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DUE BY NOVEMBER 15
Follow the link in MyColby to access the online application. When you are done, submit it to your advisor(s). If you are a double major, both advisors will receive a copy and must approve it before your application is complete. Your advisor may return it to you for changes before indicating his or her approval. If your advisor approves your preliminary application, he or she will submit the form electronically to the OCS office.
ONE SEMESTER LIMIT
You should expect to study off-campus for one semester. With only a few exceptions, you are limited to one semester of off-campus study and we cannot always guarantee which one due to the need to balance enrollment over the two semesters. If you plan to study abroad for one semester, we encourage you to consider the fall semester. Many study abroad programs have fewer students in the fall. Fewer students means less competition. Another thing to consider is that going abroad in the fall means you can be back on campus in the spring which is the prime season to interview for summer internships.
FULL YEAR OFF-CAMPUS
While language and area studies majors (studying in the target language both semesters), participants on the Dartmouth engineering exchange, students who enroll in the fall Colby at Bigelow program, and students who participated in a program abroad during their first semester are automatically granted a full year abroad, all others must petition the Advisory Committee on Off-Campus Study by March 1. Language studies majors are encouraged to study in the target area for a full year to maximize their language fluency.
When you submit your preliminary application for study abroad in November, You will be asked to specify your choice of semester for off-campus study and to justify that choice on specific academic grounds. Semester choice is NOT guaranteed. Due to the College’s need to balance enrollment across the fall and spring semesters, students may not be able to study off campus in the semester of their choice. By vote of the faculty, academic reasons for needing to study away during a specific semester take precedence over extracurricular and athletic participation.
Thus, you should make your choice of semester carefully in consultation with your major advisor(s), and remain open to options in both fall and spring. Academic reasons for choosing a particular semester may include: a program that is particularly appropriate for you and only runs in a particular semester; courses for your major that you must take on campus in a particular semester (you must specify them); an off-campus program focus that is different in different semesters; specific courses toward your major that you intend to take off-campus; language preparation for a particular program that would require an extra semester at Colby prior to departure. Your application must be specific about courses and programs if you cite any of these reasons. Your overall reasons for going off-campus and the appropriateness of the program to your academic goals are also part of the decision.
An enrollment imbalance is created when too many students choose to go abroad during one of the semesters (usually spring) and some students, whose academic justification is not compelling enough, are not approved for their first choice but are approved to study off-campus in the fall semester. These students are then asked if they accept to go in fall or wish to be placed on a waitlist for a spring slot. They will remain approved for the fall until a spring slot is opened and they are removed from the waitlist. In most cases in past years, the wait list usually clears in time for students to go off-campus on the program and semester of their choice but we cannot guarantee this.
CHANGING SEMESTER CHOICE
If you find after the November 15 application deadline that you would like to change your semester, you will be allowed to do so on a space-available basis only, and in consultation with OCS. You must make a formal request in writing to switch semesters or be placed on the waiting list for the semester of your choice. You may NOT simply submit an application on March 1 or 15 with a different semester indicated. Once you have requested a switch you will not be allowed to switch again.