Welcome to Off-Campus Study!

Our Mission

The Office of Off-Campus Study is committed to making a substantive off-campus study opportunity available to every student who wishes to pursue one. The OCS staff works with students, faculty, administrators and program providers to match students with the most appropriate host university or study abroad program, to ensure that students participate in off-campus study programs that adhere to the College’s guidelines, and which offer an academically rigorous curriculum and providing a holistic, intercultural experience that promotes maximum engagement in a distinct culture. We strive to provide students with opportunities to develop the skills required to address the challenges of our increasingly interconnected world.

Who We Are

Nancy Downey Ph.D., Director
Eva McVicar, Assistant Director
Sue Forbes, Administrative Program Assistant

We are assisted by student workers during the academic year.

Tel: (207) 859-4500
Email: offcamp@colby.edu

Eustis 103
Office Hours:
Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Students wishing to schedule an appointment should use the Appointment Scheduler through myColby.

What We Do

The Office of Off-Campus Study oversees the administration of study away from the Colby campus (except for summer & Jan Plan study and transfer credit from accredited U.S. institutions). The office manages Colby’s own programs in Salamanca, Dijon, St Petersburg, and at the Bigelow Laboratory (in Boothbay Harbor, Maine) and approves over 200 other programs, both foreign and domestic, for Colby credit. OCS staff guide students from program selection to re-entry offering a variety of resources and programing to help students make appropriate study plans, preparing students for departure, assuring a smooth transition back to campus, and evaluating the quality of programs abroad. Read here for more details on What We Do/What We Don’t Do.

Colby’s Off-Campus Study Philosophy

The opportunity to study in another country is an integral part of the educational philosophy of Colby College. The Precepts adopted by the faculty in 1989 state that a Colby education should encourage students “to become acquainted with other cultures by learning a foreign language and by living and studying in another country or by closely examining a culture other than one’s own.”

Consistent with these principles, Colby’s philosophy of off-campus study is as follows:

  • The off-campus study experience should be part of the student’s overall academic plan developed by the student and the student’s advisor, and should enhance the student’s program of study during the year(s) following return to Colby.
  • Study abroad should provide a cultural experience substantially different from the student’s own.
  • Study abroad should provide, when appropriate, a linguistic experience that involves a language different from one’s own.
  • Financial aid should be applicable to Colby programs, and portable to other approved programs.

The Off-Campus Study Office is responsible for making sure that Colby’s programs abroad, as well as other programs approved by the college, conform to these principles. The college has a vested interest in the quality of all off-campus study programs for which it grants Colby credit. This interest centers on the academic part of the program, but extends as well to the extra-curricular and cultural part of the program, inasmuch as the knowledge of a culture other than one’s own is achieved both in and out of the classroom.