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Semester Abroad

Every MassArt student should consider studying abroad for a semester and there are a number of programs to which qualified undergraduate students may apply. Follow the below steps for a successful experience: 

plan

Before researching, here are a few things you should prepare: 

  • Attend a study abroad info session or table. You can find them on the MassArt Events Calendar
  • Create a login and submit a Study Abroad Intake Form on Studio Abroad. Most students study abroad during their junior year and you should plan to meet with the International Education Center by the first semester of your sophomore year. It is never too early to start planning!
  • Meet with your faculty advisor in your department to check that you are eligible to study abroad for a semester
  • Meet with your Academic Advisor in the Academic Resource Center (8th Floor, Tower) to map out your graduation plan 
  • Use the Semester Abroad Budget Plan to create a semester abroad budget then discuss your plan with anyone helping you pay for school
  • Talk to the MassArt Office of Financial Services about what aid you have, how much of it is eligible for study abroad and additional aid that might be available for your semester abroad
  • Research funding opportunities 
  • If you’re a Pell Grant recipient, check if you are eligible for the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship
  • If you take medications, have any medical conditions or require accommodations for disabilities at MassArt, speak with everyone who helps you manage those including your doctors, therapists, counselors and advisers before planning any travel
  • Every student should have a physical and receive an travel clearance from their doctor before planning travel. Optum Student Health Services in the Treehouse Residence Hall can perform travel clearances. Be sure to bring your travel itinerary and a print out of your vaccinations to your visit

research

Time to explore options! When doing so be sure to consider these:  

  • Location: There are semester programs all over the world. When researching, be sure to consider where programs are. Are they in a city, suburb or somewhere very rural? Are there certain cities or regions you’re excited about?
     
  • Language: What other languages do you speak? In what language is the abroad program taught?
     
  • Cost: Consider the cost and budget compared to what you pay at MassArt now. The cost of the two types of semester abroad programs different and may vary from student depending on your current tuition and financial aid package. Be sure to refer back to your budgeting document when researching
     
  • Types of Programs:
     
    • Exchange: On an exchange program, students study along with local students and usually take between 12-15 studio credits in their major, which can then be used to fulfill major studio credit (after a review with a faculty advisor) or elective credit. These programs usually mean that students pay their regular MassArt tuition to MassArt and all of their financial aid will travel with them. If accepted, students are responsible for their own housing, meals, travel and transportation. These are fully immersive experiences where students typically live and study with locals. Though the IEC works hard to advise on these programs and can help you prepare, there may be fewer services at the host institutions than you are used to such as academic support and student development offices
       
    • Third Party Provider Programs: These are programs offered by companies or schools that set up abroad programs for U.S. students. Usually students earn between 12-18 credits on these program and they can be applied to major studios, elective credit and, in some cases, History of Art and Liberal Art credits. These programs usually require students to pay out of pocket and may be less or more expensive than MassArt tuition, depending on the program. If you receive financial aid, it is crucial to meet with the Office of Student Financial Assistance to understand what aid you can and cannot use on these types of programs. The services, classes, credits and living situations vary greatly on these program so be sure to research carefully and ask lots of questions before committing. In many cases, you will be living and studying with other students from the U.S. but will still be able to meet locals and experience local culture
       
  • Academic Fit: MassArt students are responsible for ensuring that, once accepted, their program abroad will award them the credit them need at the end of the program. The programs listed below under your major are subject to change and this list should serve as a starting point for your planning, not a guarantee of availability, acceptance or match for your academic program. Programs change every year and sometimes programs listed now may not be available or may not offer the courses you need later. View a list of semester programs by major below:  
     

apply

Once you know the programs you would like to apply to, you will need to complete the following three steps:  

  • Submit an IEC Semester Away Learning Agreement to the IEC for each away program to which you are applying
  • Complete all Studio Abroad questionnaires and documents online for that program
  • Send completed applications to each program to which you would like to apply. Most require a portfolio, transcript, statement and application and have very strict deadlines. They are all unique so be sure to carefully read and double check each one before sending them to the host institution or provider program

go

Yea! You've been accepted! Yikes! Now what? Here's a checklist of the things you need to do before you leave:

  • Passport: Make sure you have a valid passport that has an expiration date 6 months past your planned return date
  • Visa: Research with the MassArt Study Abroad Advisor or your provider program if and what type of visa you need in order to maintain student status in your host country
  • Studio Abroad Forms: Complete these
  • Pre-Departure Orientation: Attend one of two Pre-departure Orientations offered by the GEO Center at the Colleges of the Fenway
  • Housing: Work with the host institution or provider program to book or find housing
  • Health Insurance: Most U.S. health insurance plans that you cover you while you're at MassArt and at home won't provide sufficient coverage for you to participate in an abroad program. MassArt participates in a plan called International SOS (ISOS) along with the other Colleges of the Fenway schools to provide international insurance to use while you're abroad. Please see the ISOS website and familiarize yourself with all of the plan's resources including health, medication and travel information
  • Medications: If you take medications, speak with your doctor about traveling with them, figure out what medications you can get abroad and how to fill prescriptions with your insurance provider. Check with the host country about what prescriptions medications are banned or not available
  • Financial Aid: Meet with Financial Aid, if applicable
  • Questions: Meet with the Study Abroad Advisor at least once before departure but as many times as you need with any questions or concerns that arise