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Frequently Asked Questions

Study Shows Living Abroad Enhances Creativity

The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has published a study showing that living abroad enhances creativity, which can have an impact in the workplace as well. Conducted by researchers at INSEAD and Northwestern University, the study involved nationals from various countries. The study isavailable for download on the American Psychological Association Web site, and there is a 10-minute interview on You Tube with one of the principal researchers, William Maddux.

Q: Why should I study abroad at MCAD?

A: For the students who participate in MCAD's Off-Campus Study Programs, learning does not start or stop at the classroom door or even at the edge of the campus. It includes the people, history and geography of the unfamiliar.

MCAD Off-Campus Programs offer a selection of undergraduate courses in a variety of disciplines, taught by international faculty members from host universities and art institutes. These courses are taught in English as well as in the language of each country, and may fulfill major requirements.

Each of our selected sites provide facilities for creators and a wide range of cultural activities and excursions. MCAD also offers limited aid based on financial need and merit.

Q: Which program is best for my major?

A: We require that MCAD students have a declared major prior to applying for off-campus programs. See individual program information sheets for more details on program suitability.

Q: When should I study off-campus? Can I spend more than one semester abroad?

A: Junior year is the ideal time to plan a semester off-campus. In a few cases, you may be able to study off-campus first semester of your senior year (spring) if approved by your department chair.

Students can study abroad for a semester, a summer, or (rarely) for an entire academic year. We advise you to talk with your academic adviser to plan for your semester off-campus. It's a good idea to check out the courses that are available now to give you an idea of what will be offered the semester you decide to go.

Q: If I study off-campus, will it take me longer to graduate?

A: We work hard to ensure that MCAD's off-campus programs fit with your educational goals and requirements. In most cases, students studying off-campus do not spend additional time completing their program. We require a Department Chair signature on your off-campus application so that you have a chance to see if your chosen program is a good fit with your degree requirements.

Q: When is the application deadline?

A: The deadline for the Spring semester is typically the middle of September of the preceeding semester. The Fall semester program deadline for AICAD Exchange is usually in early April. Make sure to check with Student Affairs for specific application deadlines and procedures.

Q: Costs

A: Tuition costs are the same as spending a semester at MCAD. It is a good idea to check with Financial Aid if you have grants or awards. Some grants may not be used for study abroad.

A: Tuition covers 12-18 credits, deposit and registration fees, and occasionally some program activities and excursions. For each credit taken in excess of 18 in a semester, there is an additional charge per credit. All students must register for a full course load during their semester off-campus.

Q: Housing

A: Selection and cost of housing varies by site and by the type of living arrangement chosen. Students selected to participate in programs in Italy and Germany are assigned housing at no extra cost. The individual program options are detailed in pre-departure housing packets.

Q: Meals

A: The cost of meals varies by the cost of living at each site and by the students eating preferences. Some locations have on-campus caf's and restaurants. Other programs are more independent.

Q: Curriculum

A: Completion of coursework and the transfer of credits is determined by MCAD in tandem with the host institution and MCAD's Off-Campus Committee. Course descriptions, as well as many of the syllabi, can be obtained from Student Affairs office to assist your advisers in determining how many credits will be transferred.

Students who participate in more self-guided programs are encouraged to consult with the Department Chair of their major area prior to the start of their program to determine the type of work required to fulfill graduation requirements.

Q: What if I have never studied a foreign language?

A: You do not need to have studied a foreign language prior to your participation in an MCAD off-campus experience. In many programs, content courses are taught in English or, after some initial instruction, the native language of the country in which you are studying. Japanese proficiency is require for the Osaka program

Q: Do I need a Passport and/or Visa

A: United States citizens studying at all MCAD sites abroad will need a passport. Non-U.S. citizens need to contact their home consulate in order to obtain the passport procedures for study at one of our sites. United States citizens studying at all MCAD sites, except the United Kingdom, will require a student visa from a consular office in the United States. Non-U.S. citizens need to contact their home consulate in order to obtain the appropriate visa procedures for study at one of our sites.

The Student Affairs office can assist selected students with visa applications.

Q: Can I contact a past participant?

A: The Student Affairs office may be able to put you in touch with students who have studied off-campus and who have agreed to answer questions. E-mail student_affairs@mcad.edu for more specific information.