Meet the OCS Team

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


Contact us

Tel: (207) 859-4500

Eustis 103

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

Walk-in Hours: Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9:00-10:00 a.m., 1:00 -2:00 p.m.

For individual student advising appointments, please see the Appointment Calendar on our home page.


Mission and Philosophy

The Office of Off-Campus Study (OCS) is committed to making a substantive off-campus study opportunity available to every eligible student who wishes to pursue one. We ensure that students participate in academically rigorous programs and are provided with rich intercultural experiences through foreign language learning and meaningful engagement in a distinct culture.

The opportunity to study in another country is an integral part of the educational philosophy of Colby College. The precepts adopted by the faculty 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 that 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 academic advisor, and should enhance the student’s program of study during the year(s) following return to Colby
  • Education abroad should provide, when appropriate, a linguistic experience that involves a language different form one’s own.
  • Education abroad should provide a cultural experience substantially different from the student’s own.
  • Financial aid should be applicable to Colby programs, and portable to other approved programs.

OCS is responsible for insuring 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 not only on the academic part of of the program, but also extends to the extra-curricular and cultural aspects since the knowledge of another culture is achieved both in and out of the classroom.

At OCS, we oversee a rich portfolio of credit-bearing programs, both international and domestic and administer Colby’s own programs in Salamanca, Dijon, Saint Petersburg, and at the Bigelow Laboratory. We emphasize the student experience in a way that guides students throughout the entire off-campus study process from program selection to re-entry. In collaboration with academic advisors, faculty liaisons, advising deans, and the counseling center, we strive to provide students with thoughtful guidance and reliable support throughout the entire process.

The Office of Off-Campus Study (OCS)


More than two-thirds of Colby students participate in one or more global experiences during their time on the Hill, enhancing their undergraduate experience. 


We oversee a rich portfolio of credit bearing programs, both international and domestic. Students planning to study away begin the advising and application process in our office at the start of their sophomore year. In collaboration with academic advisors and faculty liaisons, we strive to provide students with thoughtful guidance and reliable support throughout the entire process.