A Guide for Advising Students Through the Study Abroad Process
While first-year students cannot study abroad (though some ICAs will allow first-year students to apply), it is never too early to talk with your advisees about Goucher’s numerous study abroad possibilities (Goucher-sponsored programs offers semester programs that accommodate all majors) and discuss which programs will best fit their four-year plan (particularly for highly structured majors).
Sophomore students are in the best place to begin the study abroad process. You and your advisee can research Goucher-sponsored programs on the OIS website, and students can make an advising appointment with OIS if they need specific help. By starting early in the sophomore year, students give themselves enough time to meet all deadlines and apply for scholarships and fellowships, if applicable.
Seniors who haven’t studied abroad yet should make an appointment with OIS as soon as possible to review all of their options. The choices in this situation will be limited, and student may also need to meet with the associate dean for undergraduate studies if he/she will need to study abroad after graduation.
Intensive Courses Abroad (ICAs) and Short-Term Programs
A student planning to participate in a Goucher Intensive Course Abroad (ICA) for three weeks in January or in the summer should speak with you about how the course may fulfill the graduation requirement. (ICAs are resident credit.)
Students may also participate in summer programs through partner programs, for which they will receive Goucher credits.
If your advisee is interested in a non-Goucher-sponsored program, please encourage the student to meet with OIS staff for approval.
Keep in mind, non-Goucher programs often require more work for students and academic advisers as signatures are necessary from you and from designated department chairs, and because OIS is not responsible for application submission or other necessary paperwork.
Language Majors or Minors
Language majors are required to attend designated Goucher semester programs: CC-CS in Cordoba, Argentina, Alicante, Spain, or Seville, Spain for Spanish, Eberhard Karls Universitat for German (for German minors), and the Paris Gateway Program or IFE for French. Language minors are strongly encouraged to attend these programs as well.
If a student wishes to study abroad in a location where courses are taught in the target language, they must meet appropriate requirements. For semester programs, students should be enrolled in the foreign language the semester before departing and meet program-specific requirements. Typically, students must have at least four college semesters or the equivalent to participate in a foreign language program.
If a student studies on a Goucher program in a country where English is not the national language, then the student must take a course in the language (but can do so on a pass/fail basis).
- Familiarize yourself with deadlines and upcoming events in OIS.
- Encourage students to attend the fall or spring Study Abroad Fair to meet with representatives from specific programs and talk to students returning from abroad.
- Once a student has a clear sense of where they want to study abroad, they should meet with OIS and you to discuss what courses they will take and how they will transfer back into Goucher.
- Your advisees will ask you to approve the applicability of the courses abroad to the major graduation requirements.
- Courses taken through Goucher-sponsored semester programs count as resident credit and factor into the student’s GPA; courses taken through non-Goucher-sponsored programs must be approved by the academic departments, but do not count towards the GPA.
- If students have questions about financial aid, please refer them to our Financial Aid and Costs page for more information or to OIS and the Office of Student Financial Aid if they have specific concerns or challenges.
- Encourage your students to look for scholarships and remind them that they can always apply for scholarships through OIS by selecting “Yes, I’d like to be considered for a scholarship” on the Study Abroad Application.
- In order to go abroad for a semester, a student must:
- have declared a major and spent at least three semesters on campus,
- have a GPA (2.5 of higher in most cases),
- meet with OIS to for advising and to obtain an application,
- meet all OIS deadlines, and
- verify acceptance of abroad credits with OIS.
Working With Students Who Are Currently Studying Abroad
Once a student is abroad, be prepared that he/she may contact you regarding course registration for the next semester and/or change of courses abroad. (If a student takes a course not previously approved by the academic adviser [via OIS paperwork], the student must e-mail the new course name, level, and description to the adviser for approval and forward a copy of the new approval to OIS for our records.)
Working With Students Who Have Recently Returned From Study Abroad
Reentry often presents intellectual and emotional challenges; students returning from abroad may need some individualized attention from you.
If your advisee is struggling with coming back to campus, please direct them to the many reentry resources at Goucher and in the community, including the following:
- The annual Reentry Conference, hosted by OIS and other regional institutions, addresses emotional, practical, and academic reentry issues.
- Cynthia Terry, chaplain (x6048), and Monica Neel, therapist (x6563), run a support group for students facing reentry issues.
- Cynthia, Monica, and the other therapists in the Student Health and Counseling Center (x6050) also provide individual counseling.
Some students may seek additional academic challenges and ways to continue their language and cultural study—please direct them to appropriate coursework or co-curricular opportunities. Community service or community-based learning may be an appropriate option, as many of our community-based partners work with an international population. You may even encourage them to seek minors in academic areas related to the nature of their study abroad experiences.
One of the best things you can do is listen to the students’ stories. Please make time to invite your returning students to talk about their time abroad.
View a full list of policies and procedures for participating in a Goucher-sponsored program.
Visit this link to read about students’ experiences abroad via our student bloggers.
Lead an ICA
If you would like to participate in a site visit or lead an ICA please visit this link for more information.