Study Abroad & Exchange

For Parents and Guardians

Dear Parent/Guardian: We are delighted that your student has chosen to study abroad, and we welcome you to the MICA Office of International Education.

As your student prepares to embark on the enriching experience of living and studying abroad, we would like to share thoughts on the overseas study experience and suggestions on how you might support and encourage your student abroad.   Although your student is an adult, we recommend that, before departure, you discuss communication, finances, and safety, as these areas are often of most concern to families.

This information focuses on overseas study and uses the term  "study abroad" throughout.  However, it is also intended for students participating in MICA's domestic exchange programs through the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), similarly administered through the MICA Office of International Education.

Costs and Financial Aid

Students on all semester abroad programs pay MICA tuition (without  fees) directly to MICA and will pay no tuition at the host school. Students are responsible for all other expenses (e.g., travel, housing,  meals, health insurance, studio fees, and personal expenses), some of  which may be required and billed by the host program. Costs of living vary depending on where your student wishes to study. We provide extensive support in financial planning, external scholarships, and budgeting during required group and individual advising sessions, and pre-departure orientation, ensuring students feel guided and supported in their financial decisions.

MICA students with MICA scholarships or financial aid can use their award (except work-study) for their MICA abroad program. However, it's important to note that financial aid awards will not be increased to cover any additional cost of transportation to and from the host program. Students need to be able to support this cost as well as those of the living, educational, and miscellaneous expenses described above.

Application Procedures

Students must meet the minimum qualifications for study abroad and return all required application materials on time in order to be considered. There is no guarantee that MICA can or will approve a study abroad application. Some programs have limited space and/or can be competitive. All decisions will be made by a review committee after the deadline within 3 to 4 weeks. If approved by MICA, MICA will send a student's application to the host institution or program and they will make the final decision. If MICA approves an application, additional paperwork and application materials may be required.

Please be aware that MICA has no control over the duration of a host institution's acceptance process. Many reach decisions within several weeks or a month; however, others, particularly direct exchange programs, may take longer.

Safety and Healthcare

The safety of students while studying abroad is MICA's top priority. MICA follows safety and security information from the U.S. State Department and makes decisions accordingly. It is still important for families to understand that there are risks associated with travel; consequently, they should plan accordingly by familiarizing themselves with MICA's mandatory insurance plan for study abroad students and by researching the health and safety of the host country.



After notice of admission, please encourage your student to research medical needs and resources in the host country carefully. Also, be sure your student fully understands the coverage provided by CISI. If your student has a health condition or other circumstances that may require special attention, the student is responsible for making this known to MICA's Office of International Education before going abroad.



Health services and accommodations vary widely in different parts of the world, and the types of care and services we are accustomed to in the U.S. may be limited, very different, or unavailable abroad. If your student has medical needs or requires accommodations for a disability, please encourage your student to notify International Education well before departure to allow sufficient time to determine whether specific health services or accommodations are available at a given site and, if so, how they are accessed.


All students participating in a MICA study abroad program are guaranteed that MICA will accept the credit for all courses passed from the host program as long as the courses have been pre-approved by the appropriate department chair. It is the student's responsibility to work with his or her academic advisor and department chair to understand how this credit will fulfill degree requirements and to obtain the necessary approvals prior to study abroad. If students fail to follow course approval policies and procedures, they risk not obtaining credit for unapproved courses. While abroad, students should document the work they complete to ensure proper awarding of credit.

Students must take a minimum of 12 MICA credits while abroad. They cannot take more than 19.5 MICA credits or they will have to pay for the additional credits.  If a student falls below 12 MICA credits, this will affect his/her scholarships and financial aid.


Your understanding, support, and encouragement will be necessary at critical times during your student's semester abroad. For example, in the first weeks of the semester abroad, your student will likely be focused on orientation activities, scheduling classes, and learning his or her way around town and within a new academic system. This initial phase of the semester abroad period is a time when significant adjustment takes place - and for many students, all of the changes and newness can initially be unsettling. However, it is essential to keep in mind during this phase that, frequently, a scenario that may be relayed by a student as an emergency, such as a lost passport or a missed flight, will quickly sort itself out.



Please realize that homesickness and culture shock are natural responses to transition and do not necessarily indicate a serious psychological problem with your student or any shortcomings of the administrative staff abroad. Please support our efforts to encourage your student to problem-solve independently and to approach the host institution's appropriate faculty or staff member with any issues and concerns that might arise. Learning to address and resolve problems locally and independently is a significant indicator of a successful living and learning experience abroad. It will result in the most significant personal learning and development, and we are excited to see the growth your student will experience.



While most students rebound quickly from a phase of difficult adjustment, it's important to remember that the Office of International Education at MICA is always available as a resource. If you have any concerns or wish to discuss your student's experience, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to support you and your student throughout their journey.


Visiting Your Student

We discourage parents from traveling to the program site to help their students settle in or from making an extended visit while classes are in session abroad. If you plan to visit your student abroad, please arrange for your visit to coincide with a scheduled vacation period or take place after final semester critiques and examinations. It is difficult for students to focus on their course work and to engage fully in their local community abroad when family and friends from home are in town. Moreover, absence from classes or other required activities abroad because of travel and/or visitors could affect grades and is strongly discouraged.

Conduct Policies

All students participating in a MICA program abroad have been made aware that they are bound by MICA's disciplinary policy regardless of whether they are on campus or abroad. They also know they are subject to the laws of the country in which they are studying or traveling.

In addition, students participating in study abroad have signed an agreement that sets out the responsibilities and consequences of behavior deemed detrimental to the student and/or the program. This includes the stipulation that students can be sent home, at their own expense, for behavior disruptive to the program.

Contacting the Office of International Education

While regular office hours at MICA are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. weekdays, you may leave a message at any time, and your call will be returned when the office opens. The International Education office telephone number is 410-225-2409 and the e-mail address for direct inquiries and student advising is

In case of emergency outside of normal business hours while your student is abroad, please contact MICA's Campus Safety office at 443-423-3333. This phone is staffed 24 hours a day, including holidays, and Campus Safety personnel are prepared to relay information to the appropriate MICA staff.

Please be aware that MICA, the Campus Safety office, and the Office of International Education are subject to the provisions of the Buckley Amendment (also called FERPA), which may limit the information that can be released to you. The amendment, designed to protect the privacy of individuals' records, may result in the delay of your access to detailed information about your student. However, please note that students are offered the opportunity to sign a waiver with the Office of International Education so that MICA can immediately release information to designated individuals about a student's status abroad.

Most students return from study abroad demonstrating increased independence, maturity, flexibility, and insight - the direct result of actively engaging in learning and in their community abroad and of facing and overcoming challenges in daily life and learning. These are the signs of a successful study abroad experience, and we hope that you will recognize and appreciate your student's achievements in these areas. For most students, the experience of study abroad is one of the most formative in their lives and your encouragement is enormously valuable in making it a success.

Please feel free to contact our office with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your student's time abroad. We hope that this will be a valuable and enjoyable experience for both your student and you.


The International Education Team