We live in an increasingly interdependent world. Economic problems that challenge the European Union affect investors on Wall Street and consumers on Main Street; political tensions in the Middle East affect farmers in Iowa; and cultural trends emerging in the Pacific Rim influence the music and film industries across the U.S. With the quickening pace of historically significant events, as evidenced by the past few years in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific Rim, we recognize that we can no longer be satisfied with an existence that is isolated from and unconcerned with events that occur in the world around us.
About 60% of all Hobart and William Smith students engage in some kind of off-campus/international learning experience before they graduate. Whether the experience is volunteering with a service organization in South Africa, interning with an organization in London or Brussels, or conducting fieldwork on the Great Barrier Reef, students at the Colleges understand the value of "breaking away" to discover something about themselves and others that cannot be as easily discovered in Upstate New York.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges encourage students to look for an off-campus experience that is appropriate to their academic and personal interests. The Colleges offer a wide variety of programs in different academic disciplines in a multitude of locations across the globe.
Because the Hobart and William Smith curriculum seeks to prepare students to live as global citizens, the academic program in many departments has been structured to facilitate off-campus study.
In recent years, the Colleges have offered semester-long off-campus programs on six continents, including such locations as: Amman, Jordan; Auckland, New Zealand; Seville, Spain; Brussels, Belgium; Galway, Ireland; Quito, Ecuador and Cuzco, Peru; London, England; Hanoi, Vietnam; Queensland, Australia; Berlin, Germany; Copenhagen, Denmark; Beijing and Nanjing, China; and Makhanda, South Africa. A number of these programs are led by Hobart and William Smith faculty, representing various disciplines, who design courses utilizing the sites and resources of the host countries. Others are offered through a long-standing partnership with Union College while additional off-campus study opportunities are available through partner institutions in the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium. A list of the Colleges' semester-long programs is provided at the end of this section.
There are other opportunities for Hobart and William Smith students to gain international experience and awareness. A variety of short-term program options are offered during the summer or between semesters, making international study accessible for students who may be unable to participate in a semester program.
Students must be in good academic and social standing to be eligible to participate in off-campus study. Academic and disciplinary records are closely scrutinized as part of the application review process. A minimum overall GPA of 2.5 is required for all programs, although some affiliate programs maintain a higher GPA requirement. Prior approval of courses to be counted toward major, minor, and graduation requirements at Hobart and William Smith must be obtained from the appropriate department chairs and academic advisors.
Detailed information is available from the Center for Global Education. HWS course credit and program grades are awarded for all off-campus study programs that we administer. Many semester programs generally conform to the HWS academic calendar, although some immersion programs run on the host institution's calendar. The Colleges assist with travel arrangements and students reside in prearranged housing.
On return to campus, participants are expected to live in college housing unless written exemption is granted by the appropriate dean.
Students planning to study abroad should be aware that travel often involves increased risks and inconveniences. These include different standards of accommodations, sustenance, medical care, and"in cases of foreign travel"different systems of law and justice. The Colleges do not carry insurance protecting individual students against liability for personal acts. In the unlikely event that students traveling abroad encounter legal difficulties, there can be no assurance that they will receive the same treatment afforded them in this country. Therefore, each student planning to study off- campus should be prepared to accept the risks of travel.
Expenses for semester program generally include tuition, fees, and room and board at a comparable rate as on campus, although in some cases students will pay for housing and/or meals directly depending upon individual program arrangements. In addition, there is a $600 administrative fee charged to all students studying off-campus. Airfare and personal expenses vary from site to site and are the responsibility of the participant. Short-term program fees vary by location and duration of the programs. Please see the CGE website for further information.
Hobart and William Smith financial aid applies to HWS semester programs only. Students not currently receiving aid, but who can demonstrate need in meeting additional costs involved in off-campus study, may also apply for support. Students should consult the Financial Aid office to determine how their financial aid package fits with the total cost of off-campus study. Note that short-term programs take place outside the regular academic year but students may apply for additional aid.
Selection of Applicants
Applicants are selected to participate in programs based on a review of academic and disciplinary records, academic "fit," seniority, and the strength of personal statements indicating how participation in a program will help in meeting academic and personal goals. Students must note carefully any prerequisites, especially foreign language requirements, for programs of interest; these requirements are identified in program literature and at informational meetings, and students may be advised to take a particular course in order to qualify. Special consideration is given to those students who have demonstrated particular interest and background in the disciplines offered. Center for Global Education staff, faculty and representatives from the dean's offices collaborate in the selection process.
Applications for off-campus study are submitted online through the Center for Global Education website. Application deadlines for semester programs are typically around October 1 (for programs to be offered during the fall term of the following academic year) and March 1 (for programs to be offered during the spring term of the following academic year) and admission decisions are announced within a few weeks of the deadlines. A nonrefundable deposit of $500 is due after acceptance to secure a place in the program, which is credited toward the semester abroad tuition payment. The application deadline for short-term programs is typically in mid-October for the upcoming summer and J-term in the following academic year.
Admitted students are required to attend a series of orientation meetings and make other preparations as outlined for each program. For some programs there may be a required preparatory course in the semester prior to the semester off-campus.
Orientation meetings, scheduled soon after admission decisions have been announced, cover such matters as travel arrangements, health and safety abroad, course registration, and other academic, cultural and administrative issues.
Further information about these programs, as well as additional international education opportunities, is available from the Center for Global Education or by consulting the HWS website. Students should consult the website and individual program pages for specific details such as program dates, course offerings, accommodations, eligibility, approximate cost, and group excursions.
Following is a list of the semester-long off-campus study programs available to HWS students:
* = Program led by faculty member(s) from HWS or partner institutions. Academic content/focus may vary depending upon faculty expertise.
French language and culture, art history, humanities and social sciences (Every Semester)
Aix-en-Provence, France (Marchutz School)
Studio art and fine arts (Every Semester)
Middle Eastern studies, social sciences, development, international relations (Every Spring)
Auckland, New Zealand*
Education, school internships (Spring, Even Year)
Other subjects, depending on faculty director (Spring, Odd Year)
Humanities, social sciences, internships (Every Semester)
Middle East studies, Israeli culture and society (Currently Suspended)
Beijing or Nanjing, China
Chinese language, literature, and culture, Asian studies (Every Semester)
Architectural studies, German area studies, urban studies, social sciences (Every Semester)
German area studies, international relations, biology, history, computer science (Every Semester)
International relations, media and society, political science, peace studies, internships (Every Fall)
Art history, economics, history, anthropology, political science, internships (Every Semester)
Dance, studio art, humanities, social sciences (Every Semester)
Humanities, social sciences, architectural studies, biology, pre-health, psychology, education (Every Semester)
Africana studies, French language, Francophone studies, social sciences (Every Spring)
Environmental studies, international relations, social sciences, German area studies (Every Semester)
All disciplines (some restrictions in science), Irish Studies, service learning (Every Semester)
Asian studies, anthropology, sociology, Vietnamese language, internships (Every Fall)
Japanese language and culture (Every Fall)
Asian studies, economics, environmental studies, media studies, political science, psychology (Every Semester)
Russian area studies, culture and society (Every Semester)
American studies, German area studies, physics (Every Semester)
Humanities, social sciences, computer science, psychology (Every Semester)
Humanities, social sciences, internships (Every Spring)
Humanities, social sciences, philosophy, mathematics, sciences (Every Semester)
Makhanda, South Africa
All disciplines, service learning (Every Spring)
Latin American studies, humanities, social sciences (Fall, Even Year)
All disciplines (Every Semester)
All disciplines (Every Semester)
Prague, Czech Republic
Humanities and social sciences (Every Semester)
Quebec City, Canada
French language immersion (Every Semester)
Biology, environmental studies, field studies, Australian culture (Every Fall)
Quito, Ecuador/Cuzco, Peru*
Environmental studies, international relations, Latin American studies (Spring, Odd Year)
Middle Eastern studies, social sciences, multiculturalism, migration (Every Fall)
French language immersion (Every Semester)
Studio art and art history, architectural studies, Italian language and culture (Every Spring)
Other subjects, depending on faculty director (Every Fall)
San Joaquin de Flores, Costa Rica
Spanish language immersion, Latin American studies (Every Spring)
So Paulo, Brazil*
Latin American studies, gender studies, media and society, Portuguese (Fall, Odd Year)
All disciplines (Every Semester)
Spanish language, culture, and society (Fall, Odd Year)
Humanities, social sciences, pre-health, psychology, gender studies (Every Semester)
Chinese language, culture and society, Asian studies (Every Semester)
Tokyo, Japan (Tanaka Memorial Fund)
Two-week program in Japanese culture (Every June)
Sciences (Every Spring)
All disciplines, German area studies (Every Semester)