Photo: Francesca Tirico

Study Abroad

Take advantage of study-abroad programs at CCA. We have something for every discipline for both current students and visiting students. Take your work to the next level, add to your portfolio, and earn college credits.


Study-abroad programs for artists

Expand your horizons

Discover new ways of making and learning and expose your art to diverse audiences by studying abroad. You’ll explore new cultures and unique perspectives, meet other artists and designers, get introduced to historically and aesthetically significant cities, develop your artistic abilities, and broaden your understanding of what it means to be a creative citizen in the 21st century.

Students hanging out around the Oakland campus grounds

Students hanging out around the Oakland campus grounds.

Current students

We offer a variety of programs for CCA students to study abroad. CCA has partner institutions, domestically and all around the world, for you to choose from. You can study abroad for a semester or for a two- to three-week summer session.

AICAD visiting students during exhibit presentations

Visiting students with AICAD during their exhibition.

Visiting students

Curious to see what CCA has to offer? We welcome non-CCA students, both domestically and internationally, through programs like the AICAD (Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design) and the CCA International Exchange.

Current Students

Practice your art in a new environment

Spend a semester abroad

Explore new cultures while earning credits and fine-tuning your artistic abilities by applying for the CCA International Exchange Program. We have partner schools in Germany, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Japan, China, and more.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be a current, degree-seeking, full-time student
  • Have a minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA)
  • Be a junior (or fourth-year for BArch students)
  • Have completed at least two semesters at CCA
  • Meet additional requirements of specific program
  • Be proficient in their media and independently motivated
  • Students with a disciplinary action or placed on probation in the year preceding the intended year of travel are ineligible to participate

Steps to apply

CCA students may apply for our International Exchange Program in the fall or spring semester by completing the following:

Step 1: Complete the CCA exchange application.

Step 2: Provide one copy of the following items for each school applied to.

  • Statement of purpose
  • Portfolio (10–15 slides of work on CD/DVD or other format)
  • Faculty recommendation on CCA letterhead
  • Current CCA transcript (the International Student Affairs and Programs office will order)

Step 3: Email the ISAP office at [email protected] to find out if there are any extra requirements for your programs of interest. If a school doesn’t have your specific program, it may still be possible to attend for an exchange semester.

Step 4: Make an appointment with the ISAP office to review all requirements before submitting your application.

Step 5: Submit your application before the deadline (April 1 for fall, Oct. 1 for spring).

Scholarships for studying abroad

There are several scholarships available for CCA students interested in studying abroad, including:

For a full list, please email the ISAP office at [email protected].

Study abroad for summer

Explore exotic destinations while earning credits through our unique summer study-abroad programs, designed and led by CCA faculty. From investigating urban mobility in Amsterdam to understanding the dynamics of contemporary living in Tokyo, immersive courses around the entire globe are available.

Note: CCA Summer Study Abroad is designed for current CCA students. However, if there are spots still available by March 4, we welcome strong students from other colleges/universities into the program.

Summer Study Abroad registration

You must register for study abroad in person at the Student Records office on the San Francisco or Oakland campuses. Tuition must be paid in full or covered by financial aid at the time of registration. All students who register for CCA study-abroad courses are required to sign a liability release form at the time of registration.

Important dates:

  • Registration begins Wednesday, Feb. 20
  • Refund deadline is Friday, March 8 (no refunds after this date)
  • Withdrawal deadline is Monday, April 29

Nina Sadek

Dean of Special Programs

+1 510-594-3773

[email protected]

Carol Pitts

Operations Manager, Special Programs, Summer Session

+1 510-594-3732

[email protected]

AICAD Exchange

Immerse yourself in a new art scene through the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design Exchange Program, where full-time CCA juniors have the unique opportunity to attend one of the 31 participating AICAD schools around the country, for one semester, at no additional cost.

Ingrid Wells

AICAD Exchange Coordinator

+1 415-703-9581

[email protected]

Visiting Students

Study at California College of the Arts

Study at CCA

International Student Exchange

CCA is committed to creating an environment of inclusion, diversity, and creativity. We welcome visiting students from all over the world through our International Student Exchange Program. Our overseas partner institutions allow international students to visit CCA to study fine arts, design, or architecture.

Steps to apply

CCA students may apply for our International Student Exchange Program in the fall or spring semester by completing the following:

Step 1: Ensure your home college/university has an active exchange relationship with CCA.

Step 2: Complete the CCA exchange application.

Step 3: Provide one copy of the following items for each school applied to.

  • Detailed proposal of the work to be accomplished while at CCA
  • Portfolio (10–15 slides of work on CD/DVD or other format)
  • Letter of recommendation from faculty member
  • Current transcript from home institution
  • Proof of English proficiency

Note: Portfolios should be labeled: name, title of the work, medium, and dimensions. We cannot guarantee the return of portfolios. Don’t send original/source files for which you don’t have a copy.

Step 4: Mail all documents by the application deadline (Oct. 1 for spring, April 1 for fall).

Attn: International Student Affairs and Programs
California College of the Arts
1111 Eighth Street
San Francisco, CA 94107-2247

Passports and visas

We welcome exchange visitors from around the globe every semester on J-1 visas. Learn more about J-1 visa regulations and maintaining status while at CCA. Incoming students must plan ahead and be certain they have a valid passport and have made the necessary preparations for an exchange student visa. Visa interview appointments should be made well in advance.

To learn more, visit the U.S. Department of State Exchange Visitor Program website.

International Student Affairs and Programs

[email protected]


Ready to assist you

Have questions?

Contact the Office of Special Programs at +1 510-594-3710 or [email protected].

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