Individualized Study Abroad

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ArtCenter offers various study abroad opportunities, but if you are unable find a suitable ArtCenter offering, you may choose to independently apply and enroll in another institution’s program abroad. This is considered “direct enrollment” as a visiting student at another college or university (“host institution”). If you wish to receive transfer credit (credit that counts toward your graduation but not toward your grade point average) and federal financial aid for your term abroad, you must complete ArtCenter’s Individualized Study Abroad Authorization process and pay a $200 processing fee.

Note that the College’s policy is to allow a maximum of 15 units of Individualized Study Abroad credit to transfer in and count toward your degree. If you participate in an ArtCenter sponsored program, such as an exchange program or an ArtCenter faculty-led program, those do not count toward your 15-unit max because you will be registered for ArtCenter credit for those programs.

The deadline for completing this process is: Friday of Week 7, the term prior to your study abroad term. If you do not complete the authorization process by this deadline, then you will not be eligible to receive transfer credit or financial aid toward your term abroad. The Exchange and Study Away office does not provide assistance with choosing programs, visa advisement, housing, etc., for individualed study abroad experiences. We encourage you to be in contact with the institution that will be hosting you for guidance and support. Questions regarding transfer credit should be addressed with Enrollment Services, and questions regarding financial aid must be directed to the Financial Aid office.

Steps to obtain authorization for Individualized Study Abroad for Transfer Credit:

I. Planning Phase

We recommend that you begin planning at least six months before the term you wish to leave.

1) Make sure that the college or university that you wish to attend is accredited and participates in Title IV student financial aid programs.

2) Consult with your chair and academic advisor to make sure that this option is available to you and will suit your degree program.

3) Apply to the study abroad program.

4) Apply for ArtCenter approval of your Individualized Study Away program. Click on this link to create an application for approval of your individualized study away program in your study away account.

II. Upon Acceptance To Study Abroad Program
1) If you receive federal financial aid, in order to continue to receive federal financial aid while you are abroad, you must send the host school the following forms to complete:

  • Individual Consortium Agreement
  • Study Abroad Cost Estimate
  • Study Abroad Transfer Credit Form

These forms are available for download from your study away account.

2) For approval of your program, submit the Individualized Study Abroad Authorization Form. This form is available from your study away accountKeep in mind that the signature approval must be done in the order listed and may take more than one or two weeks to complete, so plan accordingly.

3) Pay a $200 processing fee online through your study away account.

4) Consult with the Financial Aid office to confirm how participating in an individualized study away program will affect your aid, specifically which aid will travel with you and which will not, additional aid that may be available to you, and the disbursement timeline, so that you may plan accordingly.

5) Submit the following completed documents to the Exchange and Study Away office:

  • Individualized Study Abroad Authorization Form (must have all signatures)
  • Individual Consortium Agreement
  • Study Abroad Cost Estimate
  • Study Abroad Transfer Credit Form

All forms are available for download from your study away account.

In addition to the forms listed above, you will need to submit an ArtCenter Leave of Absence Form to Enrollment Services. The Leave of Absence form can be downloaded from inside.artcenter.

Failure to submit completed documents by the Week 7 deadline will mean that you will not be able to transfer units back to ArtCenter or receive financial aid for your time abroad. If you still wish to pursue studies at the host institution without receiving financial aid or transfer credit, then complete an ArtCenter Leave of Absence form and turn that into Enrollment Services by that term’s Leave of Absence deadline.

III. Arrival at Host Institution
1) Confirm your arrival and new contact information with the Exchange and Study Away office.

2) Confirm your final course schedule, update your Study Abroad Transfer Credit Form as necessary.

III. When You Return to ArtCenter
Your individual study abroad experience will not be recorded until ArtCenter receives official transcripts from the host school. It is your responsibility to request that transcripts be sent directly to:

Attn: Exchange and Study Away
ArtCenter College of Design
1700 Lida Street
Pasadena, CA 91103

You may be asked to provide additional evidence of the work you completed while abroad, so be sure to retain all your coursework. If you fail to complete your coursework abroad, you will not receive transfer credit and you will be responsible to repay the financial aid you received.

ArtCenter Department Contacts

Exchange and Study Away

Rebeca Larios
Assistant Director, Financial Aid

Bill Gartrell
Director, Enrollment Services/Registrar