I have not studied a foreign language. Do I have to study abroad in an English-speaking country?

  • Whitman College offers a number of study abroad options in countries where English is not the main language spoken in which students may begin foreign language study and take elective courses in English. Currently such Partner Programs are located in Austria, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Korea, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam. These programs are excellent for students who wish to immerse themselves in a foreign culture but have not yet developed proficiency in a foreign language.

How many semesters of a foreign language do I need before going abroad?

  • Some of Whitman's Partner Programs in Germany, France, Spain and Latin America require that students have completed four or five semesters of college-level courses in the relevant foreign language or the equivalent. This usually means that you need to have completed at least the 206-level language course at Whitman or one semester of a third-year language course before going abroad. Most programs prefer that students enroll in a course in the target language the semester before going abroad to ensure that their language skills are not rusty. It is generally advisable to take as much of the target language as possible before going abroad.
  • Whitman College offers a number of study abroad options in countries where English is not the main language spoken in which students may begin foreign language study and take elective courses in English. Currently such Partner Programs are located in Austria, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Korea, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam. These programs are excellent for students who wish to immerse themselves in a foreign culture but have not yet developed proficiency in a foreign language.

Can I earn full credit while studying away?

  • Most students who participate on an off-campus study program through Whitman earn a full semester of credit, usually 15-16 credits. In order to earn transfer credit from off-campus study, you must have pre-approval from Whitman and earn a C- or better in the courses. To obtain pre-approval, you must complete the Whitman Off-Campus Study Application.

Can I earn distribution credit while studying away?

  • If you take off-campus courses in the appropriate fields, you may apply them to the relevant distribution requirements at Whitman. The advisers of Off-Campus Studies (OCS) can offer you guidance as to which courses are likely to apply to certain distribution areas. The final decision regarding distribution credit rests with the Whitman Registrar.

I am a transfer student. Can I participate in an off-campus study program?

  • Transfer students are often able to participate on an off-campus study program through Whitman, but it does take careful planning. Keep in mind that you must study at Whitman at least one semester before you can apply to an off-campus study program. This means being enrolled at Whitman at least two semesters before you participate in an off-campus study program. Also, remember that the maximum total number of credits that you may transfer from any institution (including study abroad, domestic colleges and universities, AP and Running Start credit) and apply toward your Whitman degree is 70 credits.

Can I apply for Semester in the West during the fall semester of my junior year and for off-campus study during the spring semester of my junior year?

  • Students who are accepted to the Semester in the West program during their junior year may consider applying for study abroad for the spring of their junior year, if it complements their academic program at Whitman. However, because you would be studying away both semesters of your third year, this will take careful planning in terms of completing your major and general education (distribution) requirements. Moreover, your choices of study abroad destination countries will be somewhat more limited because the process for applying for a student visa to enter some countries must be started well before Semester in the West ends.
  • For example, it is usually not possible to study abroad in France, Spain, Italy, Chile or Austria the semester after participation in Semester in the West because those countries require in person applications by the student at the host country's Consulate when Semester in the West is still in session.
  • We recommend that students interested in combining participation in Semester in the West with off-campus study in their junior year, attend an Off-Campus Studies (OCS) First Step Meeting no later than spring of their first year. OCS First Step Meetings introduce students to off-campus study programs and the OCS application process. After attending a First Step Meeting, students may schedule an individual advising appointment with an adviser in the OCS Office.