A Word of Caution About Programs

Study abroad programs are some of the most aggressively marketed commodities in American education today.You will see advertisements for programs posted all over campus, and you should know that many of these are not approved by Colby. You will see advertisements in the Colby Echo by large universities and private companies for their study abroad. You may even receive telephone calls and e-mail from representatives of study abroad programs. If they are not listed in this handbook as (A) Approved, they are not approved by Colby. Just because they are approved by one New England school similar to Colby does not mean it will automatically be approved by Colby.

Colby’s policy is that the choice of an appropriate off-campus study program can only be made in an atmosphere free of pressure and advertising. The program providers we have invited to the Colby Off-Campus Study Fair have been carefully selected as appropriate for the needs and interests of many Colby students. Not all approved programs have been invited nor are they all able to participate in our Fair so please do not limit your choices to those you will see at the Fair. In the final analysis, it is the OCS staff and your advisor(s) who can best guide you in the choice of a study program abroad.

There are many worthwhile experiences abroad that do not, in Colby’s view, merit academic credit. A great many programs are not approved by the Off-Campus Study Office, not because they are necessarily of inferior quality, but because they do not meet the criteria that Colby has established for the granting of academic credit. Before embarking upon the petition process for a program that is not currently approved, please consult with OCS to determine such basic information as the program’s accreditation status and its duration. These may seem like minor details but are critical in the success of a petition.

Please bear in mind that it is possible to study off-campus without the permission of the OCS office, if the program will accept you under these conditions. However, you will not receive credit or financial aid from Colby in such a case, and you risk having to spend an extra semester on campus in order to fulfill the 7-semester requirement for graduation from Colby.

Colby’s Approved Programs

Colby has an extensive list of over 180 off-campus study programs/universities, both foreign and domestic, for Colby credit in addition to Colby’s own programs in Salamanca, Dijon, St Petersburg, and at the Bigelow Laboratory.

Colby’s approved program list is designed to meet the great majority of academic needs. The list represents a wide range of programs, in many countries, that have been used successfully by Colby students in the past and continue to be recommended by academic departments.

Colby Programs:

The only Colby run programs are:

  • Colby in Salamanca (Spain) – Language Program
  • Colby in Salamanca (Spain) – Integrated Program
  • Colby in Dijon (France) – Language program (fall semester only)
  • Colby in Dijon (France) – University level (fall semester only)
  • Colby in St. Petersburg (Russia)- Advanced Language program
  • Colby at Bigelow Laboratory (Boothbay, Maine, USA)- Marine science program (fall only)

Non-Colby Programs

Colby also offers stu­dents the opportunity to study on Non-Colby programs that meet our criteria and are consistent with our philosophy of study abroad and have been tried by Colby students and approved by Colby’s Off-Campus Study Advisory Committee. These programs are listed in this handbook; these are the programs/universities listed as “A” or approved and where it does not indicate that a petition is required.

Knowledge of these programs is kept current through student evaluations and faculty visits. Programs may be added to or removed from the list as more appropriate opportunities emerge. Please do not assume, because you know that a Colby student participated in a particular program in the past, that the program is on the approved list.

All Colby-approved study programs abroad must meet the following standards:

  • They must provide an educational experience which is consistent in quality with the educational experience at Colby, and which can reinforce, complement, and broaden a student’s educational program at Colby.
  • They must contain a substantial academic component of high quality.
  • Study abroad programs must provide a cultural experience and, when appropriate, a linguistic experience that are consistent with the goals stated above. To promote cultural integration, at least a full semester must normally be spent in a single host country.

Note: Colby’s process for placing a program on the approved list entails that at least 3 Colby students (or 2 students and a faculty member) have participated in the program and evaluated it with favorable results. It is then eligible to be voted on by the OCS Advisory Committee.

Programs for which petitions are supported

You will find certain programs, identified with “Petition Required” in the Handbook and on the list below, for which petitions would be encouraged. These programs are not currently on the approved list as they have not yet had sufficient attendance by Colby students to warrant formal approval by the Advisory Committee. However, they have been recommended by faculty and/or OCS as appropriate for Colby students and thus a well-presented petition prepared in conjunction with the major department would have a high chance of success. These are not the only programs for which students may petition, of course, but they already meet the criteria for petitions and have been reviewed for quality. See the petition guidelines for the different types of petitions and procedures.

  • All programs must meet certain criteria to be petitioned.
  • All petitions require a meeting with an OCS staff member before the deadline
  • All petitions must be submitted to OCS by the February 20 deadline.

The program must meet certain guidelines to be eligible for petition; these include, but are not limited to:

  • The program must have a duration of at least fourteen weeks of class time (including exam time but not including vacations and excursions), to match the length of a semester at Colby.
  • The program must be situated in one host country (with the exception of certain specific approved programs). 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. You must provide Off Campus Study with a description of each course you plan to take, including the language course.
  • With the exception of a foreign accredited university, the program must be sponsored by an accredited US college or university whose academic standards are high.
  • For all programs in non-English speaking countries, students must study the language of the host country for the duration of their program.
  • The program or university must provide a cultural experience substantially different from that of a typical U.S. campus experience.

Online Program Search

Using the OCS program search filter, you can search and sort programs according to criteria such as country, region, program language, term available, type of program, Colby status, and area of study. Click on “program website” to access the program/university’s website for more information.

Important Note: Each program/university is characterized by certain criteria, however, all academic subjects may not be represented in our “area of study” list. For universities abroad, only the academic divisions are noted (i.e. social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and arts). The stronger or more popular departments at these universities may also be indicated. We recommend that you always review the program’s curriculum and/or the university’s course catalog on their website to make sure the specific courses offered will work for you before selecting a program/university.

Institute for Study Abroad – Butler University (IFSA-Butler)

For many approved university programs in England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, students may choose to apply directly to the University in that country or through IFSA Butler. Not all Butler programs, however, are approved by Colby so check Colby’s list of programs before proceeding with your application.

IFSA-Butler is a third party provider which facilitates the application and integration of US College students into foreign universities. Butler’s comprehensive program fee usually includes a variety of excellent student support services including: application, pre-departure, medical insurance, orientation, excursions and other on-site support services, post study abroad services and more. If you decide to apply through IFSA Butler you should follow Butler’s eligibility guidelines, requirements, application materials, and deadlines for the specific program in which you are interested (in many cases, they vary from the university’s). Keep in mind that the total cost of applying through Butler is usually higher than applying directly to the university’s study abroad program. This decision is a very personal one.