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Skidmore College

Start here, then explore your world

March 16, 2018

Picture this: You’ve just started your first year of college. New experiences are now the norm and you’re hungry for more. Call it wanderlust, or an appetite for learning, there’s somethingthat makes you wonder:  

  • “What else can I learn? Or see? Or do?”
  • “Who can I help or meet?”
  • “Where can I go next from here?”  

At Skidmore, wonder can become reality with abundant opportunities to personalize your college experience…and your impact on the world.

Study life, from every angle

Experience a new culture, research a far-away place, try on a potential career or follow your sense of adventure. Skidmore students are crafting learning experiences as individual as they are through off-campus study and exchanges, courses, internships and more.

While options are almost infinite, here a few student favorites for getting off campus and into the world.

Long-term experiences

International programs: Skidmore has a long tradition of running its own study abroad programs. London, Paris, Spain or New Zealand–each program integrates academic opportunities with cultural experiences. London is also home to a study abroad option for freshman to spend their first semester of college abroad. But these aren’t the only places students are traveling to. Students can also participate in more than 120 approved programs through other institutions in 45 countries for a semester or full academic year.

Did you know?
With more than 60 percent of students studying
abroad, Skidmore ranks among the very top U.S.
baccalaureate institutions for the number of
students setting off across the globe.

Domestic programs: At Skidmore, students can also gain new perspectives while remaining in the U.S. For example, there are approved programs in Atlanta, Georgia (Spelman College); Washington, D.C. (American University); and Mystic, Connecticut (Williams College). Students interested in environmental science can also spend a semester in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, at the Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory, the oldest private marine laboratory in North America.

Related reading: Check out sophomore Olivia Glasser’s blog about her seafaring adventures in Mystic, Connecticut.

Summer Experience Fund: Skidmore’s Career Development Center (CDC) provides many opportunities for students to integrate their on-campus learning with off-campus experiences in preparation for of their future careers.  

In addition to the many traditional internships it helps students coordinate each year, the CDC has a unique program called the Summer Experience Fund. Formed with an understanding that some of the best experiences may be unpaid, students apply each year to the Fund for a stipend to support them as they participate in unpaid internships, volunteering, research, or community service projects. On average, more than 100 total awards are granted.

Summer Educational Experiences – Beyond the Campus:Another exciting option students can apply for are the SEE-Beyond Awards. Award recipients receive a stipend to help them dedicate their summer to exploring new technologies, techniques, and modes of inquiry or expression in their field. With a focus on applying academic-year learning to real-world challenges, past students have used their awards to explore everything from refugee assistance programs in Germany to documentary film processes in L.A. 

Short-term experiences

Travel seminars: These seminars allow students to accompany one or two faculty members as they explore a focused topic that uses the destination as a classroom. Students take a prerequisite course(s) that prepares them for a structured, challenging learning experience. For example, in 2019, “Japanese Culture and Art” will bring students to Japan and “Mapping and Exploring Rome” to Italy. Other travel seminars are headed to France, California and Nevada. 

Related reading: Students share their memories of their course trip to Rome.

Volunteering and service trips: Nearly half of all Skidmore students take part in off-campus community service activities each year supporting organizations like the American Red Cross and Special Olympics, as well as several local and regional causes. 

Some students even take their volunteering a step further and dedicate their spring break to a service project. For example, students have traveled from New York City to Guatemala to volunteer in existing programs and pulled together their own groups to travel to areas affected by natural disasters or other crises.

Creative thought travels

At Skidmore, we believe that when you change your view of the world, that view can change you. Here, it’s okay to step outside of your comfort zone…or even your time zone if it means broadening perspectives and collecting valuable experiences. 

About 2,500 students call our 1,000-acre campus in Saratoga Springs home. But, for many, it can also be called home base: a launch pad for personal and academic exploration. You can start here, open your creative mind, and find your path to explore the world both near and far.

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