Step 1: Get Program Information
Useful websites to explore for programs not sponsored by Allegheny are StudyAbroad.com or GoAbroad.com . For guidelines to assist in comparing different programs, check here: http://sites.allegheny.edu/offcampus/guidelines/. The International Education Office can help you review different programs and help you determine which one best fits your needs. That is, in order for us to assist you, you need to know what your goals are for studying abroad, what your financial parameters are, and of course, what country you want to study in!
IMPORTANT: You are responsible for getting all the necessary application and information forms from the program you choose.
Step 2: Obtaining Allegheny Approval to Study Off-Campus
Regardless of whether you are applying to participate in an Allegheny-sponsored program OR an independent program, you must first be approved by your academic advisor and by the International Education Office. Submit your application materials by February 20 for fall programs or by September 20 for spring programs. The Allegheny approval deadline is independent from the application deadline of the particular program you are applying to. The minimum requirements for Allegheny approval are:
- VERY IMPORTANT: As such, your statement of purpose is an extremely important part of your application. In it, please describe in detail how study abroad or U.S.-based off-campus study is related to your major, minor or other clear academic/ professional goals at Allegheny; include why it is important for you to participate in the particular semester you are applying for, and why you cannot accomplish these academic goals on campus. Please make sure you have read the program description on the program homepages before you write your essay so that you are aware of the program structure, goals, and philosophy, or program parameters and restrictions.
- You must meet the requirements of the program(s) to which you apply (e.g., GPA, language requirement, class standing).
- You must be approved by your academic advisor for the program to which you are applying. (If you are double majoring, both advisors will need to approve your plans to study off-campus (therefore you need two separate approval forms). If you have not declared a major yet, or do not have an advisor in your major yet, you must discuss with the department chair of your intended major how studying off-campus will affect your graduation requirements; the chair must complete the second page of the academic approval form in addition to the approval from completed by your current academic advisor. If you plan to complete a minor on the program, we strongly recommend that you meet with the director of the minor to review program materials.
- With the exception of the program in Cologne, sophomores are generally not approved for off-campus study. You must be in residence during the last semester of your senior year.
- You must meet the February 20 filing deadline for fall programs or the September 20 filing deadline for all spring programs.
- Please note we reserve the right to review academic records as well as all relevant behavioral issues by reviewing student files in the Dean of Students office. Our intention is to insure that you adhere to appropriate Allegheny and program standards until your departure for your program. Applicants on disciplinary probation or who have been suspended from Allegheny College will be required to show improved behavior prior to final approval.
If you do not meet any one of the requirements for Allegheny approval for off-campus study, or if you have any other issues that necessitate an exception, you must address in your personal statement the reason why you should be released from the requirement(s) that you do not meet. Discuss how you will benefit from participating, how studying off campus will enhance your degree, etc. Write your essay carefully; it is a very important part of any exceptions that will be made. Please note that exceptions are not guaranteed.
- If you do not meet the GPA requirement, please provide a second letter of recommendation from a faculty member at Allegheny whose course you have taken.
The Allegheny approval packet includes:
- Completed Allegheny Application Form submitted to the IO by you (on-line).
- Completed Academic Approval Form to be completed online by your academic advisor.
- Current Resume uploaded with application (Please have your resume reviewed by Career Education in the Gateway (Pelletier)
- Unofficial Transcripts printed from Webadvisor and turned into the International Education Office in the Gateway (Pelletier) in an envelope clearly marked with your name, intended program and semester of interest.
Step 3: Attend Predeparture Meetings
International Programs and Services will hold three predeparture meetings at which attendance is mandatory. At the meetings, you will:
- receive a checklist of things to do (or obtain) prior to departure
- review documents you need to complete for Allegheny College credit transfer and appropriate financial aid transfer
- discuss travel abroad and culture shock
- meet students who participated in the programs (if possible)
- and much, much more
Step 4: Get your acceptance letter, passport (if needed), airline ticket and GO!
Remember: Since you are participating in an independent program, you are responsible for obtaining and submitting the program’s application forms on your own!