EL Travel Seminars Instructions

Thank you for your interest in the May 2017 Experiential Learning (EL) Seminars. Below is information regarding the application process and other related items.

All EL Seminars are pending full enrollment which will be determined in early December 2016. Programs with low enrollments will be cancelled in early December and students will be notified of this decision via email.

General Requirements

Although these are “Experiential Seminars”, each Seminar still requires an extensive amount of academic work similar to other courses at Allegheny College (see grading information below). For your completed work, you will earn four liberal studies credits, unless otherwise noted. (Cuba EL Seminar  is worth only two credits.)

Students on academic or disciplinary probation at time of application or during the Spring 2017 semester will not be considered for an EL Seminar course. All participants must be enrolled in and complete the spring 2017 semester at Allegheny.

Note to Graduating Seniors interested in participating in an EL Seminar: ***You will be required to address the need for this course after graduation in your personal statement. You may also be asked to explain how studying off campus through the EL Seminar will enhance your degree and/or your future personal and professional goals.


Program fee due (cash, check, loan approval)EL Travel Seminar Departures

Event Date
Applications available online Early September 2016
Student online applications and transcripts due in The Allegheny Gateway (ACCEL-Reis Hall) November 1, 2016 by 5pm
Participation decisions announced November 16, 2016
Make appointment with Financial Aid to discuss loan options As soon as you are accepted
Apply for Passport As soon as you are accepted
Passport information forms due December 1, 2016
Student Participation documents due December 1, 2016
Mandatory Meeting for all EL Participants Late-January 2017
Individual seminar meetings with EL Director(s) Begin February 2017
EL  Seminar billing added to student account mid-December 2016
Program fee due (cash, check, loan approval) mid-January 2017
EL Travel Seminar Departures May 2017
EL Travel Seminar Returns Early June 2017


Application/Student Information Form

As part of the process to enroll, we ask that you complete the form here. The professor(s)/administrators teaching each seminar will review your applications; please note they may require interviews and/or additional information. Completed applications are due 5 p.m., November 1, 2016. Note that we only accept on-line applications.

You will be informed by November 16, 2016 of your status in the seminar.

Your application must include:

  1. Student Information Form

This is accessible here and due by November 1, 2016. Please apply to only one EL Seminar. If you are not selected to participate in the EL Seminar of your choice, you will have the opportunity to transfer your application to other EL Seminars that remain open for applications due to low enrollment numbers.

  1. Unofficial Transcripts printed from Web Advisor. Once printed, please submit your unofficial transcripts to the International Programs and Services Office in Reis Hall in an envelope clearly marked with your name on it and the Seminar to which you are applying.
  2. Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose/essay is a critical part of your application and weighs heavily in the selection process. You must attach your statement of purpose to the online application as a .doc or pdf file. Make sure you put your name at the top of each page of the essay, and reiterate what seminar you’re applying to (this is just in case the essay gets separated from the application form in cyberspace!) Your personal statement should answer the following:

    1. Describe your interest in taking the seminar. What are your expectations and what do you hope to gain from this experiential learning course?
    2. How does this course relate to your academic, professional and/or personal goals?
    3. How would you imagine incorporating this experience into your Allegheny education upon your return?

Costs & Payment

The estimated cost for each Seminar will be noted on the seminar website in late September 2016. Cost includes $940 for tuition. The remaining amount covers fees for travel, room and most meals, etc. The program costs are due by mid-January 2017. Students who withdraw after January 31, 2017 will be responsible for the entire program cost.  Payment can be made by check payable to Allegheny College, cash, credit card for a fee through Tuition Management Systems, www.afford.com (Visa Cards are not accepted) or notification from the Financial Aid Office regarding a pending loan. If you are interested in applying for a loan, please stop by the Financial Aid Office beginning in October and November 2016 to set up an appointment to discuss loans options available to you. Important information regarding cancellations and refunds is below.

  • Academic Year Fee Payment

Your 2016-2017 academic year account must be paid in full in order for you to participate in the EL Seminar. If your account is not paid in full by January 31, 2016, Allegheny reserves the right to withdraw you from the Seminar, even if you have paid the EL Seminar fee in full.


If you are applying to a Seminar that travels outside the United States and do not yet have a passport, you should begin the process of applying for one immediately. Currently, the normal process takes over eight weeks. The longer you wait, the longer it will take to process, as you will be competing with all other American tourists who will travel to Canada, Mexico and overseas next summer. You can find information and applications online at http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html Students who already have passports should make sure that their passport expiration date is at least six months beyond the Seminar return date.

Pre-departure meetings

The International Educations Office will hold a MANDATORY meeting for approved applicants in late-January 2017, to begin discussing the pre-trip details. You may meet the faculty member leading the course at that time, and you may also have individual seminar meetings arranged by the EL Director(s) throughout the Spring 2017 semester.

Housing and meals on campus

Some seminars will begin with coursework on campus before departure, and you are expected to be on campus for that time period. If you are required to be on campus before departure, housing will be provided on campus with no extra charge for those days. You will be responsible for your own linens and for placing your personal belongings in storage prior to the date of departure. There is NO housing available upon your return, unless you have been approved for 2017 summer campus employment. Please plan accordingly.

Course cancellation and withdrawal

Please be advised that an EL Seminar may be cancelled due to low student enrollment. The decision to go or not to go will be made by early December 2016.
If Allegheny Administration and/or the faculty leader(s) cancel the trip prior to departure, every effort will be made to recover all costs and refund the students without penalty. A full refund cannot be guaranteed.

Withdrawal Policy

Withdrawals must be submitted in writing to Jenny Kawata, Box Y, or jkawata@allegheny.edu; the date such notification is received by ACCEL is the cancellation date. Students who withdraw after January 31, 2017 will be responsible for the entire program cost. 

Because of the nature of EL  Seminars, many payments and arrangements must be made far in advance of the departure dates. In the event that you must withdraw from the seminar, The Allegheny Gateway will attempt to recover costs already paid on your behalf. Please note that we cannot guarantee a refund.

EL Seminar grading information

The Allegheny Gateway defines experiential learning as the following:

A component of the educational process in which students are active participants in events and activities leading to the accumulation of knowledge, skills, and values in settings beyond the classroom. These learning activities aim to promote intellectual development, cross-cultural and global awareness, civic and social responsibility, ethical development, career exploration, and personal growth. This learning occurs through the acquisition of knowledge, reflection, and hands-on participation.

In an effort to ensure that Experiential Learning (EL) Seminars reflect these learning objectives, The Allegheny Gateway, in collaboration with past EL Seminar faculty leaders, has developed the following assessment guidelines:

  • Focusing

Assigned readings and/or research, typically completed prior to departure, provide students with appropriate background knowledge about the history, culture, people, issues, etc., of the areas they will visit. They may also provide the groundwork for presentations students give either before leaving, while on-site, or after returning to campus.

  • Acting

Participation in group activities and individual assignments is an essential part of the experiential learning process. EL Seminars are intense group experiences, and students are expected to participate actively, and contribute positively, to all aspects of the program. It is important to note that participation includes making a continuous effort to observe, learn about, and take part in the everyday culture and environment of the host site.


  • Reflecting

Reflection, whether in short essays, a daily journal, or other appropriate assignments, allows students to comment on what they have seen and done and consider their impressions in the context of the readings. Journals and essays emphasize writing that is descriptive, contemplative, and well-structured, and students are expected to re-read and revise the entries prior to and/or after submitting them.

  • Wrapping Up

Course review again combines personal experience and opinions with readings and reactions to the readings. Assessment can take the form of longer comprehensive papers or exams at any time during the course. For example, faculty directors may choose to give a “mid-course” exam based on reading and research prior to departing for the EL Seminar site.

Please note that all courses are graded with letter grades.

If you have questions pertaining to the administrative components of the course, please contact Jenny M. Kawata  in The Allegheny Gateway (x4891). For questions concerning seminar content, please contact the professor(s) listed on each individual web page.