CCA’s International Exchange program provides an opportunity for students from CCA’s partnering institutions overseas to study fine arts, design, or architecture at CCA (on each campus).

The exchange program is managed by International Student Affairs and Programs on the San Francisco campus.

Students may apply to participate in the International Exchange program either in the fall or spring semester. Applicants need to be in good standing at their respective universities and must be proficient in their media, speak English fluently, and be independently motivated.

Important Application Deadlines

  • October 1 for spring semester exchange
  • April 1 for fall semester exchange

First download the application. Once completed, return it to the International Student Affairs and Programs Office.

Mail applications to:

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


Students who wish to study at CCA must be at least at the junior level (or equivalent) during their semester of exchange. Students also should be undergraduates working toward a degree. Students’ work and academic records will be reviewed and should display a level of quality and maturity.

All exchange students must be able to complete college-level work in English.

Application Procedure

A student applying for CCA’s International Exchange program should complete the CCA exchange application, including all necessary signatures from their home college/university.

As this is a reciprocal program, we can accept applications only from students who attend our partner schools with whom we have an active exchange relationship.

To apply, students must send via mail one copy of the following items to International Student Affairs and Programs by the above-stated deadlines:

  • detailed proposal of the work to be accomplished while at CCA
  • portfolio (10–15 images on CD/DVD or other format)
  • letter of recommendation from a faculty member
  • current academic transcript from the home institution
  • proof of English Proficiency (view acceptable documents)

Portfolios should be labeled: name, title of the work, medium, and dimensions. We cannot guarantee the return of portfolios. Do not send original/source files for which you do not have a copy.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition is payable to the exchange student’s home college/university. While in the program students are governed by current academic regulations in effect at CCA. Students are ineligible for CCA-provided financial aid or employment.

Student housing fees, service fees, or other fees, may be charged to the student by CCA. These are billed to the student and payable directly to CCA through the Business Office.


Exchange students (J-1 visa holders) are required to register full time for 12 or more credits (4 or more classes) while at CCA, unless they have special circumstances to present as why they can not enroll full time.

On completing the exchange, CCA provides the exchange student’s home institution with an official transcript.

Passports & Visas

All exchange students who have been accepted to CCA are also required to complete and return a DS-2019 request form with the required financial documentation.

Once CCA receives the original documents, we send via express delivery the original DS-2019 form and your financial documents, which are required for the visa interview at the US embassy or consulate overseas.

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.


Exchange students may apply to live in Webster Hall, a student residence hall in downtown Oakland. As housing space is limited, exchange students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

See Housing Information »

International Student Affairs and Programs also can help with information about off-campus housing options. Additional information is sent with the admissions letter.

International Student Orientation & Course Registration

At the beginning of each semester, students are required to attend an International & Exchange Student Orientation, which is for all new exchange students and provides information about immigration regulations, campus services, and other issues.

Exchange students register for courses during their orientation. Most exchange students take three or four courses, and students are encouraged to check WebAdvisor before they arrive in order to familiarize themselves with CCA's course offerings during their chosen semester of study.

International Exchange / Nondegree Students (J-1)

The J-1visa type is for students who will be participating in an exchange visitor program in the United States.

Learn more »