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Skidmore College
Off-Campus Study & Exchanges

Summer and January Study Abroad

In addition to spending a semester or year off-campus, students may also explore shorter off-campus experiences over the summer or January break. OCSE administers a limited number of faculty-led travel seminars each year and the academic focus and locations vary. Please check the Faculty-Led Travel Seminars website for more information, including the application process.

independent Short-Term Programs

Independently of our office, students may also choose to participate in a non-Skidmore program during the summer or January break. While our office is available to advise students as they research programs, we do not  have an application process for non-Skidmore summer/January programs and we do not handle any of the logistics related to this experience. Please contact OCSE with any questions regarding off-campus study.

OCSE does not maintain a list of approved program options for short-term summer/January programs.  That said, the following program providers we approve for semester study abroad also offer short-term programs (mostly summer programs). Program providers with an asterisk (*) offer scholarships for summer programs.

Faculty Recommendations: Faculty members in specific departments often know about experiences that are particularly interesting within their area of study. Take a moment to ask a few faculty members and check the bulletin boards in your major department.  

In addition to exploring the programs through our approved providers, the following online databases will be helpful in researching summer study abroad opportunities:

Students participating on non-Skidmore summer/January programs are responsible for all costs associated with the program. Financial aid and scholarships are not available through Skidmore.

Most programs offer scholarships and students are encouraged to apply for this funding. There are also scholarships available for students through national scholarship funds. Please visit our Scholarship Opportunities page for more information. 

Students seeking academic credit for an independent short-term program must complete a Transfer Credit Approval Form through the Office of the Registrar. This form can be also found on the Registrar's Form page. The course(s) must comply with all of the qualifications and policies listed on the Summer School Approval Form.

Students should apply directly to the program. Pay special attention to deadlines!  Typically, you would apply 3-6 months before the start of the program. If applications are accepted on a rolling basis, apply early! 

Home School Authorization forms: Many programs require approval from the home school (Skidmore) as part of the application process. If you would like our office to complete this type of form, please visit our office or email OCSE.

If the program requires information on your social standing with the College or your disciplinary record, you must email OCSE and request that we check your status before we will complete the form. It may take 1-2 weeks for OCSE to obtain such information. Alternatively, you can work with the student conduct office directly to complete this portion.

Health & Safety

Although your program provider and the host community will do all that they can to maintain a reasonably safe and secure environment, studying during a global pandemic, like COVID-19, present risks and has made travel unpredictable. You should review the health and safety protocols for the programs you are considering, particularly their COVID-19 protocols, and be aware that there is a possibility of changes to your program before the planned start date. Some programs may limit your independent travel or require behavior pledges to participate in the program.

You are also responsible for consulting your healthcare provider to discuss your medical history and the risk presented in participating in off-campus study during a global pandemic. Please investigate whether your current health insurance will provide coverage while studying off campus and if your program provides health insurance coverage. You may should consider purchasing independent travel/health insurance to cover you outside of the US for the dates of your travel.


Off-Campus Study & Exchanges would like to highlight the following pre-departure tips for summer 2021. Your independent short-term program will provide additional pre-departure advice and materials prior to departure. 

  • Book with a travel agent. OCSE recommends booking with travel agent and/or specialist group. These professionals provide an extra level of support than booking directly with airlines or an online travel agency.
  • Airline and Airport policies related to COVID-19. Before booking a flight, inquire about the airline and/or airport policies and procedures (i.e., mask requirements, temperature screening, required forms, middle seat occupancy, etc.). It is important to set expectations and be prepared for newly implemented requirements for travel.
  • Direct flights. Consider flights without connections/change of planes or limit the number of connections. This will limit the need to adhere to multiple airport policies and minimize contact with other travelers.  
  • Purchase a refundable/changeable airline ticket since travel plans may change quickly or unexpectedly.
  • Meet with your doctor. Consider scheduling a pre-trip medical clearance visit with your personal physician to discuss your health and address any concerns. Discuss how to mitigate risks, recommendations on vaccinations including influenza, obtaining antibiotic prophylactics and general advice on optimizing your health.
  • Research where you can get a COVID-19 test. Since several countries have instituted a requirement of a negative COVID-19 test prior to entry into their country, you should begin researching a testing facility near you where you can have the test administered in the required timeframe. Please contact your program to confirm the specific testing requirements for your country of study.
  • Prescription Medications. Ensure that you have an adequate supply of any prescription medication for the dates of your travel. Consult your medical insurer to determine if you can obtain an additional supply of prescription medications, approximately 4 weeks past end of program date, should a need to shelter in place arise.
  • Purchase several cloth face masks for use onsite. Neck gaiters are reportedly less effective than cloth masks in blocking respiratory droplets. Additionally, some countries have prohibited the use of bandanas.
  • Bring your own first aid kit, as such, items can be in short supply in your host country (masks, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, over-the-counter medications, bandages, topical antiseptic cleaner, etc.)
  • Consider bringing your own supply of cleaning products, such as antibacterial wipes, as these items may be difficult to find or in short supply in your country of study.
  • OCSE recommends that parents/guardians possess a passport that is valid 6 months after the end date of the student program in the event they must travel due to an emergency onsite. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant reduction in passport processing by the U.S. Department of State.  If there is a need to renew or apply for a passport, the recommendation is to do so as soon as possible.  Please consult the Department of State website for more information on the application and/or renewal process.
  • Review your Parent/Legal Guardian Contact authorizations submitted at the time of application to ensure that your program can communicate with them during your program.