Undergraduate Programs

BFA International

International travel and study is a required component of the Stamps School of Art & Design curricula. Why?

Study and travel outside of the U.S. is essential for aspiring artists and designers. An international experience prepares Stamps graduates to enter the globalized economy, makes them more competitive for graduate study, fellowship opportunities, and employment, and helps them to become informed global citizens. International study provides first-hand knowledge of other cultures, fosters creative insights and new life experiences, encourages independence and flexibility, and prepares students to negotiate difference, adapt to changing situations, and to solve problems from a new perspective.

International Study FAQ

Am I required to study abroad?

All BA and BFA students are required to undertake a course of study outside the United States.

Are there exceptions?
  • students whose permanent address is not in the U.S.
  • students enrolled in the BFA in Interarts Performance are strongly encouraged to engage in an international experience, but are not required.
  • students enrolled in a minor are exempt from the requirement.
When do I fulfill the requirement?

International study may be undertaken anytime except freshman year, or the term in which a student is scheduled to complete his/her sophomore review.

How can I satisfy the international requirement?

There are three ways to satisfy the international requirement:

  1. A formal course of study through an organized program, where credit is earned
  2. An internship, where credit may or may not be earned
  3. An independent research, volunteer or service-learning experience*

* - In addition, for the third path, students are required to submit a proposal describing their plans for independent research, volunteer or a service-learning experience, including documented reflections.  The proposal and reflection plan are reviewed by the International Engagement Committee and either accepted or declined.  Approved plans require submission of documented reflections within two weeks of return to the U.S.    

How do I apply?

Students must apply for all U-M programs through M-Compass. If you are doing an external program of study, you must also register the program in M-Compass.

Are there additional requirements?

All students are required to purchase travel health insurance for the time they are outside the U.S.  U-M negotiates a policy for its students with an outside vendor.  At the time of publication, the vendor is HTH Worldwide and the cost is $1.10 per day plus a $5 enrollment fee.  There are no exceptions to this policy. 

How long am I required to be out of the U.S.?

The international experience must be at least three weeks in length. 

Are there affordable options?

Program costs vary widely.  The transferability of financial aid packages also varies.  If you think you’ll need assistance, start exploring options during your freshman year.  Subsidized programs and scholarships are available but require several months, sometimes years, of advance planning.

Where can I get more information?

The International section of the Stamps website is a good place to go to read about Stamps students experiences and find out more about advising, cost, policies and procedures, and the M-Compass online application and registration process.

Planning documents—how to prepare, self-reflections, detailed 4-year timeline, worksheet to compare program features, and research guide—are available in the resources/forms section of the Stamps website.

And, talk to your academic advisor! Your international study should be part of your four year plan and supplement your course study.