Visiting and Exchange Students

At FIT, our visiting and exchange students enhance our campus and add to the intercultural environment. For one to two semesters (based on the agreement type), these students come to us from all over the world to join classes in a variety of departments. Visiting students are one-way inbound students and exchange students are bilateral, in that we send and receive students.

Students must be nominated by one of our international partner institutions. If you are interested in studying at FIT, but your institution does not have an agreement with FIT, please have your home international office reach out to Dr. Helen Gaudette, Assistant Dean for International Education, to discuss the possibility of becoming partners.

Incoming students at FIT must be nominated by the partner institution. Nominations do not guarantee participation in the program and must first be confirmed by the FIT host department.

  • Fall semester (August - December): nominations due early March
  • Spring semester (January - May): nominations due early October

Once nominated, students will receive the link to register in our application system from the relevant OIP Coordinator. The initial registration does not include all of the visa documentation, but you should begin to collect those materials to submit (see next section).

  • Fall semester (August - December): application due mid-March
  • Spring semester (January - May): application due mid-October

We welcome two categories of students: 

  • Visiting students (inbound only): receive F-1 visas* and are fee-paying students
  • Exchange students (bilateral program): receive J-1 visas* and pay their home institution tuition and fees, aside from the mandatory health insurance at FIT

The documentation needed for the visa will be requested within the registration/application portal. However you can expect to prepare the following:

  1. Original Academic Transcript (in English)
  2. English Proficiency Report, tests accepted/scores required if applicable
  3. Scan of valid passport
  4. International Student Financial Statement Form (ISFS), located in portal
  5. Bank letter, if applicable per #4
  6. DS-2019 Request Form (J-1 exchange students only)
  7. Digital Portfolio (link or PDF), if design students

Though the Office of International Programs (OIP) facilitates the application process, the International Student Services (ISS) staff are the experts. Specific visa questions should be addressed to them. Upon receipt of all correct documentation, ISS will send you information about applying for your visa.

*There are limitations on work based not only on government regulations, but the agreements between FIT and students' home universities.

Estimated expenses can be found here. Note that the top section is what is billed to your FIT Student Account and the bottom section is just to assist with your personal budgeting.

Special International Collaborations

In addition to single semester visiting and exchange students, FIT also collaborates with international partners for year-long and Dual Degree programs.

Our Double Diploma Program with Istanbul Technical University (ITU) in Istanbul, Turkey, began in 2003. In this program, ITU students may enroll in one of our collaborative Double Diploma Programs leading to a baccalaureate degree: one in Fashion Design and the other in Textile Development and Marketing. Programs are conducted in English in both Istanbul and New York City.

The double diploma degree is based on a single, integrated set of academic courses; it is a single degree, jointly awarded by FIT and ITU. Since the academic work of the programs satisfies the degree requirements for each school, graduates receive two diplomas. Since 2003, approximately 200 students in Fashion Design and Textile Development and Marketing students have graduated from FIT and ITU!

The FIT contact for this program is Brian Walters.

ZSTU: In 2009, ZSTU became first international college partnering with FIT to offer a one-year international visiting student AAS program. Students who complete the program are awarded an AAS from FIT as they receive a Bachelor's degree from ZSTU. ZSTU students complete Fashion Design and Fashion Business Management majors at FIT.

DHU: FIT offers a one-year international visiting student AAS program to Donghua students. Students who complete the program are awarded an AAS from FIT as they receive a Bachelor's degree from Donghua. Donghua students primarily take courses in Accessories Design, Advertising and Marketing Communications, Communication Design, Fashion Business Management, Textile Development and Marketing, and Textile/Surface Design.

NIFT: FIT offers a one-year international visiting student AAS program. Students who complete the program are awarded an AAS from FIT as they receive a Bachelor's degree from NIFT. NIFT students primarily take courses in Fashion Design, Textile and Surface Design, Accessories Design, and Communication Design.

As of Fall 2022, ISCOM and the Advertising & Marketing Communications (AMC) department at FIT began offering this new joint Bachelor curriculum, wherein selected students from both institutions study Global Marketing Communications together over two academic years. The first year takes place in the U.S. on the FIT campus in New York City and the second year is in Paris, France on the ISCOM campus.

This unique curriculum includes Global Marketing Communications-related courses taught by ISCOM and FIT professors (in English), as well as internships (in English) in both countries. Students will study together (with a few course exceptions) and will work in U.S. and French teams on real projects for real brands and real international markets. This unparalleled curriculum is limited to 12 AMC students per cohort, with currently one cohort each year.

Contact Us

Office of International Programs

Room B119
+1 (212) 217-5380