Passage Plantée
Rue Montmartre

What are the requirements to apply for study abroad with the Paris Institute of Creative Arts?

All students wishing to study in Paris must meet the following requirements:

• Must be at least 18 years of age
• Possess a high school diploma, or equivalent G.E.D.
• Maintain at least a 2.8 GPA in all college classes.
• Must submit most recent transcript (college transcripts) along with their application.

Do I need to submit a portfolio or samples of my work with my application?

Students are not required to submit a portfolio with their application but we do welcome students sharing their work with us.

Do I need to have previous art experience or an art background to attend Paris Institute of Creative Arts?

Our program is open to art majors and non-art majors. We find that the mix of students with backgrounds in Liberal Arts, Visual Arts and Performing Arts allows for very rich interactions between students. Likewise, we have found that liberal arts students with little previous exposure to the visual arts are able to succeed very well in our introductory level classes.

Does Paris Institute of Creative Arts offer financial aid or scholarships?

At this time, Paris Institute of Creative Arts does not offer any financial aid or private scholarships, but there are several other options for students. Check with your home university to see if your financial aid is transferable for study abroad.

How much money should I budget for my time abroad?

Each student is different so it’s difficult to recommend a set amount, however, $15-20 per day for your entire stay in Paris is a good starting point. If you plan on traveling at all during your time in Paris try to take these travel expenses into account before you leave.

Where should I exchange my money in Paris?

There are numerous options for changing Dollars into Euros. Typically the least advantageous is to use change offices as there are typically high commissions or unattractive exchange rates. Therefore, it is best to instead deal with banks to exchange money. Check with your U.S. bank to see if there is an easy option to use an ATM card to withdraw cash. Typically the exchange rates are the fairest. The one issue to be careful about is the withdrawal fee. Some U.S. banks have partnerships with banks in France and will waive the withdrawal fee..

How do I know if my ATM/Check card will work abroad?

Before leaving for Paris, be sure to contact your bank to let them know you’ll be traveling abroad. They can tell you whether your ATM and/or credit card will work properly in Europe. Typically if your bank has a Cirrus logo on the back it will work.

What should I do once I arrive in Paris?

If you are arriving at Charles de Gaulle on the advised morning, a representative from PICA will meet you at the airport and arrange for transportation into the city. For those arriving at another time, you have the option of Taxis from any of the airports which typically will cost at least 45 € for the trip into the city. Otherwise, there are numerous options using public transportation, including the RER Suburban train line for about 10 €.
*Important: If you are arriving before the check-in date, arriving after hours, or over the weekend you are responsible for reserving accommodations at a hotel.

When will I receive my housing assignment?

Students arranging housing through Paris Institute of Creative Arts will be sent housing information by e-mail 1-2 weeks before classes begin. If you have questions about housing you can also contact us.

How does class registration work?

Soon after acceptance into the PICA program, students will be asked to pre-register for their five first choice classes along with three alternative courses. Students will then be notified of their course registration for the up-coming semester.

When will I receive my class schedule?

Class schedules will be given out in Paris during the initial on-site orientation.

Should I buy my art supplies in Paris or the U.S.?

There are many art supply stores in Paris where you will be able to find most of your necessary supplies. Depending on where you buy your materials in the U.S. it may be more or less expensive than what you might find in Paris. Typically, if you use internet sources in the U.S. (Utrecht, Daniel Smith, Dick Blick for art supplies, B&H Photo, Adorama for photo supplies) the prices may be a little cheaper than in Paris. In most cases it’s probably best to avoid bringing overly heavy materials and instead buy those once in Paris. Photography materials from the big stores in New York can be considerably cheaper than in Paris. If you wish to buy a new (or used) camera, this is typically much cheaper in the U.S. than in Paris.

What Photography supplies do you recommend students bring for photo classes?

It is recommended that students have their own digital or film-based camera (for the digital or black and white photo classes) but we do have a small number of cameras students can rent for your study period in Paris. It’s best to communicate this need with us early to insure we have a camera available. For digital camera purchase, students should look for a camera with at least 12 megapixel resolution and the possibility of manually adjusting lens apertures and shutter speeds. There are many excellent digital cameras available. Nikon, Canon, Sony and Fuji all make excellent ones. For film cameras Nikon, Canon and Minolta are usually excellent options. If you will be bringing an older camera it’s best to have it checked out before arriving to make sure it’s in a good state.