review. More information will be released soon.

Global Field Trip

RISD Global Field Trips are short-term global learning experiences embedded within on-campus studios, courses and seminars. Typically, Field Trips take place during school breaks in November or March, as part of Fall or Spring semester courses.

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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.

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Scholarships

Increasing financial aid is a central pillar of RISD’s equity, inclusion and diversity commitment. Through partnership with other campus offices, we are working to provide greater support and access to students interested in pursuing global learning experiences at RISD.

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FAQ

Read answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below. Check out recordings of our recent webinars:

20/21 New Student Webinar

20/21 Graduate Studies Virtual Conversation

Is RISD in Rome: European Honors Program (EHP) running in Spring 2022?

RISD EHP remains suspended for academic year 2021-22

Is Global Exchange + AICAD running in Spring 2022?

Global Exchange + AICAD remain suspended for academic year 2021-22

Are Wintersession Travel Courses running in Summer 2022?

Due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, Wintersession 2022 travel courses are suspended.

Are Global Summer Studios running in Summer 2021?

Global Summer Studios 2022 are under review. More information will be released soon.

Where can I find more information about RISD's COVID response?

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

I want to study abroad. What are the options at RISD?

You are eligible to take a short-term travel course during Wintersession or Summer every year during your time at RISD. We also offer two semester-long programs for juniors, seniors, and grads: the European Honors Program at RISD in Rome and Global Exchange + AICAD. If you plan well, you may even be able to participate in more than one travel opportunity while at RISD!

I want to study abroad. How do I start?

To learn more, check our program pages and attend events and infosessions hosted by RISD Global, often in collaboration with RISD faculty and students. If you’d like to chat more, schedule a 1:1 advising appointment with the RISD Global team.

Learn more by watching the recordings of our New Student Webinar and Graduate Studies Virtual Conversation

I want to spend a semester abroad. Who should I speak to?

To get started, schedule a 1:1 advising appointment with RISD Global. We will tell you more about our different programs, the application process and all eligibility requirements. Then, your academic advisor can answer questions you may have about department policies and your credit requirements and expectations.

What is a 1:1 advising appointment at RISD Global and how long is it?

Our 1:1 advising appointment is the moment for you to ask questions about global programs and discuss your specific interests, goals, and circumstances. It’s usually half an hour and is guided by your questions. We are happy to meet more than once during your application period or after acceptance.

Our advising appointments are currently happening remotely via Zoom (preferred) or phone (if you are unable to access Zoom) and we can be flexible with timing understanding that students are working across many time zones. Contact us at global@risd.edu if you need an alternative time or way to chat!

Are there RISD students I can talk to about their experiences?

Throughout the various program pages on this website you'll find quotes and testimonials from RISD students who have participated in our programs. We also organize infosessions and events with past participants. During your advising appointment, our Global Learning Advisor can connect you with returned RISD Global programs participants who have agreed to share their experiences.

Do I need to be fluent in another language to attend?

You don’t! All Wintersession Travel Course, Global Summer Studios, and European Honors Program classes are taught in English, so while you do need a working knowledge of English, you don’t need to speak the local language to attend. That said, we highly recommend becoming as familiar as possible with the local language prior to your participation and we encourage you to practice with apps or classes before you travel, if you can!

If you attend a semester at one of our partner schools through Global Exchange, however, you might be required to know the local language, in cases where instruction is delivered in the local language. Check the Exchange partner pages to check their language of instruction.

What support can I expect from RISD Global?

RISD Global is involved in each stage of your application/selection, in all pre-departure processes, and while you are away. You can always reach out to our team and we’ll be there to offer guidance and support. Contact us at global@risd.edu with questions!

Who teaches RISD Global travel courses?

When you take a RISD Global travel course in Wintersession or Summer you can be sure your instructor will be a RISD faculty member, though the course curricula are often complemented by visits from local artists and designers. The European Honors Program at RISD in Rome is also taught by RISD faculty for both studio and Liberal Arts. If you attend Global Exchange, you will be taught by faculty at the partner school.

Will I get RISD credits?

Our short term travel courses in Wintersession and Summer offer 3 or 6 credits – typically from the faculty’s academic department. On the European Honors Program at RISD in Rome students earn 15 or 18 RISD credits per semester. In the Exchange semester you’ll maintain your enrollment at RISD while attending a partner university around the world, and your partner school credits will be transferred to your RISD transcript upon your return.

Does my time off-campus count toward graduation?

Absolutely yes! We recommend you speak with the Registrar’s Office and your Academic Advisor to learn how the credits you earned on off-campus global learning programs will be applied to your specific graduation requirements.

How do travel courses/programs and grades show on my RISD transcript?

All RISD Wintersession Travel Courses, Global Summer Studios and the European Honors Program deliver RISD credits, so your courses/credits will appear on your transcript as usual and contribute towards your GPA. For Exchange, your RISD transcript will indicate the classes you passed at the partner school and credits earned, however the credits transfer in as Pass/Fail so your grades earned at the parter school will not count towards your GPA.

Can I attend a global program at another institution that is not a RISD partner?

During you time at RISD, you will have access to many new and exciting short-term RISD travel courses in Wintersession and Summer as well as the European Honors Program and 70+ partner schools through Global Exchange + AICAD. We highly recommend taking advantage of these custom RISD/partnered programs, which are designed exactly with your development as an artist or designer in mind and guarantee RISD credits (or equivalent transfer credits for Exchange).

You may also attend short-term travel courses and study abroad programs at other institutions, but be sure to check the Transfer Credit Policy on the RISD policy website. To complete an exchange for a full semester while maintaining your student status at RISD you must attend one of our 70+ partners schools around the world through Global Exchange + AICAD. It is not possible to participate in non-partnered semester programs while maintaining your enrollment at RISD.

How much do travel courses cost?

Travel costs vary depending on the duration and location of each program. You can find the cost for each course or semester program in the “At-a-Glance” orange box on its program page.

What is included in the travel course fee?

The “At-a-Glance” orange box on a program’s page will summarize what’s included in your course fee. For the European Honors Program, Wintersession Travel Courses and Global Summer Studios the fee covers accommodation (always provided by RISD), local transport, museum and site admissions, some meals, and mandatory travel health insurance. Sometimes the course fee includes international airfare to the course destination; if this is the case it will clearly say so on our website and other course materials.

Global Exchange + AICAD does not have a course fee aside from regular RISD tuition and mandatory travel health insurance. All travel costs (including accommodation) are considered “out of pocket” and will not appear on your RISD bill on your student account.

In general, make sure you read the program page carefully and attend an infosession to better understand what’s included, what’s not included, and the anticipated “out-of-pocket” costs. Feel free to reach out to your travel course faculty, RISD Global, and Student Financial Services to better understand course affordability.

Why do Global Summer Studios require a deposit?

Registration in RISD Global Summer Studios requires you to pay you a $1,500 deposit as registration is first-come, first-serve and we understand that paying the full fee up front can pose a financial burden. The deposit is a simple advance on the cost of the course to reserve your space and applies towards the total course fee. Once you pay your deposit you have 30 days to pay the balance and fully enroll in the class. This registration deposit is non-refundable. In the case that RISD cancels the travel course for low enrollment or health and safety restrictions prior to departure, however, all deposits and payments will be fully refunded.

Are scholarships available? How can I afford it?

The RISD Global team and travel course faculty work hard to keep travel courses and programs as affordable as possible, but we understand such expenses can often still feel out of reach. RISD Global partners with Student Financial Services, Institutional Engagement, and the office of Social Equity and Inclusion to offer several need-base travel scholarships. All RISD students are eligible to apply. Additionally you might consider applying for an external study abroad scholarship or meeting with Student Financial Services to explore if you are eligible for alternate/private loans that can be applied to your off-campus global learning program. You can also schedule a 1:1 advising appointment with RISD Global to talk through which options might be best for you.

Will I continue to receive my financial aid package when I go off-campus?

Your regular RISD Financial Aid package continues to apply to RISD tuition for RISD Global semester programs and Wintersession Travel Courses. There is, however, an additional course fee to cover course-and-travel-related costs. Global Summer Studios courses fall outside of the regular academic year, so course tuition is included in this travel course fee and your RISD Financial Aid package does not apply.

RISD travel scholarships assist award recipients in offsetting the travel course fee.

How many students participate?

About 300 students participate in RISD off-campus global learning programs annually. Between all programs about 77% are undergrad and 33% are grads. We often have students who travel with us more than once!

Do I need approval from my department to attend a global learning program?

For short-term programs during Wintersession and Summer, most students do not need any approval from their academic department to apply and register. The exceptions are in Wintersession, first-year students in the Experimental and Foundation Studies program as well as Brown University students need prior approval to apply; In Summer, only non-RISD students/recent graduates need prior approval to register.

Most RISD students only need approval from your academic department if you decide to apply for one of our semester programs – the European Honors Program or Global Exchange + AICAD.

Is there a competitive selection process?

Global Summer Studios are the only travel courses you may register for on a first-come, first-serve basis. Wintersession Travel Courses, the European Honors Program, and Global Exchange + AICAD each have an application and selection process. Read more on each “Apply to” program page.

How do I apply/register?

You can apply here on our website! Check each program’s “Apply to” page for more details on steps and materials. In general, for all courses, you must apply the semester before you plan to attend.

How many programs should I apply to?

Typically you may apply to only one per application cycle. The exception is Global Exchange + AICAD, in which you can express preference for a second-choice institution, as a back-up.

Is registering for a travel course different from registering for a regular on-campus course?

Enrollment timelines and processes are very different for RISD Global off-campus global learning programs, which often require an application prior to registration. Please check our program pages to learn more. Once your application/registration is received through our website and approved, the Registrar’s Office works behind the scenes to complete your registration and enrollment processes.

Can students from outside RISD register in RISD off-campus global learning programs?

Brown University students are eligible to apply to all RISD Global programs through standard RISD-Brown cross-registration. The exception is Global Exchange + AICAD; Brown University students complete exchanges through Brown's partner school agreements.

Additionally, non-RISD art and design students/recent graduates from other art and design colleges and universities around the world are eligible to participate in RISD Global Summer Studios.

How is selection done, and who makes it?

Wintersession Travel Course selection is made by the leading course faculty, while European Honors Program selection is made by the EHP faculty committee. For Global Exchange + AICAD, once your application is approved by your department and nominated by RISD Global, selection is made by the partner school. RISD Global Summer Studios do not require an application or selection as they utilize a first-come, first-serve registration process.

Will there be a wait list?

Typically Wintersession Travel Courses and the European Honors Program have a formal waitlist, while Global Summer Studios utilizes a first-come, first-serve notification list, managed by the RISD Registrar’s Office.

What happens if I withdraw from my program after I have been accepted?

Read the “Withdrawing from a RISD Off-Campus Global Learning Program” policy here.

Can I register for an off-campus global learning program with an outstanding balance on my student account?

No. Per Student Financial Services policy if you have an outstanding balance on your student account, Student Financial Services will work with you to collect full payment ASAP, before completing your enrollment in your global learning program.

Can I find my own accommodation and not pay part of the program fee?

No, RISD provides accommodation to all students enrolled in off-campus global learning programs, and this cost is included in your course fee. For health and safety reasons we require that you reside with the group and you are not allowed, in any case, to utilize alternative accommodation.

The only exception is for RISD’s Global Exchange + AICAD semester program wherein you will work independently or with the partner school you will attend to research, identify, secure and maintain your own housing.

Can I get a single room?

Typically, accommodation is dorm-style (or equivalent) and booked in double rooms. Requesting a single may be possible in some venues, but is not guaranteed, and in such cases you will be directly responsible for the difference in total accommodation fee. If you require a single to comply with a formal disability accommodation, this must be communicated to Disability Student Services as soon as possible, preferably even prior to program acceptance/registration.

How will housing be different? What should I expect?

Student housing varies around the world and on our programs. For example, most travel courses have utilized partner university dorms or local hotel rooms, while other courses have even camped in tents! Make sure you read your program page carefully to determine if the housing situation will match your comfort level. Students who require ADA-compliant housing should inform Disability Student Services as soon as possible, preferably even prior to program acceptance/registration.

Can I request a roommate for my global learning program?

Usually you can! Speak with RISD Global and/or your course faculty/TA about your preference. If you can request a roommate, make sure that your potential roommate requests you back!

Will I have a meal plan while abroad?

Most likely no. Meal plans are typically not offered on our programs to allow you the flexibility to find your preferred meal choices while you travel. The European Honors Program (EHP) allows ample access to shared kitchens for meal preparation. Whenever possible in our Wintersession and Summer short-term travel courses, we try to find spaces that allow you access to a shared kitchen as well.

Sometimes it’s not easy to access a grocery store at the course location, for example in rural areas. In these cases RISD includes meals for the group in the cost of your course fee. If you’re attending EHP or Global Exchange + AICAD for the semester, you can place your RISD dining plan on hold.

Do I need health insurance?

Yes, travel health insurance offered by RISD Global’s preferred provider is mandatory and included in the course fee for each off-campus global learning program. You also need to maintain your US health insurance, as the supplementary travel coverage is meant to complement, not replace, your standard health insurance coverage.

Do I need a passport?

Yes, participation in off-campus global learning programs requires a valid passport that should not expire within 6 months of the return date from your program. If you are a U.S. citizen, check the Department of State website for application/renewal guidance. If you are a citizen of any other country, check your embassy/consulate’s website for renewal guidance. If you have a US student visa in order to attend RISD, you must also ensure that your I-20 form has been signed for travel before departing the United States by a member of the Office of International Student Services (OISS). 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 embassy/consulate website for visa application guidance. RISD Global can assist you, upon request.

Will there be a group flight to the course location? Do I have to travel with the group to start and end the trip?

Usually not. We realize many students have different departure points and post-trip destinations, so traveling with the group is typically not required unless safety is a concern. We simply require that you arrange your schedule to be at a prearranged meeting point on the first day and remain with the group until the final day. You will be asked to provide your flight reservation details to RISD Global so we know when to expect you. Please double check your program page to understand if a group flight is included in your course fee prior to registration.

What campus services are available to help me prepare for travel and while away?

RISD Global partners closely with a wide variety of other RISD offices to ensure your off-campus global learning experience is a success, and we suggest you do the same! Offices you should be in touch with prior to travel: RISD Health and Wellness, Disability Support Services (DSS), Office of International Student Services (OISS), Office of Intercultural Student Services (ISE), Student Financial Services, Registrar’s Office, in addition to your academic department. For semester programs, if you live on campus, you should also reach out to Residence Life and Dining, to cancel your housing and meal plan.

RISD Public Safety and RISD Title IX remain available to you throughout your time off-campus.

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 travel destination.
  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.

Will my phone work internationally?

It’s essential that you have a working phone with data throughout the duration of your global learning program. 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 in advance or upon arrival. If you opt to replace your SIM card, make sure you double check with your provider that your phone is not locked.

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

We recommend a physical checkup with your primary care provider prior to travel. For further support, don’t hesitate to reach out to RISD Health and Wellness. If you take daily medications, request a refill with enough medication to last the duration of your trip. If this is not possible for your semester-long program, ensure you have at least enough to cover the first few weeks. 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 in your travel course/program, we encourage you to contact our international travel health insurance provider in advance to explore local services in your travel destination and even order appointments and prescriptions in advance.

I identify as LGBTQ+. What should I think about prior to travel?

It’s important to inform yourself and be prepared for the legal, historical, and cultural context of your travel destination as it relates to your LGBTQ+ identity. Learn more:

Some transgender travelers have reported difficulties entering a country with a passport bearing a name and photo that no longer correspond to their gender presentation. Learn more: transequality.org.

For further support, don’t hesitate to reach out to Intercultural Student Engagement (ISE).

I identify as a Person of Color (POC) and/or different race than the majority population in the country I plan to visit. What should I think about prior to travel?

It’s important to inform yourself and be prepared for the historical, cultural, and political context of your travel destination as it relates to your racial and ethnic identity. Learn more: Diversity Abroad.

For further support, don’t hesitate to reach out to Intercultural Student Engagement (ISE).

I identify as a student with a disability. What should I think about prior to travel?

Each country has its own standards of accessibility for persons with disabilities and, unlike the United States, many countries do not legally require accommodations for persons with disabilities. Your legal protections as a RISD student, however, do travel with you, but they require advanced planning.

If you have an existing accommodation on campus or if you anticipate needing a new accommodation due to the nature of a global learning program or for a recent short-term disability, start a conversation with Disability Student Services as soon as possible, and even prior to program acceptance/registration.

Learn more:

I identify as a heritage student. What should I think about prior to travel?

It’s important to inform yourself and be prepared for the historical, cultural, and political context of your travel destination as it relates to your racial and ethnic identity as a heritage student. Learn more: Diversity Abroad

For further support, don’t hesitate to reach out to Intercultural Student Engagement (ISE).

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

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

If you have a US student visa, you must also ensure that your I-20 form has been signed for travel before departing the United States by a member of the Office of International Student Services (OISS). 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 Office of International Student Services (OISS).

What campus services are available to help me prepare for travel and while away?

RISD Global partners closely with a wide variety of other RISD offices to ensure your off-campus global learning experience is a success, and we suggest you do the same! Offices you should be in touch with prior to travel: RISD Health and Wellness, Disability Support Services (DSS), Office of International Student Services (OISS), Office of Intercultural Student Services (ISE), Student Financial Services, Registrar’s Office, in addition to your academic department. For semester programs, if you live on campus, you should also reach out to Residence Life and Dining, to cancel your housing and meal plan.

RISD Public Safety and RISD Title IX remain available to you throughout your time off-campus.

Study Globally Planner

Below are the programs eligible in every year.

Undergrad
Grad

Freshman Year

Winter
Wintersession Travel Course


Summer
Global Summer Studios


Sophomore Year

Winter
Wintersession Travel Course


Summer
Global Summer Studios


Junior Year

Fall
European Honors Program
Global Exchange program
Global Field Trip


Winter
Wintersession Travel Course


Spring
European Honors Program
Global Exchange program
Global Field Trip


Summer
Global Summer Studios


Senior Year

Fall
European Honors Program
Global Exchange program
Global Field Trip


Winter
Wintersession Travel Course


Spring
European Honors Program
Global Exchange program
Global Field Trip


All Years

Fall
Global Field Trip


Winter
Wintersession Travel Course


Spring
Global Field Trip


Summer
Global Summer Studios


Explore: Global Study

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