Study Abroad & Exchange

Start Here First

Most answers to your questions can be found here... Take some time to review and plan to meet at a Group Advising Session, each Wednesday of the semester, from 2:30 to 3:30 PM, Bunting Center, Room 390.

What are the requirements to study abroad?

You need to be a junior in good financial standing during the semester you plan to study abroad, and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0.  If you have any questions about your financial standing, please contact the Office of Student Accounts early-on during your research process.  In addition, you also need to attend a required Group Advising Session offered by the Office of International Education (OIE), and complete all the necessary application materials by the appropriate semester deadline.

Group Advising Sessions will be held each Wednesday throughout the Fall 2019 semester, from 2:30 to 3:30 PM, Bunting Center, Room 390.  The first Group Advising Session will begin on Wednesday, August 28th.  We will not hold a Wednesday, November 27th session, due to the Thanksgiving Holiday, and will resume, for the last session of the Fall 2019 semester, on December 4, 2019.

When can I go abroad?

Almost all students study abroad during their junior year.  There are some cases where it is possible for students to study abroad during the second semester of their sophomore year, or during the first semester of their senior year, though this is rare. 

If you are thinking about studying abroad sometime during your sophomore, or senior year, you must discuss this matter with the faculty chair associated with your major course of study, and your academic adviser.  Generally speaking, if you are approved for study abroad during your sophomore year, you can only apply to the MICA SACI program in Florence, Italy.  The OIE cannot provide academic advising to students, and all academic matters must be cleared by the appropriate department(s). 

Where can I study abroad?

If you are interested in a semester study abroad experience, please visit the Choose a Program page to view all MICA approved programs by areas of study.  All approved semester programs are managed by the Office of International Education, and we offer a variety of exciting programs in over 30 countries that support specific majors.  Students are not permitted to study abroad on a program that is not listed on the approved list.

If you are interested in a MICA summer program, please visit the Travel Intensives site for more details.  MICA Summer Travel Intensives are managed by MICA's Office of Open Studies.  

How do I choose a program?

First, visit our Choose a Program page to view approved programs by academic areas of study.  MICA offers a variety of international programs, but not all programs offer the same academic structure and amenities as the next.  Some programs only offer a specialized Art curriculum, and are only available to specific majors, while others are focused on experiential education in Humanistic Studies.  Make sure to research each program thoroughly by visiting the institution's website, and discerning all information as it pertains to your academic course of study.  If you have any questions, please contact Mike Rini:  mrini@mica.edu

What is the difference between an affiliated study abroad program and an exchange program?

Affiliated study abroad programs are semester-length programs that are designed for American or international students.  Affiliated study abroad programs typically include familiar resources, staff, and support systems similar to American colleges and universities. Often times, there are cultural excursions and activities included as part of the program in order to familiarize students with the host country's way of life.  An example of an affiliated study abroad program would be the SACI program in Florence, Italy.  

A direct-exchange program is an opportunity to experience college life just like that of students in that particular country.  This would require students to be highly motivated to adapt to the culture of the host institution, and to observe how students of that country interact and learn.  Additionally, students should note that the pedagogy is different in the foreign classroom, which adds depth to the overall experience.

Take time now to research the differences, and to note the structures of each program type.  If you have any questions, please contact Mike Rini:  mrini@mica.edu

Will my program have the same semester dates as MICA?

Not necessarily. While some programs have dates that are close to MICA's semester dates, some programs begin and end at different times, and may vary in length in comparison to the MICA Academic Calendar.  As a study abroad participant, you will need to follow the dates of your host institution, and students are expected to participate for the entire duration of the program.  

How do you get credit for taking classes abroad?

All students are required to take a minimum of 12 MICA credits per semester while studying abroad.  You will need to research how credits at your program, or host institution will convert-over to MICA credits.  Failure to select a minimum of 12 credit hours will impact your eligibility to received MICA scholarships and financial aid.

If you want to study abroad for a semester or non-MICA summer program, you must fill out an application by the appropriate deadline. As a part of the application process, you be required to do some academic planning by researching potential courses that would compliment your MICA academic requirements.   

All students will complete a Course Approval Form and obtain approval from department chairs for courses they wish to take abroad.  You will want to indicate your primary choices, and any secondary choices on the Course Approval Form, which means researching and having several courses approved as backups.  For all programs, except the SACI and the New York Studio Programs,  students are required to earn the MICA equivalent of a "D" abroad; to which you will receive a "P" for Pass on your MICA transcript. 

For SACI and the New York Studio Programs, you will receive direct MICA credit - meaning, your letter grade will transfer directly to your MICA transcript and calculate into your GPA.

Please be sure to read through our Policies and Expectations page for more information.

Please note that if you are on a leave of absence, you cannot obtain credit for courses taken abroad.

How much does study abroad cost?

For all MICA semester programs, you will pay MICA tuition directly to MICA just as you would remit payment to the Office of Student Accounts on any given semester on campus;  however, you will be charged directly by your program for housing and all other associated fees related to your chosen study abroad program.  Please contact the respective program provider or exchange institution for further details on those associated fees.  Lastly, you will be responsible for travel, local transportation, personal expenses (including insurance), and student visa expenses. 

Summer and winter travel intensives are managed through the Office of Open Studies. For information on fees, please visit this page.

How do I apply?

Once you have attended a Group Advising Session, the Assistant Director of Education Abroad and Exchange Services will send you an official link by email to the Office of International Education's online study abroad portal.  Once you login to the portal, you will be required to submit relevant information to build a dossier, which will be reviewed by Office of International Education staff and appointed faculty.  

Once approved for study abroad, you will then receive a detailed email on how to get started, and it is then that you will be permitted to apply to your chosen study abroad program.  Students applying for Spring semester must be ready to work expeditiously to advance their applications to their respective programs, because if accepted, the work of obtaining a student visa is time consuming, and may require students to make arrangements to fulfill student visa interview requirements.  Depending on your country, you may be required to travel off of MICA's campus to a consulate location for submitting visa paperwork and interviews.  Unfortunately, not all consulate's have a comprehensive, all-online application process.

It would be wise for potential candidates anticipating study abroad to coordinate with their families or guardians to locate important documents now, such as passports, social security cards, live birth certificates, and state id's or drivers' licences.  That way they will be available to you when you start the student visa process.  The fall semester presents a shorter window of opportunity to obtain a student visa, and being diligent with the process will decrease the likelihood of potential issues.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

The Office of International Education has walk-in hours just for study abroad students Mon., Tues., Thurs., and Fri. from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you cannot make those times, please email Mike Rini at:  mrini@mica.edu for assistance.  For students wishing to attend a Group Advising Session, and are ready to start an application, feel free to join us each Wednesday throughout the semester in Bunting Center, Room 390, where will go over the process in-depth.

Group Advising - Your Ticket to Apply!

Study abroad group advising is the first step towards towards the study abroad application process at MICA.

During this workshop, students will learn about the benefits of studying abroad; how to select a program; initiating the application process; and how billing and financial aid works. The MICA Office of International Education requires that all students attend at least one group advising session before they apply for a study abroad program.

Group advising sessions will be held each Wednesday of the Fall semester, from 2:30 to 3:30 PM, in Bunting Center, Room 390. Once a student has attended 1 session, they will be granted access to the study abroad application portal to start their application.