Applications for OCAD U's Summer Residency Program for Art and Design Students Now Open

By OCAD University Modified on April 04, 2024
Tags : Arts & Culture | Community | High School | News | Travel

Apply before April 26, 2024 to come to Canada this summer to develop your art skills just in time to apply to university.

 OCAD U Offers Summer Residency Program for Art Students

Are you a high school student with a passion for art and design? Do you want to develop your skills and build up your portfolio? If so, OCAD University’s International Summer Art & Design Residency program may be for you! OCAD University, located in Toronto, is Canada’s oldest and largest university for art, design, and media. There’s no better place to study art than with OCAD U faculty while immersed in Toronto’s creative culture!

What is OCAD University’s Summer Residency program?

OCAD University’s International Summer Art & Design Residency program is designed for high school students like you to immerse themselves in the world of art. This summer, you could spend three weeks getting hands-on studio experience under the guidance of OCAD U faculty.

OCAD U’s summer residency program runs from Monday, July 8th to Friday, July 26th, 2024. So, if living in Toronto while creating art is something you’d like to do this summer, then make sure you apply by April 26, 2024!

As for the residency part of our program, you’ll be provided with housing at HOEM, one of OCAD U’s student housing partners, where you’ll get breakfast and dinner and have access to a gym, yoga studio, and more!

Want a better idea of what kind of art you could create in the residency program? Check out some pieces created by 2023’s residency participants from around the globe, uncovering personal ideas of “place" inspired by the residency's theme, "Wanderlust," which appeared in an exhibition at OCAD University's Ada Slaight Gallery.

Why should I do the Summer Residency program?

If you’re interested in attending a post-secondary school — like OCAD University — for art and design, then this program is perfect for you! This three-week program is similar to what you’d find in your first year at OCAD U. You’ll have studio classes, critiques from professors, and work on projects that help you improve your skills. Plus, you’ll add new work to your portfolio for when you apply to art schools.

When asked about their time in OCAD U’s residency program, Mika Tappan, who completed the residency program in 2023, said, “During my time at OCAD U this summer, I had the opportunity to foster both my artistic and personal growth in an intimate group setting. The many resources provided and the collaboration of like-minded students from around the world allowed me to gain insight into my creation. The program integrated personal artist visits, discussions about college admissions, and artist statement work into a creative environment within a three-week period. I learned to curate and critique with others while experiencing living unique to Toronto."

Am I eligible for the Summer Residency program?

The International Summer Art & Design Residency program is intended for international students wanting to visit Canada and develop their creative skills. So, other than a passion for art and design, applicants must also:

  • be a senior high school student
    • You must have completed grade 10 and are 16 years or older
  • be proficient in written and spoken English
    • As a guideline, we would expect you to have an IELTS score of 4.5 to 6.0.
  • have a parent or legal guardian if under 18 years old
    • You could also have a custodian in Canada instead (someone who’s a Canadian citizen or permanent resident)
  • get a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to enter Canada
    • Unless you’re a citizen from the United States, you’ll need one of these to enter Canada. Visit the Government of Canada website to find out which one you should apply for.

The time it takes to get a visa can vary depending on your country. So, check out the average processing time for your region on the Government of Canada website. If you have any questions about the visa process or want some advice, feel free to reach out to They can offer some guidance, but they can’t complete the visa application for you.

How can I apply for the Summer Residency program?

If you’re interested in the International Summer Art & Design Residency program, then you’ll need to submit a complete application by April 26, 2024! As part of your application, you’ll need:

  • a completed application form
  • a written statement of intent
    • In approximately 250-350 words, answer the following questions: why are you interested in this program? What areas of interest and/or media do you work in? What are you hoping to achieve or gain while immersed in this program?
  • your art/design portfolio
    • 5-8 files that include images or documentation of your art or design work

For more information on how to apply, check out our International Summer Art & Design Residency program page.

Have the adventure of a lifetime this summer by coming to Canada to immerse yourself in Toronto’s creative culture and develop your concepts, skills, and techniques as an artist. Apply for the International Summer Art & Design Residency program before April 26, 2024!

Learn more about OCAD U’s International Summer Art & Design Residency program

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