Student Life

Student Community

Eat the World event on Benefit Street

Students come to RISD from throughout the US and more than 50 countries around the world, bringing a wide range of perspectives and experiences to campus. Yet they share a love of art and find common ground in their drive to make meaningful work and communicate visually. This inspiring breadth of cultural diversity enriches our creative community—both at work and play.

Get involved

RISD’s Center for Student Involvement (CSI) offers students a wide range of experiences that support their growth as critical thinkers and global citizens. As an on-campus hub of engaged student activity, CSI develops and manages several service and experiential learning programs, including the Pre-orientation Service Experience (POSE) for incoming students, and organizes activities on campus throughout the academic year.

Students can also participate in some of the 70-plus student-initiated clubs and organizations on campus. Managed by CSI, these organizations connect students who share similar cultural backgrounds or interests in athletics, entrepreneurship, global issues and more.

Learning to lead

RISD students have a number of avenues for exploring an interest in leadership. Among these CSI-run opportunities are the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Alliances and the RISD LEADS workshop series and certificate program.

CSI also partners with RISD’s director of community relations to build and maintain relationships with area nonprofits and other organizations by connecting interested students with service and leadership development opportunities, and through other forms of ongoing communication and engagement.

Supporting intercultural experiences

RISD’s office of Intercultural Student Engagement (ISE) promotes cultural awareness, dialogue and interaction to foster inclusivity and understanding. Working closely with faculty, staff and administrators, ISE advises student-led cultural groups and helps students to develop strong leadership skills.

The office of International Student Services (OISS) advocates for international students, advising them on a wide variety of experiences related to studying in the US and at RISD in particular. Through walk-in advising and scheduled appointments, OISS supports the success of our diverse international student population by helping with immigration compliance, employment searches and US systems navigation, along with cross-cultural awareness and support initiatives

LGBTQQ support

RISD offers a welcoming environment for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning. Members of RISD’s LGBTQQ community get together regularly through a number of student groups and organizations—including RISD Feminists and the Queer Student Association (QSA)—providing programming, education, social activities and support.

Intercultural Student Engagement also provides resources and support for LGBTQQ students. Feel free to contact the Residence Life or Student Affairs with any questions or concerns.

Pursuing religious and spiritual practices

RISD is committed to embracing the diverse range of religious beliefs and spiritualities held by our students, including those of no faith. Intercultural Student Engagement helps RISD students, faculty and staff connect with their religious communities in Providence and assists anyone wishing to continue their religious and spiritual practices while at RISD. Our community also enjoys connections with a number of religious organizations at neighboring Brown University and beyond.