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What is Colby's policy on transfer of credit from abroad?
Colby’s Office of Off-Campus Study (OCS) approves all study undertaken abroad and in certain approved domestic programs during the fall and/or spring semesters. Credit cannot be transferred to Colby and financial aid is not applicable without OCS approval. Approval for off-campus study (domestic or foreign) during Jan Plan and the summer, or for study at most domestic institutions during a semester on leave, is obtained by filing an “Application for Transfer of Credit” with the Registrar’s Office.
How will my credits transfer back to Colby?
If your plans are approved by OCS you will receive a full courseload of 15-16 credits per semester. Upon completion of your program a transcript will be sent to Colby and credits, courses and grades will be posted on your Colby record.
Can I earn credit towards my major, minor, distribution or diversity requirements off-campus?
Yes. Approval of courses toward the major, minor, distribution or diversity credit is decided by academic departments. For course credit to count toward your major or minor or a college requirement, these courses must be approved in writing by the appropriate academic department according to its policies.
May I take a course Pass/Fail?
You MAY NOT take a course on a pass/fail basis unless this is the only grading option available for that particular course.
How many credits do I have to take?
You are required to register and complete the equivalent of a full course-load which must be at least the equivalent of 15-16 Colby credits for the semester (you may transfer up to 20 credits back to Colby). In some cases, the course load required by Colby may be higher than that recommended by your program provider. Information on credit equivalencies and minimum/maximum course loads is available from the program or university you are attending or from the OCS course load requirements table.
If my program courses are worth 3 credits each, will I receive 4 credits for each course at Colby?
No. In most cases, programs that award 3 credits per course will define the normal full-time course load as 5 courses (15 credits) per semester based on contact hours and work-load per course. On the DIS program in Denmark, for example, courses are 3 credits each and you are required to enroll in 5 courses during the semester.
Do courses taken off-campus count toward my GPA?
Grades received and courses taken abroad on a Colby program (Colby in Salamanca, Dijon, St Petersburg, or Bigelow Laboratory) will appear on your transcript and will count in your Colby GPA. This includes passing and non-passing grades. You may elect to take a course satisfactory/unsatisfactory prior to a specific deadline, which will be announced once you arrive on-site. Resident directors of Colby programs submit the grades for students in their program directly to the registrar at Colby.
What is the minimum grade I must receive in order to receive credit?
You WILL NOT receive credit for any course in which a grade of less than C- was received, and the grade WILL APPEAR on your Colby transcript.
Do I need to know another language before I go?
Colby believes that foreign languages are the key to understanding foreign cultures and that the most rewarding experience abroad includes living in and speaking a language other than English. To study abroad in regions where the spoken language is taught at Colby, students are expected to have completed the equivalent of three semesters (through 127) of the given language (Spanish, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Russian) prior to study abroad. (For study in Portuguese-speaking countries (Portugal or Brazil), Colby requires the equivalent of 3 semesters of college level study of Spanish or another romance language).
Do I have to study the local language while I am abroad?
Students studying on programs in countries where the host language is not English are required to study the local language for the duration of the program. This includes both languages taught at Colby College and languages that are not included in the Colby curriculum. In some programs such as DIS (Denmark), the Danish language course will be in addition to 4 other courses for a total of 5 courses.
Can I take classes in English if I study in country where the local language is not English?
Yes, There are many quality program opportunities where the language of instruction is English even if English is not the official state language. For example, the approved programs list includes programs taught in English in the Czech Republic, Denmark, The Netherlands, and many others European, African or Asian countries. You must, however, take at least one course in the local language for the duration of the semester.
Can I do an Internship for credit?
International internship programs are encouraged, but must meet Off-Campus Study requirements and conform to Off-Campus Study and Colby College policies in order to earn academic credit. In addition to general policies, internship programs must include a non-paid internship with considerable academic work done in tandem and not to exceed 4 credit hours. The internship should be done as part of a study abroad program that is predominantly credited in terms of the courses taken. Typical models consist of 16 credits with the internship counting for 4 credits and three other courses counting for 4 credits each).
Please consult with OCS if you are interested in choosing an internship program abroad to assure that it will meet these requirements and that you will receive credit.
Can I do an independent study while studying off-campus?
In some cases, an independent study project (ISP) may be approved as long as you are working in conjunction with a Colby faculty member. If you participate in an SIT program where an ISP is required, you must bring your ISP project and any work back to campus to be reviewed by a Colby faculty member upon return. Before you go, you should identify a Colby faculty member who is willing to read and evaluate your project. Select someone familiar with your expected topic and discuss it with them.
How do I register for classes abroad?
Once you are admitted to an off-campus program or foreign university abroad you will be given the opportunity to select courses. In some cases you may not know for certain what courses you will take until you arrive and register. In other cases, your program may have a fixed curriculum for the semester.
Must I take my exams before I leave the country?
Yes, you are expected to attend classes regularly and to comply with all the requirements of your program. If you are studying at a foreign university or institution, you are required to take the regular final examinations for all courses in which you are enrolled, or to have an alternative assessment of your work if you are not allowed to take the final examinations. If you do not take a final examination in a course for which an exam is given, you will receive no Colby credit for the course. If you leave your program early or for extended periods of travel while classes are in session, the amount of credit you receive will be reduced. In extreme cases, you will receive no Colby credit for your period abroad. Please note that no course abroad may be taken pass/fail and receive Colby credit.
Can I receive JanPlan credit if I am studying away during JanPlan?
Colby students on some programs which are in session for most of January and whose total duration is at least eighteen weeks are exempt from the January program requirement for that year. Holidays and vacation periods are deducted from the 18 weeks. Students who are abroad for a full year, are also exempt from JanPlan for that year (and may not return to Colby for JanPlan that year). Each student who is in residence for seven or more semesters must complete three January programs but must complete two if in residence for six semesters or fewer.