International Students

Application Requirements 

International Student Application Requirements*

The following materials must be submitted online by the April 13, 2018 deadline:

  • completed online Pre-College application (electronic signature from student and parent/guardian)
  • 250-word statement written by the student expressing personal reasons for wanting to participate in the program
  • one letter of recommendation from a high school art teacher or guidance counselor
  • $60 non-refundable application fee
  • Verification of English proficiency (see “English Proficiency” section below)
  • copy of your passport

* NOTE: If you already have an F-1 visa and Form I-20 and are currently studying in the US, you must still provide copies of your immigration documents (passport, F-1 visa, and Form I-20).

SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) is currently processing RISD’s authorization for the F1 visa program.  Since our application is pending, the most appropriate visa would be the B1/B2 visa for recreational study. If a student already holds a current and valid F1 student visa from another institution, they should remain on their F1 student visa. If you  have any questions in regards to visas, please contact OISS (Office of International Student Services) directly at

Application Deadline: April 13, 2018

The 2018 deadline for Pre-College international student applicants is April 13. Given the lengthy processing time within governmental agencies responsible for visas, we strongly encourage you to submit your online application, forms, and all required fees as early as possible, before the deadline. Please contact your local US Consulate or Embassy with any questions regarding visas. You may also visit the SEVP website.

If you have additional questions about your immigration-related paperwork*, please contact:

Office of International Student Services (OISS)
Call: 401-277-4957
Fax: 401-454-6605

*NOTE: OISS can only respond to immigration questions. For all other Pre-College Program inquiries, please contact the Pre-College Program Assistant at 401 454-6204.


After acceptance, international students are required to submit payment in full (tuition, housing and dining fee, and health center fee) within 5 business days. Students who are accepted to the program will receive a decision letter on your application portal with a link to the RISD/CE online payment center–students will have the option to pay using a credit card, check (from a domestic bank account), or a wire transfer.

English Proficiency 

All applicants who speak English as a second language, including US citizens, must submit results from either TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Since proficiency in English is a prerequisite for acceptance, applicants must attain an acceptable score on either test; RISD Pre-College  requires a minimum result of 93 on the TOEFL or 6.5 on IELTS. Students who are not able to obtain a test score at the time of submitting an online application, or who have previously tested and are not able to access their test score, must provide a letter confirming their proficiency in English (spoken/written language and comprehension) from their academic advisor or English teacher. Applications will not be processed if documentation of proficiency is not submitted.

Health Insurance

Short-Term Medical Insurance

The college requires all students to carry adequate medical insurance to help cover the extra expenses of medical treatment that is not covered by our Health Services. All medical insurance policies must be from a U.S. domestic insurance company. Medical insurance is mandatory for all students at RISD, including summer students. If you do not have medical insurance from a U.S. domestic insurance company, you may purchase a six(6)-week short-term medical insurance policy for $164. Note: This fee is separate from the $155 RISD Health Center fee that is mandatory for all students. The short-term medical insurance fee is paid directly to University Health Plans. To assist in providing you with the coverage you will need during your summer studies at RISD, we have contracted with University Health Plans Insurance Program to offer the Pre-College Student Health Insurance Plan. The Plan includes a local and national network of preferred providers, and is designed to be an affordable option.

Plan Your Travel

International students traveling to RISD by air are advised to also check flights into Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS) for more direct flights and potentially lower airfares. Logan International Airport is located a one-hour bus ride from downtown Providence. Frequent buses run directly from Logan International Airport to Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence (a five-minute walk to RISD). The Amtrak train station is within walking distance, though taxi service is recommended for students with heavy luggage. T.F. Green Airport (PVD) is 12 miles south of Providence in Warwick, providing direct flights to most major cities. Taxi or limousine service is available from/to TF Green Airport to RISD.

Students must attend the Check-In and Orientation on Saturday, June 23. International students traveling long distances may submit a request for an Early Arrival. We cannot provide housing before 9am on Friday, June 22. Information about early arrival for international students will be included in the housing application process email, sent in early May. Final Check-out from Residence life and the campus is Saturday, August 4 at 12pm, however students may leave on Friday, August 3 after their final class ends and they have picked up their artwork from the Exhibitions. For planning purposes, students should expect to leave the campus no sooner than Friday at 5:30pm.