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Information Sheet
Petitioning for a Program not on the Approved List
For Study Abroad in 2007-2008

Colby policy is that students who wish to study in a country in which there is a Colby-approved program available, for which they qualify, must attend this program. Where there are no such programs available, or when the approved programs do not meet the student's academic needs, the Off-Campus Study Office will work with the student to try to find an acceptable program. Approval of the major advisor and the Off-Campus Study liaison are also required.

Reasons for requesting the OCS office to find a program not listed in the Study Abroad Handbook must be entirely academic. Climate, the size of a city, or cost are not valid academic reasons. Rather than shop around for programs and ask the OCS office to approve them, students should consult with the OCS office and your department first, to find out what sorts of programs are appropriate and acceptable, and what information will be required.

If there is a program that you and your advisor feel suits your academic needs better than those listed in the handbook, you must make an appointment with a member of the staff of the Off-Campus Study Office to discuss the process for petitioning. You may be asked to provide certain information about the program under consideration, such as proof of accreditation status, faculty and resident director qualifications, entrance requirements, academic focus and rigor, and program support services. Student evaluations and a sample transcript are often requested. Other information may also be requested depending upon the particular program.

The program decided upon must meet certain guidelines; for example:

  • The program must be of a duration of at least fourteen weeks of class time, (including exam time but not including vacations and excursions), and must be situated in one host country. Touring or shipboard programs are not acceptable.
  • The program or university must provide an academic program which is consistent in quality and quantity of work required at Colby.
  • The program must be sponsored by an accredited US college or university whose academic standards are high.
  • In the case of a program situated in a non-English-speaking country, the program must provide instruction in the host language for the duration of the semester.
  • The program or university must provide a cultural experience substantially different from that of the majority of US students.

If there is a Colby or Colby-approved program in the same location as the program being petitioned for, the student must also demonstrate specifically that the proposed program provides courses critical to the student's academic goals that are not available through the approved options. The student's advisor must explicitly support these claims.

There is a special petition form for non-approved programs, which you will be given at your meeting should you decide to proceed with the petition. It will be due in the OCS Office by March 1, 2007.

 

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