Students, staff & faculty can login to access personalized content.

Parent & Guardian Access is located here.

Forgot your password?

Sao Tome: Unspoiled Africa

May 29 - July 1, 2015

(Registration Deadline: March 23, 2015)

São Tomé and Príncipe, an island nation off the west coast of Africa, is the unique setting for this international study program. This tiny, Portuguese-speaking country in the Gulf of Guinea is home to a large number of native birds and plant life and is one of Africa's most important nesting sites for a diverse range of sea turtles. In addition to its lush natural life, São Tomé and Príncipe offers a cultural mosaic through its people. A serene tropical paradise, São Tomé and Príncipe receives only about 20 tourists per week. Students in this program will be able to engage with the local populations including artists and artisans while also having a chance to enjoy sleepy fishing villages, exotic biodiverse jungles, and the old colonial plantations. There is no lack of subject matter for illustration projects in this setting. Under the guidance of MICA instructors, students may work as a group and/or on an individual basis. Past students created all kind of narrative projects; visual journalism, of course, but also children's books, sequential art projects, and they also worked with Engracio and his team of local woodcarvers, with Makeba, a designer who creates objects and hats based on vegetable fiber, or with seamstresses from Santa Catarina.

São Tomé and Príncipe is really a place where students can explore something completely outside of their realm of understanding. Slide lectures and a lot of field trips will complement the days working outdoors. Students will also attend and participate in traditional ceremonies such Tchiloli, Dança Congo, Bulaue, and Batuque. Musicians should bring their instruments since there are always musicians everywhere eager for people to join them. At the completion of the program, all students have an exhibition at the international gallery, Cacau.


Alain Corbel lived in Portugal, where he worked as a comics artist, illustrator, and storywriter for book publishers, magazines, and newspapers. He regularly organizes illustration and writing workshops with some African and Portuguese NGOs in Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, East-Timor, Angola, Mozambique and São Tomé.

Shadra Strickland won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent in 2009 for her work in her first picturebook, Bird. Shadra co-illustrated Our Children Can Soar, winner of a 2010 NAACP Image Award. She travels the country conducting workshops and sharing her work with children, teachers, and librarians.


Program Fees

  • $5,700 (does not include international airfare) includes tuition for 3 undergraduate credits in Illustration or GFA. Credits may apply as Studio Elective.
  • $7,290 (does not include international airfare) includes tuition for 3 undergraduate credits in Illustration or GFA (Credits may apply as Studio Elective) + 3 undergraduate credits in Art History (w/ dept. approval)
  • Graduate credit is available to qualified students for $85 per credit above the $5,700 base fee (contact program coordinator below).


Contact program coordinator Alain Corbel at

MICA's Summer Travel Intensives are open to undergraduate and graduate students in all majors-18 years or older with a valid passport-who have completed at least one year of college. For all programs, credits can be applied to Studio Elective. For more information, or to inquire about scholarships, contact the School for Professional and Continuing Studies at or 410-225-2219.