International Students

As one of the world's most prestigious art schools, we have been welcoming international students to campus since our founding in 1866. We greatly value the diversity of opinions that students from across the globe bring to our community. 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.

SAIC defines an international student as a non-US Citizen, or non-US Permanent Green Card Holder. International students usually need an F-1 Student Visa, or J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa to study in the United States.


Why Choose SAIC?

  • Rankings compiled by U.S. News & 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 Fiber Arts, Visual Communication Design, Painting and Drawing, Photography, and Sculpture
  • Ranked the #9 Art and Design school in the world by QS University Rankings
  • 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.

Welcoming, Diverse and Culturally Rich

Chicago Bean and Skyline

Chicago, the United States' third largest city, is one of the most important cultural and artistic cities in the world. The School of the Art Institute is located in its vibrant downtown. You will feel right at home in a city that regularly hosts over half a million college students from around the world.

Our campus, comprised of nine buildings, is in the middle of Chicago's tourist district, just steps away from Millennium Park, miles of lakefront, the city's museums, and a luxurious stretch of shopping better known as the Magnificent Mile. 

Like many cities around the world, Chicago has an easy-to-navigate public transportation system that includes a subway, elevated trains, and buses that will bring you out to experience any of our 77 culturally diverse neighborhoods. Unlike U.S. coastal cities, Chicago is a very affordable place to live.

As you explore, you'll find that our city is very welcoming to young creatives through pop-up spaces, apartment galleries, and artist collectives, which often co-exist with centuries-old cultural institutions and established galleries. And, of course, as the birthplace of the skyscraper, we are known for our architecture. Beyond the arts, Chicago is a foodie's paradise, a music lover's Nirvana, and, if you don't know who the Cubs and the Bears are now... you will.

Visit Campus

Take our Virtual Tour

TripAdvisor Award Logo

The Art Institute of Chicago is the school's museum and it holds the third-largest collection of art in the world. TripAdvisor ranked the Art Institute of Chicago as the top museum in the world- the only museum to be top-ranked four years in a row, and "Best of the Best" for 2022!

Also, see SAIC Admissions Events for all prospective students, and request more info!

International One-on-One Meetings

Date and Time Address RSVP Link
March 21-24, 2023
RSVP to see available times
L'Escape Hotel
67 Toegye-ro Jung-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Saturday, April 22, 2023
2-4 p.m. local time
Ruby Mimi Zurich
4 Beatenpl.
Zürich, ZH, 8001 Switzerland
Sunday, April 23, 2023
4-6 p.m. local time
Hotel Eden Genève
10 Rue de Lausanne
Geneva, GE 1202 Switzerland

Watch Past Events

Date and Time Event Title Description RSVP Link
Wednesday, August 17, 2022 SAIC Presents: Art School 101 Join the International Admissions Team for an overview on understanding the benefits of attending an art school over a traditional college. Watch Recording
Wednesday, August 24, 2022 SAIC Presents: SAIC Overview Join the International Admissions Team for an overview of the school, the programs and many more reasons why the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is regarded as “the most influential art college in the United States." Watch Recording
Sunday, September 25, 2022 Virtual Portfolio Day: China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan Meet with SAIC International Admissions and get feedback on your portfolio for both admission and merit scholarship consideration. Watch Recording

International SAIC Days and One-on-One Meetings

SAIC Days are special events that take place in select cities around the world from August - December. These events are a perfect opportunity to get one-on-one feedback on your portfolio, meet with SAIC faculty and staff, and learn more about our interdisciplinary curriculum.

We'll also be available in select cities for one-on-one meetings with our admissions representatives. You are welcome to bring your work for feedback, or just ask any questions you may have.

Date and Time City Address RSVP Link
Saturday, August 20, 2022
2-5 p.m. IST
Hyderabad, India
One-on-One Meetings
Vivanta Hyderabad, Begumpet
1-10-147 & 148, Begumpet
Hyderabad, Telengana, 500016 INDIA
Event Passed
Saturday, August 27, 2022
2-5 p.m. IST
Mumbai, India
Taj Lands End
Byramji Jeejeebhoy Road,
Bandstand, Bandra (West),
Mumbai, Maharashtra, 400050, INDIA
Event Passed
Saturday, September 3, 2022
2-5 p.m. IST
New Delhi, India
Hyatt Regency Delhi
Bhikaji Cama Place Ring Road
New Delhi 110607, INDIA
Event Passed
Friday, September 9, 2022
6-9 p.m. IST
Saturday, September 10,
10 a.m. - 12 p.m. IST
Bengaluru, India
One-on-One Meetings
*Changed to Virtual Meetings Event Passed
Sunday, September 18, 2022
2-5 p.m. SGT
Singapore, Singapore
Royal Plaza on Scotts
25 Scotts Road
228220 Singapore
Event Passed
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
6-9 p.m. ICT
Bangkok, Thailand
One-on-One Meetings
Shangri-La Hotel
89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, New Road
Bangrak, Bangkok, 10500, Thailand
Event Passed
Sunday, October 2, 2022
2-5 p.m. ICT
Hanoi, Vietnam
One-on-One Meetings
Apricot Hotel
136 Hang Trong
Hoan Kiem Dist
Hanoi, Vietnam
Event Passed
Saturday, October 8, 2022
2-4 p.m. ICT
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
One-on-One Meetings
The Myst Dong Khoi Hotel
6-8 Ho Huan Nghiep Street
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Event Passed
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
6-9 p.m. WIB
Jakarta, Indonesia
One-on-One Meetings
The Orient Jakarta, Jl. Jend Sudirman Kav 36
Bend. Hilir, Kecamatan Tanah Abang
Kota Jakarta Pusat, Jakarta, Indonesia, 10210
Event Passed
Saturday, October 22, 2022
2-5 p.m. TRT
Istanbul, Turkey
Wyndham Grand İstanbul Kalamış Marina Hotel
Fener Kalamis Caddesi No 38
Kalamis, Kadikoy, İstanbul 34726, Türkiye
Event Passed
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
6-9 p.m. KST
Busan, Korea
One-on-One Meetings
Lotte Hotel
772 Gaya-daero, Bujeon-dong, Busanjin-gu
Busan, South Korea
Event Passed
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
6-9 p.m. KST
Saturday, October 29 + November 5,
2-4 p.m. KST
Seoul, Korea
SAIC Day (10/26/22))
One on One Meetings (10/29 + 11/5/22)
Lotte Hotel Seoul
30 Eulji-ro, Jung-gu
Seoul, Korea 04533
Event Passed
*NEW DATE: Saturday, October 29, 2022
7-9 p.m. KST
Jeju-Do, Korea
One-on-One Meetings
Lotte City Hotel Jeju
83 Doryeong-ro, Jeju-si
Jeju-do, South Korea
Event Passed
Saturday, November 5, 2022
3-6 p.m. CT
Mexico City, Mexico
Kurimanzutto Gallery
Cda. Gobernador Rafael Rebollar 94
San Miguel Chapultepec 11850
Ciudad de México, CDMX
Event Passed
Sunday, November 6, 2022
11 a.m. - 2 p.m. CT
Mexico City, Mexico
One-on-One Meetings
MX Grand Suites Hotel
Calle Río Lerma 275
Mexico City, Mexico 06500
Event Passed
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
6-9 p.m. COT
Bogota, Colombia
One-on-One Meetings
Carrera 11 86- 74
Chapinero, 11001 Bogotá, Colombia
Event Passed
Saturday, November 19, 2022
2-5 p.m. BRT
Sao Paulo, Brazil
One-on-One Meetings
Grand Hyatt São Paulo
Avenida das Nacoes Unidas 13.301
Sao Paulo, Brazil, 04578-000
Event Passed
Saturday, December 3, 2022
12-4 p.m. BST
London, United Kingdom
One-on-One Meetings
citizenM London Bankside Hotel
20 Lavington St.
London, UK SE1 0NZ
Event Passed
Saturday, December 10, 2022
11 - 5 p.m. TST
Taipei, Taiwan
One-on-One Meetings
citizenM Taipei Hotel
No. 3 Section 1 Zhonghua Rd.
Zhongzheng District
Taipei, Taiwan
Event Passed


International students are reviewed for merit-based scholarships during the admissions process. No additional application is necessary.

International students are eligible to work on-campus up to 20 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters, and 40 hours per week during the Summer and Winter sessions, without authorization from our International Affairs office. International students may not be employed off-campus unless authorized by an international student advisor (this includes unpaid and volunteer employment).

Students may review job listings at the careers and internships website, and apply directly to each office.

A listing of international scholarships and informational websites is available on the SAIC International Affairs website under Financial Resources.

Alternative/private loans are available to international students who can secure a co-signer who is a US Citizen or Permanent Resident and is considered creditworthy by the lender. Students may find helpful information on understanding the alternative/private loan process at, or Students are encouraged to check with their home country for student loans before applying for alternative/private loans.

Our International Affairs team will help guide you through the immigration process. The two most common types of visas for our students are:

  1. The F-1 Student Visa, which is used by most students.
  2. The J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa (Student Category), which is designed for non-privately sponsored students, such as those whose funding comes from their government, the Fulbright Commission, or those who are SAIC exchange participants.

Canadian Citizens

While Canadian citizens also enter as F-1 students on SAIC-issued immigration documentation, Canadian students are exempt from the actual visa application process. 

Certificate of Eligibility (I-20)

The US government requires that all international applicants provide SAIC with evidence of your ability to pay a full year of tuition and living expenses before a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) may be issued. To apply for your I-20, you will need to prepare the following documents:

  • Completed immigration and financial matters packet
  • Bank statement showing a full year of available funding
  • Copy of your passport biographical page
  • International declaration of intent

Learn more about immigration and visas on the International Affairs website.

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.

Services we provide:

  • Orientations for new students held prior to each semester
  • Assistance with visas, pre-arrival and arrival concerns
  • Workshops on topics ranging from immigration regulations to resources for achieving academic, financial, and personal goals
  • Advice on Optional Practical Training after graduation

International Affairs
Phone: 312.629.6830
Fax: 312.629.6831