london, england

Chelsea College of Art & Design

Chelsea College of Art & Design was founded in 1908 and is located in the heart of London on the banks of the River Thames, steps away from the Tate Britain. Chelsea prides itself as being made up of a diverse, multi-cultural community with students and faculty from around the world. The school supports a high level of experimentation and multi-visual research and offers facilities that allow students to work across all media. With this arrangement, Chelsea maximizes opportunities for its students to work collaboratively and exchange ideas across disciplines. The school is part of a three-college partnership with Camberwell College of Arts and Wimbledon College of Art within the University of the Arts London. For more information, visit the Chelsea College of Art & Design website.

About London

London is the capital of England as well as of the United Kingdom. With over 7.5 million people, London is home to a wide variety of cultures, religions, and traditions, and over 300 languages are spoken in the city. London is made up of over 32 boroughs that tend to have their own charm and distinct character. The city has a well-run park system that includes Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, and Regents Park. The city is well-served by public transportation and is home to the oldest, longest, and most expansive metro system in the world, commonly referred to as The Tube. Trains and buses also run throughout the city and connect Londoners to airports and other UK cities. London has a temperate marine climate rarely seeing extremely high or low temperatures. Summers are warm with average temperatures in the mid-70’s while winters are chilly but rarely below freezing. (Source: London Town).

Fields of Study

The courses of study offered at Chelsea are Digital Arts, Digital Media, Film/Video, Fine Art, Painting, and Sculpture.


International exchange students enroll in classes with degree students as well as international students. The courses are fairly open and unstructured, and in general, there are no set projects with deadlines. Exchange students join Stage 2 of the Fine Art course. Theory seminars run for four weeks per term, and regular seminars and lectures are scheduled weekly. Students at Chelsea are expected to complete one essay at the end of each term. On average, there are two tutorials per term scheduled in negotiation with a tutor. In the fall term, an elective group runs weekly.

Term Dates

The fall semester is 10 weeks, beginning late September/early October and ending in early/mid-December. Spring semester is 12 weeks, beginning early/mid January and ending in late March/early April. SFAI students should note that the exchange periods are not as long as SFAI semesters.

Deadlines to apply – April 1 for both semesters

Housing Overview

Chelsea offers a variety of student housing options to fit most budgets. There are 12 residences throughout London that vary from small independent houses to more traditional residence halls. For more information on student accommodations, see Chelsea's Housing Services website. Accommodation size, location, style, and prices vary; however, you should expect to pay between £81 and £208 per week. 

Off-Campus Housing Options

The Accommodation Advice Centre is a “one-stop-shop” for information and advice on finding accommodations while at Chelsea. It is located at 272 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EY.

Off-campus housing rents will vary considerably depending on where you live in London. However, most university students who live in travel zones 2 or 3 and share with other students on average pay between £90 and £130 per week plus bills.

To convert these figures to U.S. dollars, check out the Universal Currency Converter.

Try out the International Student Calculator to help you budget money for your stay in the UK. 

Application Requirements

SFAI students who wish to apply to Chelsea College of Art & Design are required to send the following:

- SFAI Study Abroad Application
- Chelsea Application
- Two letters of recommendation from SFAI faculty. Download the recommendation form.
- Official SFAI academic transcript
- A CD or DVD portfolio of current and previous work (10-20 images maximum)
- Written statement
- Two passport photos
- Copy of passport bio page