International Students

Pablo Helguera

Welcome to Our Global Community

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is one of the world’s most prestigious art schools with a long and successful history of educating artists, designers, and visual scholars from around the globe. We recognize and deeply value the ways our international students enrich the SAIC community with their fresh viewpoints and global perspectives. 

International students form a vital and important part of our community. We have been educating students from around the globe since our founding in 1866. International students come to SAIC to pursue their undergraduate and graduate degrees, post-baccalaureate certificates and even pre-college courses while still in high school. 

International student numbers:

  • 30 percent of our population
  • 1,030 students
  • 54 countries represented


Highly Ranked and Globally Respected

For 150 years, we have had one of the most influential art programs in North America and internationally. This commitment to excellence is why we rank as one of the finest art colleges in the world:

  • Rankings compiled by U.S. News and World Report consistently place SAIC among the top graduate fine arts programs in the U.S.
  • SAIC has been ranked among the top three schools for Visual Communication Design, Painting and Drawing, Photography, and Sculpture.
  • We were named the “most influential art school in the United States” by Columbia University’s National Arts Journalism Survey.
  • The Global Language Monitor ranked SAIC as the #5 college in the U.S. This is the highest ever general college ranking for an art school.

Our faculty of renowned artists, designers, and scholars are international as well. Our small student-to-faculty ratio ensures that you will receive individualized mentoring from the very individuals who are changing the visual landscape on a global level.

SAIC is at the center of the arts and cultural scene in Chicago—a lively American city that is home to one of the nation's largest populations of working artists and designers. Chicago is a city of neighborhoods, and your education will be enhanced by your explorations beyond the classroom.


The Office of International Affairs Is Here to Help You 

Every year our student body is comprised of over 1,000 students from around the world, which means the Office of International Affairs is highly experienced in supporting the needs and interests of students from diverse cultural backgrounds. We will assist you in meeting new friends, connecting to the community, and adjusting to a new culture.

Our goal is to help turn Chicago and SAIC into your home. 


We Look Forward to Meeting You

Moving abroad is a big step. We always encourage potential students and their families to visit Chicago and the school in person. However, this is not always possible, so we host events around the world in order to meet you in person and answer your questions.