Advising Students on Learning Abroad

Immersion in another country and culture offers students one of the most powerful personal and intellectual experiences to advance their academics, their understanding of global issues, and their sense of self in the world. Students who are encouraged by their advisors to think about learning abroad and how it can fit into their academic program are much more likely to go abroad.

Study Abroad: Semester/Year

Students may choose from more than 15 Mount Holyoke programs and exchanges and nearly 150 other programs that we approve, in more than 50 countries altogether. Our list of approved programs reflects careful review and consultation with faculty about the best options in their areas of expertise.

Mount Holyoke does not charge home school fees. Except for certain MHC programs and exchanges, students pay fees to their host university or program, and they pay only an administrative fee ($900 per semester) to Mount Holyoke.

Incentives for Studying Abroad in the Fall
More students typically study abroad in the spring semester than in the fall.  To ensure more balanced enrollments on campus, the College is offering incentives for students who study abroad for one semester in 2015-16 to do so in the fall.  For those students, MHC will:

  • waive the administrative fee
  • for students who are approved for Laurel Fellowships, replace campus earnings with grant instead of loan.

These incentives also apply to students who participate in MHC's own programs that are offered in the spring semester only (Globalization, Development, and Environment in Monteverde, Costa Rica; and Economic Transformation and Business Challenges in Shanghai, China).

Financial Aid
Mount Holyoke aid does not travel automatically. Students eligible for need-based financial aid may apply for Laurel Fellowships to substitute for the aid they would have received here. Each year, more than 90 percent of Laurel applications are approved. Students applying for Laurel Fellowships should select programs that we have designated as “Laurel Preferred,” meaning that they are high-quality programs competitively priced for their location. Taking program cost into account helps us meet our goal of funding more students for study abroad.  See Laurel Fellowship Criteria for details.

Students must have a GPA of 2.7 or better, approval of their major department, appropriate language proficiency, and be able to meet graduation requirements on schedule.

Key Deadlines

See our web site for the complete list of deadlines.

Planning to study abroad in... Applying for Laurel Fellowship Not Applying for Laurel Fellowship
Fall 2015 or for the academic year 2015-2016 December 5, 2014 December 5, 2014 for most MHC programs and exchanges

March 1, 2015 for other approved programs

Spring 2016 March 31, 2015* March 31, 2015* for most MHC programs and exchanges

November 1, 2015 for other approved programs

* Applications for Spring MHC programs (in China, Costa Rica, and France) will be considered through September 30, 2015, if space is still available, but we encourage all students to apply by the March deadline to secure a place.

“I had never been abroad prior to studying in Costa Rica, and I think it was one of the most life-shaping experiences I’ve encountered. I learned about my host country, my host family, and myself—some of my values and opinions were reinforced, while others were completely reformed.”

- Alison Zulick ‘11, Biology and Spanish , MHC Program in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Summer International Internships

Students who intern abroad are typically fully immersed in the host culture; they work in a professional environment and contribute to the daily operations of their host organization.

The MHC International Internship Program (MHC-IIP) offers a selection of funded international internships arranged through MHC faculty, alumnae, and parents. We also encourage students to develop their own international internship using the resources in the McCulloch Center, web resources, and cultivating opportunities through their personal networks.

Application and Funding
Students apply for MHC-IIP opportunities through LyonNet. If selected for a position, they then seek funding through the Universal Application for Funding (UAF). Funding will include a travel allowance and cover living expenses in the host city. Students who develop their own international internship may also apply for summer funding through the UAF.

Requirements for MHC-IIP
Varies depending on internship; see the guidelines on our web site.

Students interested in the MHC-IIP must meet with Kirk Lange, Director of International Experiential Learning, by February 14, 2014. All students seeking funding must submit their applications on LyonNet by February 21, 2014 at 5 pm. Selected students submit applications for UAF funding as soon as possible after an offer is made, but no later than May 5, 2014.

Selected 2013 Internships:

  • Fulbright Commission, Brussels, Belgium
  • NBC International, Beijing, China
  • UNICEF, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago, Chile
  • African Women’s Development Fund, Accra, Ghana

Global Studies Summer Fellowships (GSSF)

The GSSF provides funding for students for collaborative student-mentor research abroad during the summer. While the mentor will ideally be a Mount Holyoke faculty member who is on-site with the student, the mentor may also be a faculty member who remains at MHC, or an outside expert. GSSF projects typically become the basis for a senior thesis.

Application: Apply through the Universal Application for Funding.

Deadline: The final UAF deadline for 2014 is May 5th. However, students are strongly encouraged to seek funding -- and begin planning research with faculty -- well in advance.  Earlier applications allow for more affordable airfares, any necessary IRB approvals, arranging visas and housing, etc.

Examples of 2013 GSSF projects:

  • "The Persecution of Religious Minorities in Pakistan,” Islamabad, Pakistan, Sana Jatoi (International Relations, ‘14)
  • “The Societal Vision of Self: A Visual Response,” Seoul, South Korea, Cian Kim (Art Studio and Sociology, ‘14)
  • “Sexual and Reproductive Health of Dutch Afro-Caribbean Women,” Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Crystal Reed (Gender Studies and Psychology, ‘14)

 Each year more than 500 MHC students participate in study abroad, pursue an international internship, or engage in independent research abroad.