Get Off Campus
As an emerging artist or designer, it’s important for you to examine your creative practice where it lives and breathes—in the world outside of the classroom. At SAIC, we want you to explore and experience the communities that surround us and the world beyond, so you’ll have required off-campus credits. Study abroad programs, internships and residencies, and off-campus research opportunities are just some of the ways you can fulfill them.
Experience in the Professional World
Professional experience is a fundamental part of the SAIC curriculum. Through the School’s extensive internship program you’ll find hundreds of opportunities to choose from, including stints at galleries, design firms, tech startups, and community organizations. A network of career advisors, faculty, and student peers work with you and your employer, so you’ll get personalized coaching and support along the way.
At SAIC’s student-run SITE Galleries, you can be a curator or archivist, work in gallery administration, prepare and install shows, or prepare and show your own work for the viewing public. SITE is a downtown Chicago storefront space—a place where campus and city merge.
“SITE is a really great place to get an introduction to a professional gallery space.”
- Matthew Cortez (BA 2025) Install Gallery Assistant at SITE Galleries
Leaving your comfort zone can change your perspective, spark new ideas, charge your imagination, and give you the confidence to live and work anywhere. Whether you venture out on faculty-led study trips or immerse yourself in a semester- or year-long study abroad program, you'll grow as a thinker, maker, and global citizen.
Each year, new and unusual opportunities come up for students who want to collaborate on outside projects. Many of these opportunities are international. Take a look at a few from recent years.
SAIC at the Venice Architecture Biennale
The US Department of State selected SAIC, along with the University of Chicago, to commission the US Pavilion’s Dimensions of Citizenship at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. SAIC students traveled to Venice to show their own work offsite that envisioned expanded definitions of citizenship in the world today.
A Professional Design Challenge
A partnership between SAIC, Kikkerland Design, and local production house Paper Source challenged students to design innovative products that add joy to people’s lives. Designers toured the production facilities, met with merchandising officers and Kikkerlands’s design director, and experienced the full professional process, from research and concept development to prototyping. The work was on public view at WantedDesign during NYC x Design Week.
Reimagining a French Chateau
On its 500th anniversary, France’s iconic Chateau de Chambord was still an unfinished work— so the Estate of Chamord invited SAIC, among a select group of schools worldwide, to envision the Renaissance castle’s completed state. After conducting historical research, SAIC students collaborated to imagine a future Chambord that referenced its past, producing a series of 20 digital images and a short video, and finally attending the opening of the project exhibition.
Italian Design Day
SAIC students from a variety of disciplines were among a select group invited to participate in Italian Design Day 2020, an international initiative fostering cultural ties between Italy and the rest of the world. The theme: “Drawing the Future. Development, Innovation, Sustainability, Beauty.” Their work imagined solutions for a new synergy between people and the instruments we use for food.