Off Campus Study Abroad Options

Do You Want To Study Off-Campus During Interim 2015?

Tomson Hall 380 · 507-786-3069 ·

Those who participated in these interims last year speak enthusiastically about how much they learned and experienced as individuals and as part of a small group. We encourage you to explore these options.

Education 170: Schools & Urban Communities

  • Instructor: Jean Aguilar-Valdez
  • GE Credit: MCD
  • Major Credit: Education-Human Relations Component (ED382), ARMS
  • Prerequisite: None (Interest in education & providing service to urban youth expected.)
  • In this course, you will have an opportunity to examine how schools and communities in the Twin Cities interact to provide support and developmental opportunities for school-age children. Through lectures, readings, discussions, research, field trips, and in-school and co-curricular placements, you gain an understanding and awareness of how race, class, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and religion shape the complex character of urban youth and schools. You spend one week in orientation activities on campus and then two weeks in the Twin Cities.  During the time in the cities, you participate as tutors and classroom assistants during the school day and assist in various after school and community programs. The last week of the interim is spent back on campus.

German 234: German in Vienna

  • Instructors: Sabine Mullauer, Elisabeth Wurzl, Karen Achberger
  • GE Credit: FOL-G
  • Major Credit: German and German Studies Concentration
  • Prerequisite:  German 231 or equivalent preparation
  • This course is an immersion experience for German students at intermediate level or above, taught by two native Austrian instructors. On-site in Vienna students live in hotels and have morning language classes, afternoon field trips and Austrian language partners.

Spanish 233: Intermediate Spanish II in Ecuador

  • Instructor:  Ariel Strichartz
  • GE Credits: Foreign Language (FOL-S); Multicultural Studies Course (MCG), Completes foreign language requirement in Spanish
  • Prerequisite: Spanish 231 with a minimum grade of B- or equivalent preparation
  • This course will provide students with an intensive linguistic and cultural immersion experience in Ecuador. In-class activities will focus on development of language skills and cross-cultural awareness. Outside of class, students will improve their language proficiency and explore the cultural identity of Ecuador through a three-and-a-half-week home stay with a family in Quito; excursions and activities in and around the city of Quito; and field trips to the indigenous market of Otavalo, the Amazon region and other areas of Ecuador.

Spanish 234: Intermediate Spanish II in Costa Rica

  • Instructor: Kristina Medina-Vilarino
  • GE credits: Foreign Language (FOL-S); Multicultural Studies Course (MCG), Completes foreign language requirement
  • Prerequisite: Spanish 231 with a minimum grade of B- or equivalent preparation
  • This course will immerse students in an intensive linguistic and cultural experience in Costa Rica. In-class activities focus on development of language skills and cross-cultural awareness. Outside of class, students will improve their language proficiency and explore the cultural identity of Costa Rica through a three-and-a-half-week home stay in San José (the capital), excursions in the San José area and field trips to Volcán Irazú, la costa Atlántica (Cahuita), la costa Pacífica central and Volcán Poás.

French 235:  French Language and Moroccan Culture in Fes

  • Instructor:  Wendy Allen
  • GE credits:  Foreign Language  (FOL-F); Completes foreign language requirement; MCG  (Multicultural Studies Course)
  • Prerequisite:  Satisfactory completion of French 231 or placement in 232
  • Students spend the month of January in the Imperial City of Fes, Morocco, studying French language and Moroccan culture.  This is an immersion experience which includes home stays with local, French-speaking families.  The course focuses on Moroccan culture yesterday and today, emphasizing the multicultural aspects of Morocco and facilitating student interaction with the local population.

Applications available on line at


Choosing An Off-Campus Study Program

Tomson Hall 380 · 507-786-3069 ·

Where Would You Like To Study?

  • St. Olaf College has over 65 approved destinations for off-campus study. These sites cover most of the world: Europe, Asia, Africa, South/Central America, the Middle East and the United States. Each year there are also over 35 one-month, off-campus January interims led by St. Olaf faculty to domestic and international destinations.

What Type of Program Best Fits You?

  • There are five main types of programs. It is important to determine what type of experience best fits you and your desire for study independently or in a group.
  • St. Olaf Faculty Led Programs: Mediterranean Semester, Global Semester and Environmental Science in Australia are 4-5 month programs led by St. Olaf faculty. Students live and study as a group and are taught by local faculty for all but one course, which is taught by the St. Olaf Field Supervisor.  January Interim programs are one-month programs taught by St. Olaf faculty in both domestic and abroad locations.
  • Exchange Programs: St. Olaf has exchange agreements with universities in Germany, China, Japan, Tanzania, Scotland, Norway and Korea.  Students from universities abroad study at St. Olaf and St. Olaf students most often study abroad in the language of the country.
  • Direct Enrollment: Programs in England, Scotland, Ireland, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Norway, New Zealand and Australia allow students to enroll as regular students of these universities for a semester or year. Students live either on campus or in apartments near campus, cook their own meals and take exams alongside university students.
  • Consortial Programs: St. Olaf belongs to the ACM (Associated Colleges of the Midwest), HECUA (Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs), CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange) and numerous smaller consortiums. Colleges form together to offer programs in destinations which might not have enough interest on individual campuses. Students usually have classes with the group of students from the consortial schools, are usually taught by on-site faculty and often have the option of a family stay. ACM offers programs in: Florence, London/Florence, Japan, Chicago, Tanzania, Botswana, Costa Rica, Oak Ridge (Tennessee) and India. HECUA has programs in Norway, Mpls/St. Paul, Northern Ireland and Ecuador. CIEE offers programs in Russia, France, Ghana, Chile, Senegal, South Africa and Spain. IES offers programs in Paris, Vienna, Argentina and Milan.  Other consortial programs are: Programs in France, Washington Semester, Budapest Math Semester, Oregon Extension, Center for Global Education Programs in Namibia and Central America, Social Work in Mexico and Denmark International Study.
  • St. Olaf Programs: A few programs are St. Olaf organized, but not led by St. Olaf faculty. These are: Term in China; Biology in South India and Student Teaching in India. Students are alone or in a group of 4-10, integrated into the culture.

Do You Want To Study Where You Speak the Language?

  • It is important for language majors to study in a culture where they can be immersed in the language. St. Olaf offers programs for student majoring in: Russian, Norwegian, Spanish, German, Chinese, Japanese, and French. Students who are at a higher level, but not majoring in the language can also study in these languages.

When Is It Best For You To Study Off-Campus?

  • The most common time to study off-campus is during the junior year. However, it is also common to study off-campus during the first semester of senior year. Sometimes students will participate during Semester II of the sophomore year.
  • First year students may only study off-campus on language programs during interim which are the 4th semester courses for German and Spanish or on the Education interim in the Twin Cities.  These are designed for first-year students.
  • Many students have their first off-campus experience during their sophomore or junior year on a January interim and then elect to spend the following semester or year studying off-campus.

Which Is Better? A Semester, Year, Or An Interim?

  • Students share that the longer you live in a culture the more you understand the people and the society. Many St. Olaf programs allow students to study for a full year. There are also semester and semester/interim programs. The shortest time is the January interim. It is highly encouraged to spend as much time on the off-campus program as possible.
  • The year/semester programs average in cost from $2,000-5,000 (which includes room and board) over studying on campus for a 4-9 month experience off-campus. The January interims cost $2,800-7,000 for one-month study program off-campus.

What Credits Can You Bring Back From Off-Campus?

  • St. Olaf students who study off-campus stay on track for graduation. You may bring back both GE (General Education) credits and major credits from off-campus programs. These credits do not count in your GPA unless they are taught by St. Olaf faculty, but the grade will show on the transcript.
  • Each program has different allowances for GE credit. The field supervised and some of the consortial programs have pre-determined GE credits, while the direct enroll and exchange programs allow you to take a variety of courses. The most commonly taken GE courses off-campus are: ALS-A, ALS-L, HWC, HBS, MCG, MCD.  Credits that are advisable to finish on campus are: IST, AQR, SED, EIN, WRI, BTS-T, SPM and ORC.
  • Major credit is determined by each individual department chair. Most departments will allow one or sometimes two major credits to transfer from off-campus programs for the major.

When Should You Apply?

  • If you want to study off-campus during January of your first year (the five options listed above) you need to fill out an application in September.  Please contact the Office of International and Off-Campus Studies in Tomson 380 to find out about the application process.
  •  Application deadline for the 2015-16 semester and year programs (both Semester I and II) is approximately March 1, 2015.   Applications will be available in October, 2014, from International and Off-Campus Studies in Tomson Hall. There will be an Off-Campus Study Open House in the Black and Gold Ballroom in Buntrock Commons in early October.
  • Applications for the 2016 January interims (your sophomore year) will be available in April 2015, at the Off-Campus Interim Open House in the Black and Gold Ballroom in Buntrock Commons. The first deadline for interim selection is in late April, 2015.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling admission after that date until October, 2014.


If You Have Questions

  • International and Off-Campus Studies are located in Tomson Hall 380. Staff of International and Off-Campus Studies is available to answer your questions. Helene MacCallum is Coordinator of Advising and Student Activities ( or 507-786-3871) and can assist you with choosing a program to suit your academic needs.
  • Each program listed in the International and Off-Campus brochure has a faculty program adviser. This faculty is a valuable resource about each individual program and is listed in the front of the brochure.
  • St. Olaf College encourages you to study off-campus on a domestic or international academic program for a semester, year or interim. We look forward to assisting you to study and learn with the world as your campus.