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, their cultural competence, and their sense of self in the world. Study, research and internships abroad also provide students tools and experiences that equip them to confidently pursue career and other life goals.

Our research shows that faculty support is critical: students are more likely to pursue learning abroad when faculty encourage them to do so. 

Study Abroad: Semester/Year

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

Most programs abroad cost less than studying at Mount Holyoke.  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 2016 or Academic Year 2016-2017 December 4, 2015 December 4, 2015 for most MHC programs and exchanges

March 1, 2016 for other approved programs

Spring 2017 March 31, 2016* March 31, 2016* for most MHC programs and exchanges

November 1, 2016 for other approved programs

* Applications for Spring MHC programs (in China, Costa Rica, and France) will be considered through September 30, 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

Academically embedded international internships are powerful learning laboratories for the education of global citizens and a key element of MHC's Lynk initiative.  Interns are typically immersed in the host culture, take on substantive roles in a professional environment, and pursue clearly defined learning goals. 

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

Application and Funding
Students apply for MHC-IIP opportunities through LyonNet, and for funding ($3,600 for an international internship) through Lynk/UAF.  Students may use their Lynk/UAF funding for qualifying internships abroad, whether obtained through MHC-IIP, other resources, or self-developed.

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, before applying.  See MHC-IIP for application details and deadlines. 

Recent Internships:

  • Fulbright Commission, Brussels, Belgium
  • UNICEF: New York, Thailand, vietnam
  • Partners in Health/Socios en Salud, Peru
  • DAAD Research in Science and Engineering, Germany
  • Sims Reed Gallery, England
  • Center for Science and Environment, India
  • African Rural University for Women, Uganda

Global Research Support Program (GRSP)

Students can pursue Lynk/UAF-funded international research projects under the guidance of a faculty mentor.  The GRSP supports these projects with connections to supplemental resources and a community of scholars.  GRSP projects typically become the basis for a senior thesis.

Application: Apply through the Universal Application for Funding.

Deadline: The deadline is typically in April or May.  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 Recent GRSP Projects:

  • "Gaeigle: Mapping the Discursive Practice of Irish Language in the Contemporary Republic of Ireland," Siri Rosendahl (2015, Anthropology)
  • "To Live and Defy in Egypt: The Struggle of the Egyptian Artist in the Post-Revolutionary Era," Mona Shadi (FP, International Relations)
  • "The Labor of Male Immigrant Street Vendors in Bologna: A Qualitative Study," Candice Whitney (2015, Italian)

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