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The next CDFNY Summer Program will run July 13-31, 2020.

  • This 3-week, 3-credit summer program offers international college students an opportunity to develop their creative abilities while experiencing American culture in New York City.
  • Students may choose between two course options: Creative Art & Design Studio or Animation & Visual Effects Studio Pipeline.
  • Activities include company, studio and museum visits, walking tours, a Broadway musical, and more.

Registration will open late fall 2019. Contact with any questions.

Program Overview

The Culture, Design, and Fine Arts in New York Summer Program offers international college students an opportunity to develop their creative abilities while experiencing American culture in New York City.

Students may choose between two courses offered in this program and will be awarded 3 undergraduate studio credits upon successful completion of the course. Classes are held Monday-Friday, for 3 hours each day. The course curriculum will be supplemented by additional creative and cultural enrichment activities outside of class time. All instructors are SVA faculty and professionals in their respective fields. Space is limited and registration is based on a first-come, first-served basis.

The program includes a variety of organized social and cultural activities, such as museum visits, Broadway musicals, movie nights, and walking tours. An exhibition of student work will be held on the last Friday of the program.

Students have the option to stay in SVA housing during this program.

For further information, please contact the Office of Programs for International Students at or 212.592.2238.

Dates: July 13-31, 2020

2020 Tuition: $2000 (includes a $250 tuition deposit fee)

2020 Housing: $1800 (optional, shared room accommodation; includes a $250 housing deposit fee)

Supplies: Students are responsible for their own supplies. A supply list will be provided prior to the start of the course.

Visa: The College cannot provide you with a visa for this program, nor assist you in obtaining one. As a general rule, international students can take a vocational or recreational course as long as it is incidental to their main purpose of visiting the U.S. Further questions about visa status can be directed to the International Students Office at

Health Insurance: All students must have their own health insurance. 

Program Eligibility


Educational Background

The program is open to international art and design students who have completed at least one semester of college or university and/or will be enrolled in college or university in fall 2020. Portfolio submission is not required to attend. Students without an art or design background who are interested in participating should contact

English Proficiency 

Courses are taught in English, and are suitable for students with at least an intermediate level of English proficiency. A TOEFL score is not required for participation in this program. 


Registration will open late fall 2019.


Due by April 15

  • Course registration, payment of the $250 tuition deposit fee (required to register for the course).
  • Housing registration, payment of the $250 housing deposit fee (required to register for housing).

Due by May 15

  • Full Payment: Registered Registered students who have not paid in full must pay the balance (remainder of tuition fee and fee for housing, if desired).
Registration Instructions

Submit the Online Pre-Registration Form 

Used to verify eligibility to participate in this program. 

Fill out and submit the online pre-registration form here. We will review your information and contact you within 3-5 business days regarding your eligibility to participate in this program.

Those who may be eligible to participate in the program will be sent further instructions about the next steps.

Enrollment Verification

Those who may be eligible to participate will be asked to submit a copy of transcript, current course schedule, letter of enrollment, or diploma verifying college/university enrollment.

Course & Housing Registration / Payment

Once enrollment verification has been received and deemed sufficient, we will send an email with a link to register for the course and housing (optional) online. Only those who have been approved to register will be sent the link.

Payment of the $250 tuition deposit fee is required in order to register for the course, and payment of the $250 housing deposit fee is required to register for housing. Registration should be completed by April 15. Full payment of tuition and housing fees (if applicable) is due by May 15.

Those who register for a course/housing will receive confirmation via email.

Course Offerings

2020 Tuition Fee: $2000

Tuition includes a $250 tuition deposit fee, which is required at the time of course registration (due by April 15). The remainder of the tuition fee ($1750) is due by May 15.

Courses run Monday – Friday, 3 hours per day. Students may choose between two course options (below). The course curriculum will be supplemented by additional creative and cultural enrichment activities outside of class time.


Studio Arts – Creative Art & Design

FID-1192, 3 credits

This intensive course is designed for international students who wish to develop their studio skills while learning new ways of approaching visual communication. It is comprised of a variety of subject areas, including brainstorming and creative design, figure drawing, and illustration. Projects will be assigned in each subject area that will push students to explore the boundaries of their creativity.

The course will be taught by multiple SVA faculty members, each of whom is also a fine arts or design professional.

Supplemental Activities: Students will complete a NYC Visual Diary project, participate in additional faculty critiques, and will have the opportunity to attend guest lectures/studio visits with creative professionals.

Animation and Visual Effects Studio Pipeline

SMD-1192, 3 credits

In this course students will examine the production pipelines used by studios in New York City and create a short animation from start to finish. Students will creatively direct their own short, from character design to final execution.

By examining all the different aspects of standard 3D production and compositing, students will be exposed to various disciplines and will be able to focus more on their interests. Premade assets are used throughout as we explore various steps of production, allowing students to focus on a certain area of study (ex. modeling, texturing and lighting, animation) without necessarily creating all the assets from scratch for each exercise. This enables students to focus on the task at hand while being exposed to real-world resources and exploring production-driven techniques. They also explore techniques used in studios to render CG and superimpose it with live-action in Nuke, a common practice in today’s film and commercial industries. for the final, students will have the opportunity to create their own assets from scratch and animate them in Maya. 

Other production tools will be explored, including how motion capture is used with character animation and a look at painting tools for the 3D geometry. Finally, students will composite their work with Nuke software and color correct creating a QuickTime movie they can share with family and friends. 

Supplemental Activities: Students will be given the opportunity to visit professional studios in New York City to get an insider’s look at the production pipeline in action. Extra lab time will also be provided so that students may continue working on their assignments with staff guidance.


2020 Housing Fee: $1,800

Limited shared room accommodation is available (optional). All SVA housing is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

The housing fee includes a $250 housing deposit, which is required at the time of housing registration (due by April 15). The remainder of the housing fee ($1550) is due by May 15.

Late housing registration may be permitted if space is available. After April 15, students must pay the full housing fee of $1,800 (includes the $250 housing deposit) in order to register for housing.

About Summer Housing

CDFNY students are housed at the 23rd Street Residence, which is located adjacent to the 209 East 23 Street building and rooms are arranged in an apartment-style setting. There is 24-hour security at the housing building entrance. People must show a picture ID to enter the building. A program staff member is on call for emergencies throughout the night until class time in the morning.

Apartments come with two- to three-bedroom suites, with central air and heat as well as full kitchen and bathroom facilities. Each apartment houses between four to six students and offers sweeping, picturesque views of the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building and the East River. All rooms in the New Residence are equipped with wireless internet access. You must provide your own computer. Recreational space and laundry facilities are available.

Housing Check-in: Please arrive on Saturday, July 11, between 9 AM and 10 PM or Sunday, July 12, between 9 AM and 4 PM. Students who need to arrive later must pre-arrange their check-in time by contacting Housing students should return to the basement lounge at 5 PM on Sunday for a meeting and neighborhood tour.

Housing Check-out: Students may check out on Friday, July 31, prior to or directly following the student exhibition. All students must check out before or by 6 PM on Saturday, August 1.

Meal Plan: A meal plan that covers breakfast Monday-Friday is provided (no additional cost).

Housing Curfew: Students must return to the residence hall by 12 AM (midnight) each night.

Drug & Alcohol Policy: Students cannot consume or possess illegal drugs or alcohol at any time. Students cannot have anyone in their room who is found in possession of any drugs or alcohol. Residents or guests who enter the building or are found in an intoxicated state within the building may be subject to judicial action and follow-up which may include expulsion from housing.



A range of organized evening and weekend activities are included in the cost of tuition. All students in the program are encouraged to participate. 

Previous activities include visits to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Broadway musicals, movie nights, exploring The High Line and Central Park, and much more.

Airport Transportation

SVA does not offer a pick up service from or to the airports.

Students may arrange for a car service or use the regulated New York City medallion yellow taxicabs. The cost is approximately $55 USD from LaGuardia or JFK airports to SVA. LaGuardia and JFK airports are the most convenient airports to travel from and to SVA.

Look for the “Ground Transportation” signs when exiting the airport. Do not accept offers from anyone in the airport terminal who approaches you. Firmly say “no, thank you” and look for the taxi line when exiting the terminal after you have retrieved your luggage. Follow the signs for the taxi line. You will see a kiosk with a staff person where other passengers are waiting for a taxi. Again, if anyone approaches you to take you to a taxicab that is not yellow, firmly say “no, thank you”.

Only Take New York City Medallion Yellow Taxicabs!


Orientation Meeting for all CDFNY Summer Program Students

A mandatory orientation will be held at the beginning of the program.

Event details will be sent to students prior to the start of the program.

Student Exhibition

A exhibition of student art will be held on the final Friday of the program. The exhibition is open to the public, and all family and friends are welcome to attend.

Refund Policy

Refunds are available if a written request to officially withdraw is submitted to Failure to complete a course does not constitute an official withdrawal, nor does notifying an instructor, nor does lack of attendance.

Refund Policy

  • On or before April 15: Full tuition and housing fees (including deposits). 
  • April 16-July 12: Full tuition less the $250 tuition deposit fee. Full housing fee including the $250 deposit fee.
  • On or after July 13: NO REFUNDS

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587