Student Exchange

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Would you like to experience the world from an entirely different perspective? Immerse yourself in an entirely different culture? Increase employment prospects and networking reach? Enrich your personal development? Study abroad can change your life. Unlike many other colleges, we don't give you a choice of several international programs to consider -- instead, we work with you to identify the right international experience for you, based on your professional and personal goals.

MECA also has pre-existing agreements with several international schools including:

(SACI) Florence, Italy

CORTONA, ITALY through the University of Georgia

Burren, Ireland

CHINA ACADEMY OF ART, the Province of Zhejiang, P.R. China

Hong Kong

Various options exist for international study. Recently students have studied at Burren College of Art in Ireland; the Lamar Dodd School of Art in Italy; the Studio Arts Centers International Program in Florence, Italy; and Lexia in Cape Town, South Africa. Contact the Registration and Academic Advising Office for more information.

Fore more info on Forest's work, visit

AICAD Mobility Program

MECA students can take advantage of off-campus study through the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design Mobility Program. This allows students to study for a semester at 35 participating institutions throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center
MECA students can take three summer courses at this renowned center in Massachusetts, for the combined equivalent of three credit hours (one studio course). Financial aid is available.

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Opportunities for Cross Registration

The Greater Portland Alliance of Colleges and Universities
MECA, the University of New England, the University of Southern Maine, Saint Joseph's College, and the Southern Maine Technical College participate in a consortium allowing cross-registration among the five schools, to enrich and expand educational opportunities for all their students.

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Bowdoin College Exchange
MECA has a cross-registration program with Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, 35 minutes from Portland.

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Continuing Studies

Full-time MECA students may take one Continuing Studies course each semester at no extra tuition charge, paying only the studio fee. Over 150 Continuing Studies courses are offered each year, ranging from traditional studio courses to technology education. Continuing Studies courses may apply toward BFA degree requirements by special approval by the Scholastic Affairs Committee and the Dean of the College.

Chinese Delegation of Art Educators Visit MECA This Spring

March 31, Portland, ME—This spring, Maine College of Art will be welcoming an incoming delegation from the Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts (XAFA) in China. The delegation marks the developing relationships that MECA is forging with several leading art academies in Greater China.

The President’s Delegation from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts will arrive in Portland on April 14th and includes Professor Guo Xianlu, President; Mr. Wu Shunong, Director of International Cooperation & Exchanges Office; Professor Shi Cun, Director of the Post-Graduate Office; and Ms. Chen Tianqui, International Relations and Contracts. They will stay until April 16th, and will spend the time touring the college, meeting students and faculty, and discussing the exchange program launched between the two colleges. President Guo Xianlu will also deliver a public lecture on April 15th titled, ‘Traditional Chinese Decorative Art & Design.’

This is one of three institutional relationships that MECA has formed with China in the past year. The relationship began in the spring of 2013 when MECA President Don Tuski traveled with Suzanne Fox, President of Fox Intercultural Consulting and Professor Gan Xu of MECA to Xi’an to visit the college’s campus and meet the faculty. Located in Western China, Xi’an is one of the most historically rich regions in China, famed for its Terracotta Warriors and its location on the edge of the Silk Road.

MECA has also formed partnerships with several other art academies in China this past year, including the Academy of Visual Arts (AVA) at Baptist University in Hong Kong. Professor Tricia Flanagan of the AVA traveled to MECA from Hong Kong in March 2014; she spent time with numerous departments, spoke to MECA students who are keen on traveling to Hong Kong—and offered a public lecture on her artistic practice and her running of the innovative Wearables Lab at the AVA in Hong Kong.

Portland in Hong Kong: A Blog by Clare Morin

More Info on MECA’s Year in China:

In 2014, we are kicking off our long-term partnerships with Chinese art academies and cultural institutions with a calendar of events, talks, and East/West journeys.

China has become a major superpower. In the coming decades, we will start to see significant cultural influences emerging from the country. There are an astonishing number of museums being built in Greater China and the wider Asian region—and the art markets have firmly planted themselves in Beijing and Hong Kong. For MECA to connect with this rapidly growing cultural economy will bring long-term benefits in the future—from student recruitment to institutional connectivity, and a greater awareness among students in the globalized era.

International Partnerships

In the past year, MECA has set up partnerships with three leading art colleges in Greater China. These partnerships offer an excellent way to forge long-term connections with China, place MECA on the map globally, bring artists from China to Maine, and offer students and staff at MECA an opportunity to travel abroad and connect with global art and cultural shifts.

Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, Xi’An (XAFA)

Following the delegation of Don Tuski, Suzanne Fox and Professor Gan Xu to Xi’An in March of 2013, we are building connections with this respected Chinese art academy. There will be an incoming delegation from XAFA to Maine in April 2014.

Academy of Visual Arts, Baptist University of Hong Kong (AVA)

Hong Kong is emerging as a major arts center in Asia. Don Tuski and Suzanne Fox visited the AVA in Hong Kong in March of 2013 and then welcomed a visit from John Aiken, Chair of the Academy (and former head of the Slade, in London) when he visited Portland in June and signed a student exchange agreement. In March of 2014, we welcomed Tricia Flanagan, who heads the international exchange program for AVA and is a respected artist and educator on fashion design and public art.

China Academy of Art, Hangzhou (CAA)

China Academy of Art is one of the most famous art colleges in China. Based by the serene lakes of Hangzhou, just 40 minutes by bullet train from Shanghai, it is a stunning campus that combines the ancient literati elements of classical Chinese art with cutting-edge innovation. Following Don Tuski and Suzanne Fox’s visit to CAA in 2013, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CAA to open up possibilities for partnership and exchange.