The International Gateway Program is a specially designed course of study for new CalArts students from around the world. Arriving before the start of the Fall semester, participating students focus on English language acquisition and adapt early to life in their new environment. In addition to formal classroom instruction, the program features a range of activities and trips designed to help international students get to know the CalArts campus and its surrounding community. Most importantly, students in the program join in a supportive community as they meet with both CalArts faculty and international classmates, making it easier to adjust to the fast pace of the CalArts educational experience once school begins.
Language classes are held Monday – Friday mornings for two weeks and taught by a certified ESL/ELL instructor. Students are introduced to the fundamentals of the English language and engage in various modes of usage that will prepare them for optimal performance in an English-speaking environment. In addition, the class prepares students to participate in afternoon Arts & Culture classes by introducing key terminology and concepts relevant to each day’s topic.
Complementing the morning language classes, the program features afternoon Arts and Culture units led by CalArts faculty members. Each two-day unit has a different topic that focuses on a particular exhibition or event. Each unit begins on the CalArts campus with research and discussion to contextualize the topic in question and introduce students to the vocabulary and issues that are relevant to artists in the field. The following day, students are led on a field trip to view and experience the exhibition or event. Topics vary and represent different schools within the Institute. This portion of the curriculum prepares students to actively engage in the activities and discourse of the CalArts community.
On evenings and weekends students have the opportunity to relax and socialize with their peers. Activities include, but are not limited to, swimming, movie screenings and shopping excursions. Students learn how to navigate their way through the Santa Clarita Valley, use all available means of transportation, and find local malls, movie theaters, and stores for food and clothing.
During International Gateway, students participate in preorientation activities with the Institute International Advisor. The Advisor welcomes students and familiarizes them with their rights and responsibilities as International students at CalArts. During this time students take care of their initial administrative duties, thus freeing themselves up to focus on the events within their métier during the traditional Orientation week.
On-campus housing is available for both BFA & MFA International Gateway students who will be living in a CalArts residence hall during the fall semester. Students move into the room that has been assigned to them for the regular academic year, allowing them to settle into their new home on campus and get to know their Resident Assistant (RA). Students who will not be living on campus will need to provide their own transportation to and from campus to participate in Gateway.
The International Gateway meal plan is included for on-campus students; it is optional, though highly recommended, for off campus students. The meal plan covers lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday only. Because one of the key objectives of this program is to help students become self-sufficient in their new homes, they are encouraged to stock their kitchens and prepare a few meals for themselves. Program staff will provide transportation assistance and guidance as students learn to shop for food and other supplies in the local area.
Critical Studies Faculty & Director of Summer Session