International and Off-Campus Study for First-Year Students

Where would you like to study?

St. Olaf has more than 70 approved semester and yearlong destinations for off-campus study in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. In addition, each year we offer about 30 January interim programs led by St. Olaf faculty to domestic and international destinations around the world.

What type of program best fits you?

There are three main types of programs:

  • St. Olaf faculty-led programs (this includes January Interim)
  • Exchange and direct enroll programs to universities in the U.S. and abroad
  • Consortial programs developed for U.S. students abroad

Do you want to study where you speak the language?

St. Olaf offers programs for students studying Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Norwegian, Russian, and Spanish.  An immersion environment fosters improved language proficiency.

When is the best time for you to study off-campus?

The most common time to study off-campus for a semester or year is junior year. However, students also participate during second semester of sophomore year or first semester of senior year.  Students study off-campus for Interim during all four years.  A few Interim programs, listed below, are open to first year students.  First year students may apply for open Interims (programs with available space) after arriving on-campus in September. About 20% of St. Olaf students study off-campus more than once.

Art 261: O’Keeffe’s Art and New Mexico; Abiquiu

Asian Studies/Environmental Studies 277: Environmental Sustainability in Japan; Japan

Biology 131: Field Paleontology; Florida 

Economics 218: Economic Progress in China; China 

Education 170: Urban School and Communities; Minneapolis

French 235: French Language and Moroccan Culture (4th Semester); Fes, Morocco

French 275: Interdisciplinary French Studies in France; Paris

History 244: Argentina and World Agricultural Trade; Buenos Aires 

History 256: Slavery in West Africa: Ghana; Accra 

Mathematics 218: Religious and Decorative Art in Morocco 

Interdisciplinary 258: Theater in London; London

Spanish 233: Intermediate Spanish II (4th Semester); Ecuador

Spanish 234: Intermediate Spanish II (4th Semester); Costa Rica

How much does it cost to study off-campus?

The semester/year programs average cost is $2000-$5000 (which includes an estimate for room/board/airfare) over the cost of studying on campus. The January Interim programs cost $3000-$7000 for the one-month study program off-campus.  Studying off-campus for a semester is the most cost-effective!  Scholarships are available for all St. Olaf off-campus programs!

What credits can you bring back from off-campus?

St. Olaf students who study off-campus on St. Olaf approved programs stay on track for graduation. General Education credits and major credits from approved off-campus programs count towards graduation. These credits do not count in the GPA unless taught by St. Olaf faculty, but they do show on the St. Olaf transcript.

When should you apply?

To study off-campus during January of your first year, it is necessary to complete the application in September. Contact International and Off-Campus Studies in Tomson 380 for information about the application process.

The application deadline for semester and year programs is approximately March 1. On-line applications are available the beginning of November after the Off-Campus Study Open House in early November.

Applications for the January Interims are available in early April after the Off-Campus Interim Open House. The first deadline for Interim selection is in late April. Applications are accepted on a rolling admission after that date until October.

If you have questions.

Each approved program has a faculty program adviser. The faculty member is a valuable resource about each individual program and is listed on the International and Off-Campus website.

International and Off-Campus is located in Tomson 380. Office staff is available to answer questions and assist you with choosing a program to suit your academic needs.