First Steps

Think about your goals for study abroad. Do you want to improve your foreign language proficiency, or learn a new language? Deepen your exposure to your major or minor field? Engage in independent study or other experiential learning? The more clearly you can articulate your goals, the easier it will be to find a program.

Note that MHC does not award academic credit for internships, but we have identified a number of programs for which students will receive credit for an academic course that accompanies an internship or other experience abroad.

  •  Consider what type of program is best for you. Traditional study abroad programs allow you to study the host country language while taking courses arranged for international students and/or with students from the host country. Field studies programs combine coursework with practical experience (research, independent study, community-based learning) while focusing on a particular theme or issue. Direct-enrollment programs allow you to take all of your courses alongside your peers from the host country (best for students who have a strong background in the host-country language or who wish to study in an English-speaking country). 
  •  Explore possibilities. Check out the list of more than 150 approved programs on our website, organized by region. Come to the McCulloch Center Lounge (104  Dwight Hall) for program brochures and catalogues.  Check out application procedures and deadlines. Talk with your major advisor or department chair about earning credit toward your major. Consider costs and whether you will be eligible to apply for the Laurel Fellowships (need-based financial aid for study abroad). 
  •  Tap the wisdom of others. Talk with your advisor about how to integrate study abroad into your program here. Ask language or area studies faculty for advice about programs in the regions they know well. Come to info sessions and other events offered by the McCulloch Center. Talk with other students who have studied abroad. Read evaluations from previous students (evaluations submitted from fall 2012 onward are available on-line; older evaluations are on file in the McCulloch Center Lounge). 
  •  Once you have done some of this preliminary thinking and research, you may call x 2072 to make an appointment to meet with one of the advisors in the McCulloch Center.  Joanne Picard, Dean of International Studies, advises students interested in Latin America, Europe, and Oceania.  Donna Van Handle, Dean of International Students, advises students who are interested in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.  You do not need to know exactly where you want to study before setting up an appointment, but you should have some ideas about your goals and how you might meet them so that we can focus on your particular interests and advise you about options and next steps. Note that appointments in September are reserved for students applying to study abroad in the spring, as they will have early deadlines. Students interested in studying abroad in the fall or beyond may call after October 1 to make appointments.