QUICK GLANCEAreas of Study:
- Skidmore and Approved Programs offered for all majors
- Humanities, arts, business, social sciences, sciences
- Comprehensive fee
- Financial aid applies for all programs
- Some programs offer their own financial aid
- Academic fit and course offerings
- Other options such as internships and volunteering
- Level of interaction with host country nationals
- On-site support
- Housing options
Points for Parents
Approximately 60% of Skidmore students study abroad at least once during their four years at Skidmore. Through Skidmore's own international programs, students have the following choices -- Skidmore in Spain , Skidmore in London, Skidmore in New Zealand, and Skidmore in Paris. In addition, Skidmore has approved several non-Skidmore programs ("Approved Programs") that offer students opportunities across the globe, with course offerings ranging from Aboriginal studies to zoology. The possibilities are endless! Please read the program-specific descriptions for more details on each of these options.
Skidmore expects study abroad applicants to have a strong academic background. Students must have at least a 2.75 GPA to be eligible. Some programs demand more competitive standards and/or require special academic preparation, including course prerequisites and foreign language competency. A student must also be in good social and financial standing at the time of study.
When Students Go
Students may study abroad during their sophomore, junior or senior years. Skidmore also has a London program for first-year students. We urge students to consider a full year of study to achieve stronger integration with the host culture and to benefit from a wider range of course offerings; however, many students nevertheless elect a semester abroad. Travel seminars are also available during the January, March, and the summer breaks.
Credits and Grades
Most students receive major, minor, and elective credit for their time off-campus through careful planning in selecting courses and obtaining faculty and Registrar approvals. Credits earned through Skidmore in Spain, Skidmore in Paris, and Skidmore in New Zealand are Skidmore resident credits and the grades earned are calculated into the Skidmore GPA. Credits earned on the Skidmore in London program and on all non-Skidmore Approved Programs are transfer credits; students must earn a "C" or above for Skidmore to accept the credit. Transfer credit grades are not calculated in the Skidmore GPA and the grades are not listed on the Skidmore transcript.
How Students Fare Abroad
Skidmore students who study abroad nearly always say, “This was the most important thing I have done in my life.” They usually earn grades abroad comparable to their grades on the home campus and their studies are enriched by the faculty and facilities of other nations. They also acquire international perspectives of extraordinary value and grow immeasurably in personal confidence, self-reliance, and academic independence.
Safe and Sound
Your son or daughter is considering studying off-campus or is close to departing to his/her program. While he or she is eager and excited to take part in this challenging and rewarding experience, some parents may be feeling some apprehension about their child studying abroad. Skidmore certainly places your student’s safety at the top of our list of priorities. We communicate with our programs abroad, monitor resources that report on safety concerns, and provide information to our students about how they can protect themselves while away.
While there can be no guarantee that your student will be safe, it may not surprise you to learn that statistics show that studying abroad is overwhelming safe. A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that data show that “going abroad is no riskier than staying on campus. In fact, it might be less dangerous.” Furthermore, the Forum on Education Abroad, an organization that develops standards of good practice for education abroad, has done extensive data collection on “critical incidents” involving students abroad. It issued a report in March 2016 analyzing insurance data that demonstrated that incident rates are lower for students studying abroad than for those on U.S. campuses.
The Office of Off-Campus Study & Exchanges (OCSE) proactively endeavors to prepare our students to study off-campus. OCSE believes that well-informed students, as well as parents and guardians, are important partners in preparing our students to study off-campus. We want to provide our students with vital resources and essential information as they prepare for their academic experience. Thus as part of the off-campus study process:
- Students are required to take part in a mandatory pre-departure orientation. The orientation provides important general information to prepare students for off-campus study.
- Students and families receive an off-campus study handbook. These handbooks contain valuable information on processes, policies and resources for study off campus.
- Every student that studies off campus through a Skidmore program or approved international program is provided with international medical insurance. The plan not only provides accident and emergency medical coverage, it also includes benefits such as emergency reunion and medical and security evacuation benefit.
- Skidmore College’s Health Services is available to administer most required and recommended vaccinations for the country of destination. Health Services can also assist by providing information on local resources but we recommend students use the CDC for the most current requirements.
As a parent/guardian you may be asking what should you be doing? How can you help?
- Talk with your student about your concerns and discuss ways in which they can mitigate any risk and practice behaviors that will increase their safety.
- Visit the OCSE Pre-Departure webpage. Know the information that students are required to understand. Being informed is the best preparation.
- In preparation of any emergencies abroad, make certain your passport is up to date. The passport should be valid 6 months from the end date of the student’s program.
- In case of any emergency, look for emails from OCSE and monitor the OCSE web site for safety updates. While it is important to stay informed through the news, remember that media outlets thrive on sensationalizing events surrounding any emergency. It is best to communicate directly with your student or Skidmore to understand what is happening with our students on site.
Students studying off campus will be charged the Skidmore comprehensive fee for their semester or year away. This fee is equal to Skidmore's tuition, room at the on campus apartment rate, board as applicable, and mandatory college fees. If the student's program does not include room and/or board, or only includes partial board, the Skidmore fee will be adjusted accordingly. Skidmore's billing for room charges will reflect students selecting a home stay option if one exists. The Skidmore comprehensive fee also covers mandatory medical insurance and any other mandatory program fees as required by each program. Students are responsible for their own airfare, text books, personal expenses (including passport and visa charges), accommodation upgrades, and voluntary field trips and excursions. Please see “Finance FAQs” for additional information.
We encourage students to start exploring program possibilities late in their first
year at Skidmore and to submit their applications early as well. Typically, a program's application deadline falls during the semester prior to participation, however there are some programs
that require applications to be submitted one year in advance. Each Skidmore program
has a deadline that falls during the semester before participation, while non-Skidmore
approved programs require students to adhere to 2 deadlines. Students applying to
a non-Skidmore Approved Program must first submit an “Approved Programs” application
to Skidmore's Office of Off-Campus Study & Exchanges. Typical deadlines for the Approved
Program application are mid-March for fall or academic year programs and mid-October
for spring programs, however the actual deadline will rely upon the non-Skidmore program's
own deadline. See our Application Deadlines page for more information.
Application deadlines for travel seminars vary by program and can often be set a full year in advance.
There are various resources available to students and parents. The most popular ones are:
- OCSE Web site: semester-long and short-term programs run during the academic year, as well as information on applying, pre-departure, announcements regarding programming and health and safety issues, etc..
- Special Programs Web site: some summer programs and international guests and lecturers.
- Internships abroad: OCSE internship page, StudyAbroad.com internships page, GoAbroad's internship search, AND Skidmore’s Career Services.
- Volunteering abroad: Association of Voluntary Service Organizations, Idealist.org, International Volunteer Programs Association, AND Peace Corps.
Off-Campus Study & Exchanges is located in Starbuck Center 202. We encourage you to
send your student to see us and use our off-campus study resource library between
the hours of 8:30 AM to 12:00 Noon and 1:00 to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. We also offer several Interest Meetings and other events throughout the year; a list of our events is available on our Web site.
Parents may also wish to review our Pre-Departure Information section for additional information. Please contact the Off-Campus Study & Exchanges with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1.518.580.5355.