Art is truly a universal language that connects and unites us all. That’s why KCAI offers a variety of opportunities for students to learn beyond our campus and experience other cultures and learning opportunities. There is no greater influence for the cultivation of new ideas than personal observation and experience with perspectives beyond our own.  

NOTE: This page is for KCAI students interested in Off-Campus Studies. For information on applying to KCAI for an exchange semester, please visit International Exchange for non-KCAI Students.



For a comparative guide of program options, please view the KCAI Off-Campus Study Programs Chart.




Frequently Asked Questions

Which program is best for me?
You should thoughtfully select a program based on your personal and academic goals. Ask yourself the following questions and carefully consider which program will best fit your needs:

      • Why are you interested in a particular program (AICAD Exchange, International Exchange, Faculty-Led Travel, etc.)?
      • Does a school/program offer your area of study?
      • Why study at a particular school? (Consider the country/location/culture, campus facilities, housing accommodations, course offerings, faculty, demographics, program strengths and notoriety, career and networking opportunities, etc.)
      • If required, are you proficient in the native language of the host school?
      • Does the school accept applications for your intended semester?
      • How will the experience improve your degree path at KCAI and advance your academic and career goals?

When can I go?
For exchange programs, you must have junior standing (you must have completed sophomore studio). Study during the first semester of senior year may be possible in some situations, but not encouraged. Off-campus study during the second semester of senior year is prohibited. Participation in an exchange is contingent upon the approval of your KCAI department chair and the host school’s exchange policy. For Faculty-Led Travel programs, you must have completed at least one semester at KCAI.

Can I study off-campus for a whole year?
You can study off-campus for up to two semesters with the approval of your department chair.  If you are participating in an exchange program, the host school must also approve.  Clearly identify and be able to articulate your goals for study abroad and discuss them with your department chair and academic advisor.

Do I need to be able to speak another language?
Depending on the selected program, a proficiency in a foreign language may be required. Faculty-Led Travel programs do not require proficiency in a foreign language.

How much does study abroad cost?
Costs vary depending upon the program you choose.  If you choose one of our exchange partners (AICAD or International Exchange) you pay tuition to KCAI with your scholarships and loans remaining in place.  For non-exchange programs, you pay tuition and fees directly to the host school.  Regardless of the program you choose, please plan for the following expenses:

    • Travel and transportation expenses (passport, visa, airfare, train/bus/cab fare, etc.)
    • Room and board (typically, students will live on campus or with a host family)
    • Books and supplies
    • Miscellaneous Fees
    • Personal expenses ($2,000 per semester on average)

Visit our Financial Resources page for tips and ideas on funding your off-campus study experience.

Do I have to take studio courses related to my KCAI program (major)?
You must make sure that the courses you take will fulfill your KCAI degree requirements.  You must have written approval from both your department chair and academic advisor that outlines the courses you will take during your off-campus study and how the courses apply toward your degree program. Keep in mind that credit conversions vary from country to country.

How do I get a passport and visa?
You must have a valid passport for international travel and a student visa may also be required. Please see the specific guidelines for passports and visas:

Do I need health insurance?
Yes. Check with your host school – they may require that you use their student health insurance during your stay or you may have to make your own arrangements with your current health care provider.  

Most U.S. medical insurance plans do not include coverage outside of the United States. Getting medical treatment and hospital care abroad can be very expensive, and, if you need it, a medical evacuation back to the U.S. can cost more than $50,000!

Check the terms of your health insurance policy, whether it’s your own or under your guardian or parent’s policy.  If your policy doesn’t cover you outside of the country, you will need to purchase additional coverage. Many travel agents and private companies offer plans that will cover health care expenses overseas including emergency services such as medical evacuations. Be sure you understand what your medical insurance covers abroad.

See a list of companies that offer overseas medical coverage and other services.

Can I be employed while studying abroad?
Typically no, but work rights will depend upon the immigration guidelines of the host country. View the country-specific information to learn about the rules and restrictions on employment for exchange students.

Will I still have access to my KCAI email?
Yes! It is important to check your KCAI email account regularly for important messages. In addition, should you have any issues abroad (academic, emotional) do not hesitate to contact the Registrar’s office at KCAI. You should also have several people at your host institution dedicated to making sure you have a successful semester abroad, but we are all available to help or chat. Plus we like to hear about your travels!

For more information, please contact the registrar’s office.

How do I discuss my questions with someone in person?

We are here to help! To schedule an appointment with the registrar’s office to discuss study abroad or off campus study submit your Off Campus Studies Questionnaire and someone will be in touch to schedule a meeting.