global programs study abroad

Welcome to SFAI's Global Programs Office

SFAI partners with the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) Mobility program, offers International Partner Exchange programs, and maintains affiliation agreements with program partners to allow eligible undergraduate students to study at a partner institution for an academic semester. All of these options fulfill SFAI’s Off-Campus Study Requirement.

SFAI undergraduate students may be eligible to study abroad during junior year, but it is never too soon to start planning. Please contact the Global Programs Office for more information.

AICAD Mobility Program

The AICAD Mobility program offers academically eligible SFAI undergraduate students an opportunity to study at a participating AICAD Mobility member school for one academic semester. The program is sponsored by the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design.

The AICAD Mobility program at SFAI is based on one-to-one exchange. Meaning, in order for an SFAI applicant to be eligible for mobility, there must be an admissible incoming student from an AICAD host school who will study at SFAI for that same semester. SFAI students maintain official enrollment and registration at SFAI. Tuition payments are made to SFAI and students may use federal, state, and institutional aid to fund the AICAD Mobility experience. For more information visit the AICAD website.

Please contact the Global Programs Office for application forms, deadlines, and more information about AICAD Mobility.

International Partner Exchange

International Partner Exchange study abroad programs offer academically eligible SFAI undergraduate students an opportunity to study for one academic semester at an international partner exchange institution while maintaining official enrollment and registration at SFAI. Tuition payments are made to SFAI and students may use federal, state, and institutional aid to fund the experience. SFAI partners with internationally renowned art schools around the world to offer exciting and enriching academic semester exchange opportunities. The International Partner Exchange programs are one-to-one exchanges. Meaning, in order for an SFAI applicant to be accepted for an exchange, there must be an incoming student from the host school accepted to study at SFAI for that same semester.

Affiliated Study Abroad Programs

Students may directly to an SFAI affiliated host school or study abroad program. Admission is granted on an individual basis (no exchange component is required). Financial Aid only may be used.

Study Abroad Transfer Credit

SFAI’s academic policy states undergraduate students may transfer in a maximum of 60 units from outside institutions toward an SFAI degree.  Once this cap is reached, it is not possible to transfer in additional credit.  Transfer credits are recorded on your SFAI transcript as pass/fail and are not included in your GPA.

Students are responsible for returning to SFAI with an Official Academic Transcript from the host school. It is strongly recommended students make arrangements to receive documentation before leaving the host school. Different schools will have different grade report formats. Please take this list to your Host School Registrar’s Office to obtain the documents required. Official transcripts/grade reports must include:

  1. Course titles with a subject description and course syllabi
  2. The amount of credit units for each course, number of instruction hours
  3. Credits allocated and translated to SFAI system of 3 credit-unit courses
  4. Letter grades for each courses, or if letter grades not given, the word “passed”
  5. Grading scale rubric if different than U.S. system

Credits earned at the host institution must be successfully transferred to SFAI within 90 days of completion of enrollment at the host institution.

Incoming AICAD Mobility Students

If interested in studying at SFAI through the AICAD Mobility program, please contact the AICAD Mobility Coordinator at your home school for internal deadlines and application requirements. All AICAD Mobility applications reviewed by SFAI must be received from your home AICAD Mobility Coordinator. The AICAD Mobility program at SFAI is based on one-to-one exchange. Meaning, in order for a AICAD Mobility applicant to be accepted, there must be an SFAI student accepted to participate at another AICAD Mobility host school for that same semester.

SFAI must receive applications by the following deadlines:

  • Fall semester: April 10
  • Spring semester: November 1

Incoming International Partner Exchange Students

The San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) hosts international exchange students from world-renowned partner institutions. If you are a registered student at one of our partner institutions, you may be eligible to participate. At this time, SFAI is not able to accept exchange applications from students outside our partner institutions. Please contact your Exchange Coordinator at your home school for application materials and deadlines.

Incoming international exchange students attend SFAI for either the fall or spring semester on a non-degree basis. Participating students earn credits from their home institution while they are enrolled at SFAI. Tuition for up to 15 units of credit  at SFAI are waived, however, incoming exchange students are responsible for paying all student fees (currently $435/semester). All admitted students must show proof of comprehensive health insurance coverage or purchase the SFAI student plan. Accepted students who wish to take additional courses beyond the 15 units will be charged on a per-unit basis.

SFAI must receive applications by the following deadlines:

  • Fall semester: March 20
  • Spring semester: September 20