Initial requirements for study abroad at-a-glance
• All students must be in good academic standing and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Additionally, all students must be enrolled full-time at MICA during the semester they apply to study abroad. A student on a leave of absence will not be permitted to apply and must consult their academic advisor about study abroad feasibility once the student is re-admitted back to MICA with a full-time course of study for that semester.
• Junior standing. With special permission from their academic advisor and the faculty chair associated with their major, special exceptions can be made (although rare) for a student to study abroad the 2nd semester of their sophomore year or the first semester of their senior year.
• Good disciplinary standing as determined by Student Affairs
• Good financial standing during the semester in which they apply to study abroad. Please consult the Office of Student Accounts for details on what is considered good financial standing. Information about how to set up a payment plan can be found here. You will first need to discuss your study abroad plans with Student Accounts, and form an agreement on how the remaining balance will be paid by the end of the semester.
• All students must be enrolled full-time at MICA the semester prior to their proposed study abroad semester. Students on a current leave of absence will not be permitted to apply and must consult their academic advisor once they are re-admitted back to MICA to inquire about study abroad feasibility. A student will not be permitted to re-enter MICA via a study abroad semester. Students can get contact info about their academic advisors here.
When can I go abroad?
Almost all students study abroad during their junior year. There are some cases where it is possible for a student to study abroad during the second semester of their sophomore year, or during the first semester of their senior year, though this is rare.
Since making the decision to study abroad requires serious intent, it is most appropriate that a student be academically prepared by taking courses in their major, prior to their proposed semester abroad, to demonstrate a commitment to their specific major. Some majors have a senior thesis that in some cases, cannot be replicated abroad during their senior year. Please consult the faculty chair associated with your major for further details.
If you are thinking about studying abroad sometime during your sophomore, or senior year, you must discuss this matter with the faculty chair associated with your major course of study, and your academic adviser. The OIE cannot provide academic advising to students, and all academic matters must be cleared by the appropriate department(s).
*Note about First-Year Experience students and study abroad: First-year students at MICA all undertake a shared foundational curriculum, designed as a year-long experience. This is also a time when students choose their respective majors and decide on their respective degree plans. As such, first-year students at MICA are not eligible to study abroad. However, first-year students are welcome to participate in study abroad summer programs during the summer following their first year in residence.
Where can I study abroad?
If you are interested in a semester study abroad experience, please visit the Programs page to view all MICA-approved programs by area of study. All approved semester programs are managed by the Office of International Education, and we offer a variety of exciting programs in approximately 30 countries that support specific majors. Students are not permitted to study abroad in a program that is not listed on the approved list.
Students are permitted to study abroad during the summer months, as early as the summer of their freshman year, with the assistance of the Office of International Education.
How do I choose a program?
First, visit our Choose a Program page to view approved programs by academic areas of study and geographic location. MICA offers a variety of international programs, but not all programs offer the same academic structure and amenities as the next. Some programs only offer a specialized Art curriculum, and are only available to specific majors, while others are focused on experiential education in Humanistic Studies. Make sure to research each program thoroughly by visiting the institution's website, and discerning all information as it pertains to your academic course of study.
What is the difference between an affiliated study abroad program and an exchange program?
Affiliated study abroad programs are semester-length programs that are designed for American or international students. Affiliated study abroad programs typically include familiar resources, staff, and support systems similar to North American colleges and universities. Oftentimes, there are cultural excursions and activities included as part of the program in order to familiarize students with the host country's way of life.
A direct-exchange program is an opportunity to experience college life just like that of students in that particular country. This would require students to be highly motivated to adapt to the culture of the host institution and to observe how students of that country interact and learn. Additionally, students should note that the pedagogy is different in the foreign classroom, which adds depth to the overall experience.
Will my program have the same semester dates as MICA?
Not necessarily. While some programs have dates that are close to MICA's semester dates, some programs begin and end at different times, and may vary in length in comparison to the MICA Academic Calendar. As a study abroad participant, you will need to follow the dates of your host institution, and students are expected to participate for the entire duration of the program.
How do you get credit for taking classes abroad?
All students are required to take a minimum of 12 MICA credits per semester while studying abroad, although most students take 15 credits. You will need to research how credits at your program or host institution will convert to MICA credits. Failure to select a minimum of 12 credit hours will impact your eligibility to receive MICA scholarships and financial aid.
If you want to study abroad for a semester or summer, you must complete an application by the appropriate deadline. As a part of the application process, you are required to do some academic planning by researching potential courses that would complement your MICA academic requirements.
All students will complete a Course Approval Form and obtain approval from their academic advisor and department chairs for courses they wish to take abroad. You will want to indicate your primary choices, and any secondary choices on the Course Approval Form, which means researching and having several courses approved as backups. For all programs, students are required to earn the MICA equivalent of a "D" abroad; to which you will receive a "P" for (pass/fail option) on your MICA transcript.
Please be sure to read through our Policies and Expectations page for more information.
Please note that if you are on a leave of absence, you cannot obtain credit for courses taken abroad, even if you participated in a MICA-approved program.
How much does studying abroad cost?
How do I apply?
Once you have attended a Group Advising Session, at your request, the Assistant Director of Education Abroad and Exchange Services will send you an official link by email to the Office of International Education's online study abroad portal. Once you log in to the portal, you will be required to submit relevant information to build a dossier, which will be reviewed by the Office of International Education staff and select faculty.
Once approved for study abroad, you will receive an email with exact details on how to get started. Students applying to study abroad during the Spring semester must be ready to work expeditiously to advance their applications because they will need to obtain a student visa sometime in December. F1 international students will need to work closely with their respective programs to advance the student visa process and to coordinate with the Office of International Education to ensure their I-20 documentation is up-to-date prior to their departure from MICA. Depending on your country, you may be required to travel off-campus to an embassy or consulate's office for submitting visa paperwork and interviews. Very few consulates have an online visa application system, so this can make the process quite arduous at times.
It would be wise for potential candidates anticipating studying abroad to coordinate with their families or guardians to locate important documents now, such as passports, social security cards, live birth certificates, and state IDs or driver's licenses. That way they will be available to you when you start the student visa process. The fall semester presents a shorter window of opportunity to obtain a student visa, and being diligent with the process will decrease the likelihood of potential issues.