Advising Students Interested in Studying Away
Throughout the application process for domestic and study abroad programs, students are reminded of the importance of discussing their goals and interests with their academic advisers. We encourage them to share with you how their semseter away fits into their Amherst education and to seek advice on whether or not courses taken at another university or program can count toward the major. This important conversation does not require faculty to have extensive knowledge about the programs we use, but rather an understanding of the departmental policy on transfer credit from the program or university and courses appropriate for the major. Should your advisee inquire about programs more broadly, please consider the following questions, whose answers may be found on the program's website or by asking the Global Education Office staff:
- Do the course descriptions seem suitable for Amherst's liberal arts curriculum and appropriate for the student?
- Who are the teaching faculty?
- Does the student have particular academic or personal needs while away, e.g., specific course requirements, disability accommodation? (Please refer students to the Global Education Office with specific questions.)
- Has the student met with the Global Education Office to discuss their program choices? We have developed an advising guide that we use with students to help them identify their academic and personal goals for their time away.
- Has the student reviewed the college's academic policies and deadlines related to study away?
The Global Education Office will evaluate the overall quality of the program in consultation with the faculty Committee on Global Education, peer institutions and The Forum on Education Abroad, the leading professional association for study abroad that has established standards and best practices for the field. (Their best practices align well with domestic study programs, too.) Please remember that you may always defer to us for program-specific advising.
There are three stages throughout the study away experience (from application to departure) where we ask students to consult with their academic adviser:
- The Intent to Study Away is an online form that students considering study away must submit in the semester prior to the semester off campus. We ask students to inform us with whom in the major department they have discussed their program and course interests.
- The Educational Leave Form and Waiver of Liability is the form that notifies all relevant campus offices that a student is on educational leave (i.e. domestic study or study abroad). Students are required to provide a preliminary course list and they must obtain their academic adviser's signature.
- Once away, students submit the online course approval form during their program's registration period to have their courses officially approved by the Amherst Registrar. At that time students are reminded to consult with the academic adviser(s) for any courses that might be considered for the major(s).