General Questions about Study Abroad and Global Education (SAGE)

After the SAGE Information Session. What is the next step?

Your next step is to make an appointment to consult with the SAGE director or assistant director to discuss your goals for this experience and receive information on programs appropriate to your academic interests. You may make an appointment at this link indicating three to four times that work for you, by dropping by the office in Balch Hall, Room 136 (behind Balch Auditorium), or by calling the office at (909) 621-8306 during regular business hours. We will fit you in to the first available advising appointment. Prior to your appointment, you may want to begin thinking about:

  • the subjects you would like to study while away – electives in your major, general education requirements or electives towards graduation in other areas of interest;
  • the type of experience you seek — cultural immersion, language acquisition, enhancement of your major, thesis research, fieldwork, service-learning, internships, or access to a wide range of courses at a university;
  • any questions or special circumstances you want to discuss.

At the appointment, you will receive program brochures and lists of Scripps students who have completed the programs that interest you. As you research your options:

  • plan to complete the required language courses and any other prerequisites for particular programs;
  • discuss the options with your faculty adviser, faculty in your prospective major department, and the faculty who have reviewed the programs that interest you;
  • interview former program participants for additional input on the day to day experience, attend the Country Chats to hear from returnees about how they decided on their program, and try to meet some of the international students from the host region who are studying here in Claremont;
  • consider the support needed for your success and whether accommodations received in Claremont are available in the program location including: on-going health-related treatment, accessibility of medications, whether dietary needs can be accommodated, availability of comparable academic accommodations, physical requirements (some programs include extensive trekking, camping, etc.)
  • discuss your plans with your family and direct them to the SAGE website;
  • meet with program representatives who visit Scripps, typically at a table in Seal Court during lunch or at the SAGE Fair in the fall;
  • research the locations you are considering to learn about the culture, history, economy, politics, health conditions, weather, gender roles and expectations, etc.;
  • follow an online newspaper from your chosen destination to become familiar with current events;
  • read novels written by authors from the host country and consult travel books, particularly narratives and journals of other women travelers.

How do I know if I am eligible?

Eligibility is determined by the Committee on Study Abroad and the sponsoring program. Scripps students are expected to meet the following criteria for to be eligible for SAGE participation:

  1. Policies for which there are no exceptions; students must
    1. be enrolled at Scripps College during participation on the program;
    2. be in good academic standing (not on academic probation);
    3. be clear of probation for student misconduct or other disciplinary action;
    4. be current with their financial obligations to the College; and
    5. have completed Core I, II, III and Writing 50.
  2. Additional COSA policies;
    1. Students are expected to participate in Scripps-approved programs;
    2. The normal length of study away is one semester during the junior year;
    3. Students must meet the program/host institution GPA requirement at the time of application;
    4. Students will have a 9.0 GPA in the prerequisite foreign language for the study site, and
    5. Students will have completed the COSA prescribed pre-departure language requirement or the program requirement, if higher. The Scripps requirement is:
      • 4 semesters of college-level (i.e. completion of the 44 level) French,German, Russian, or Spanish
      • 2 semesters of college-level Arabic, Chinese, German (Vienna only), Italian, Japanese, or Korean.

Students are strongly advised to take language classes to fulfill the general education requirement in an uninterrupted sequence. All students must meet the Scripps language prerequisites in order to study away, with the exception of classics majors studying in Italy, who will have completed two semesters of college-level Latin or Greek by the time of participation.

Is a petition required?

Most SAGE applicants will not need to petition. Students must meet the eligibility requirements stated in section #1 above. If there is a compelling academic justification for an exception to the policies listed in section #2, students are allowed to petition.

An exception may be made to the language requirement by petition for students who have already met the three-semester general education requirement for competency in a foreign language and who demonstrate an interest in learning a third language. COSA typically expects students to enroll in at least one semester of the proposed language in the semester preceding participation on the program if the language is taught in Claremont. Students must meet the minimum language requirement of the program.

In addition, any student who will not have completed the general education foreign language requirement prior to SAGE participation must demonstrate a viable plan to complete this requirement before the final semester at Scripps College.

Petition instructions and forms are available in the SAGE office and must be submitted to SAGE by the petition deadline. Note: the petition deadlines are earlier than the application deadline – last Monday in October for fall or full year participation and the last Monday in March for spring participation.  Petitions require completing the course approval section of the application early, an essay outlining your academic rationale for seeking an exception to the policy, and an interview of a former participant for any unapproved program.

What does the Scripps application involve?

The Scripps SAGE Application includes:

  • Personal Data form
  • Academic Planning Guide
  • Preliminary Course Selection
  • Faculty Recommendation(s) if required by the program
  • Personal/Academic Statement
  • Foreign Language Evaluation (if applicable)
  • ID-size photos

After you are approved by Scripps, you will submit the remaining program-specific application pieces directly to the program sponsor. Scripps does not charge an application fee to apply for SAGE programs. If the selected program has an application fee, students are responsible for paying the program directly.

When do most students participate?

The majority of Scripps students study away during their junior year; in fact, nearly 60% of the junior class participates in study abroad or semester internship programs each year. By petition to COSA, qualified second-semester sophomores have received approval to participate, however, some programs require junior level standing for acceptance. It is difficult to study away during senior year due to seminar and thesis requirements but if the major department and thesis requirements allow it, students may petition to participate as a first-semester senior.

How long do students study away?

The majority of Scripps students find that one semester away is the appropriate length of time and ensures graduation on schedule. Depending on their major and senior thesis requirements, as well as campus leadership responsibilities and commitments to a sport or student organization, most students find that one semester away works best.

Students who wish to study away for more than one semester must petition the Committee on Study Abroad by the fall petition deadline, with the exception of two approved programs designated as year-long only – the London School of Economics and Political Science and Oxford. More than one semester away requires a compelling academic rationale. Petitioning to be in a different location each semester requires that there be an academic link between the two experiences, not simply to study in two places, or for two majors. It is also important to check the program dates and visa requirements for the two countries to ensure that the combination and sequence of the two programs is feasible. Many governments require that student visa applicants be present in their country of origin in order to apply for the necessary visa. There is also a limited period when the visa application can be submitted (not more than 90 days prior to arrival in the host country). In some cases, study in a different country each semester is not logistically feasible.

Petition guidelines are available in the SAGE office. The deadline to apply for more than one semester away is the last Monday of October of this academic year for programs the following academic year. Petitions for two semesters will not be accepted after the October deadline – there are no exceptions and no extensions of this deadline.

Are all programs alike?

No, actually there are differences in what can be achieved on different programs. Reflect on the type of educational experience that will best meet your academic goals. Program options tend to fall into one of the models below, although some programs may cross over between models  No one model is necessarily better than the other but certain models may be more appropriate to your academic and personal requirements than another. Finding a match to the right program model can be more important than choosing the location.

  ~ Community-based model:

  • These programs typically include experiential components in addition to the time in a classroom. The coursework is often focused around a specific theme, e.g. climate change or sustainabilty; public health; human rights and social justice; or arts and culture to name a few. Participation is with a small group of 15-25 students from US colleges and universities who take a required set of classes specific to the program.
  • As one of their courses, students pursue a research project or internship of their own choosing on a topic that is relevant and appropriate to the culture/location.  The grade is based on a substantial paper and a presentation on the research completed during the independent study period.
  • Housing is typically in home stays. These programs often include travel to different parts of the host country or to two countries and there may be an urban home stay as well as one in a more rural setting. Other housing during travel may be in hostels, small hotels or local student housing. Students should expect a commute of up to 45 minutes by public transportation in urban locations, or a half hour walk during the rural home stay.
  • Students become members of the community through volunteer and other activities and are well integrated into the local culture through their home stays, interacting with all generational levels, not just with college-aged peers.

   ~ University-based model:

  • The host institution, typically a large university with student enrollments in the tens of thousands, admits international students as visiting or non-degree seeking students. Students enroll with host institution students in courses taught in the language of the host country.
  • While support for visiting students is provided by the capable staff of an international student office, the ratio of international student to support staff is quite high so students must exercise a high degree of initiative, resourcefulness, and patience in successfully handling the logistics of class registration and housing. Navigating a new educational system in a foreign culture and language can be confusing so students must welcome this type of challenge.
  • Every field of study offered at Scripps is not offered in every university abroad and not every field of study offered at the host university abroad will be a match for a Scripps liberal arts degree.  If there is not a corresponding major offered at the Claremont Colleges, the course may not be acceptable for credit.  Classes are not guaranteed before arrival so students must be flexible about the courses they take while abroad, and consult by email with their Scripps adviser and the registrar during registration to be assured that the credit will count towards their degree as expected.
  • Visiting students live in whatever housing is typical of students in the host culture, ranging from university-owned student flats with a cafeteria or with a shared kitchen requiring students to shop for groceries and prepare all their own meals. In non-English speaking locations, a home stay may be the most common housing arrangement because the local students live at home while attending the university in their own city – visiting students do the same.
  • Students should expect a commute of up to 45 minutes by public transportation or on foot from many of the housing placements.  In large cities, university housing is rarely located next to the campus and even the various departments of the university may be scattered throughout the city so that all classes are not offered in the same campus location.
  • In most university programs, Scripps works with a US sponsoring organization offering additional advising before departure, orientation upon arrival and ongoing support as needed throughout the semester.  The program sponsor sets up the housing arrangements. In one or two university programs, students must embrace the challenge that comes with a more “hands-off” approach and locate housing on their own.
  • While fully integrated with local students in most of their classes, these classes may be quite large making it difficult to meet university-aged peers without intentional effort on the part of the student. Returning students report meeting locals is not always easy and worked best when joining student clubs and organizations or participating in team sports to help break out of the “bubble” of US students.  Most local students will socialize on the weekends so frequent weekend travel will severely limit the ability to make friends with local students.

     ~ Hybrid program model:

  • The program tries to cater to the curricular needs and social integration expectations of  US study abroad students and ranges in size from 40 to 1000 other students from the US, most often in locations where the local language is not taught in Claremont. The program typically employs local faculty for the classes. facilitates academic and social adjustment, provides logistical support, makes housing arrangements, and encourages students to explore the unique features of the study site.
  • Students choose from a set of courses designed to enhance their knowledge of the local culture through the lens of various disciplines, including history, literature, politics, art history, etc. Depending on the size of the program, course options may be limited to a handful of classes in a small number of departments to over 100 classes covering most of the departments available at Scripps.  Fellow classmates are all students from other US colleges and universities, not local students. However, for students with sufficient proficiency in the language of instruction, there may be the opportunity to enroll in one or more courses at a local university.
  • Living arrangements are set-up by the program sponsor and vary by location. Meals may be shared with the host family, or students are responsible for preparing their own meals in a kitchen shared with six to eight other residents. Students should expect a commute of up to 45 minutes by public transportation or on foot from housing locations to the program center.
  • Some of these programs may offer a class that includes a part-time internship with an expectation of 8 to 10 hours per week spent at the placement site, with the goal of engaging the local culture outside the classroom and improving language skills.  The grade is based on a  substantial academic component such as a major paper or project.
  • Meeting and developing relationships with local people requires intentional effort and committed engagement by the student through opportunities provided by the program.  The most successful integration strategies are usually achieved through homestays, or through the student’s own extra-curricular pursuits and interests.

     ~ Specialized program model:

  • These programs  are primarily for art, dance, music or theater majors, allowing for intensive instruction and practice in the particular discipline.  In some cases for the fine arts programs, auditions or portfolios may be required as part of the application.
  • There are rarely classes offered outside of the particular discipline so this may not be the best option for students needing to fulfill general education requirements.
  • Housing varies by program but most involve living with the other program participants and sharing cooking and clean up responsibilities. Students should expect a commute of up to 45 minutes by public transportation from housing to the program center.
  • Integration with people from the local community may be limited due to the intensive nature of the program.

     ~ Internship program model:

  • These programs have a 30-40 hour per week internship that is the primary component of the program.  Students receive one course of credit for the internship experience with the grade based on regular journal submissions that analyze the workings of the placement organization as well as a supervisor’s assessment of their work ethic, professionalism, and any projects completed on the internship.  A second course credit may be awarded for a major (40+pages) research paper related to the internship placement.
  • Two or three other required classes, meant to enhance and support the student’s experience at the internship, are scheduled during evenings and weekends.  Participants must be prepared to have very little free time outside of internship, class and study time.
  • Students acquire their own internship placement either from a list of openings suggested by the program or by their own initiative, subject to the approval of the sponsoring organization. Placements are dependent on the experience and skills the student can contribute to the organization.
  • Students should note that the internship is an academic endeavor and the goal is the educational experience to be gained from integration into a particular workplace environment or the immersion in a foreign culture and language, not only a resume-building experience while interning at a particular organization.
  • Housing is different on each program but most involve living with the other program participants and sharing cooking and clean up responsibilities. Some programs provide housing, others require students to locate their own housing, typically sharing a one bedroom apartment with one other student, or a two bedroom apartment with three other students to fit in the housing allowance budget.  A commute of up to 45 minutes or more by public transportation should be expected.
  • Social integration with locals is primarily with coworkers at the placement organization and with other program participants.

What do all the acronyms mean?

Many study abroad organizations are known by their initials. Just as Scripps College is fond of using acronyms for various campus offices and organizations, there is a whole new vocabulary of acronyms SAGE uses when discussing the Scripps approved programs. This is a list of the most common acronyms of our partner organizations (and some have retained a previous acronym even though the actual program name has changed):

  • ACTR/ACCELS: American Councils for International Education
  • AU: American University
  • CET: CET Academic Programs
  • CIEE: Council on International and Educational Exchange
  • DIS: Study Abroad in Scandinavia
  • ICADS: Institute for Central American Development Studies
  • IFE: (Internships in Francophone Europe) French Field Study and Internship Programs
  • LSE: London School of Economics and Political Studies
  • IFSA: Institute for Study Abroad
  • ICCS: Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies
  • IES: Institute for the International Education of Students
  • NUS: National University Singapore
  • SACI: Studio Arts College International
  • SIT: School for International Training
  • SFS: School for Field Studies
  • UAL: University of the Arts London

Is it possible to work while I am abroad?

It is possible in some countries with a few restrictions determined by your immigration status. Students should consult the consulate when applying for a visa to learn more about work restrictions in your destination. Part-time work, internships or volunteer work in the United Kingdom, for example, requires you to apply three months in advance for a particular visa that carries a fee of £322 and is typically only available for students staying for the full year or enrolled in an internship program. Other countries may allow you to work for a set amount of hours per week with the same student visa you are required to obtain in order to study in that country.

How do I apply for a summer program?

Scripps College does not evaluate, endorse or provide financial aid for summer programs. If you plan to enroll in a program administered by an accredited U.S. institution of higher education, the registrar will evaluate the course(s) for transfer credit upon receipt of an official transcript under the same policies for transfer credit from a US college or university.  Students apply independent of Scripps College.

Summer programs offered by the sponsors of some of the COSA approved the semester program are likely to be eligible for transfer credit. Students considering other summer programs are strongly advised to consult the registrar before applying to understand whether transfer credit is possible.  The SAGE office has some brochures for summer programs available for the taking.

Although Scripps does not offer financial aid funding for summer programs, some organizations  and in some cases the US government may offer their own grants and scholarships. Additional scholarships for summer programs may have deadlines in late fall or very early spring, so pursue these opportunities early.  Check out the SAGE study abroad funding page for those sources that are possible for summer programs.