Off-Campus Studies Mission Statement

Off-Campus Studies at Whitman College aims to develop in our students intercultural skills and global understanding for a lifetime of leadership.  We endeavor to achieve this goal by:

  • Providing off-campus study opportunities worldwide that offer high-quality academic content, instruction and evaluation.
  • Expanding learning opportunities for students and integrating the learning off-campus into their academic program to the fullest extent possible.
  • Promoting programs that increase a student’s foreign language and intercultural fluency.
  • Offering programs that foster an ability to question assumptions and think critically in the context of other worldviews.
  • Ensuring that programs are well integrated into the host community and encourage immersion of the student into the host culture. 
  • Developing the means by which returning students can actively contribute to international awareness and programming on campus, as well as in the Walla Walla community.

Off-Campus Studies can help German Studies students…

  • Improve foreign language skills
  • Gain awareness of the major discipline from a different scholarly tradition
  • Develop a global perspective
  • Expand cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills
  • Prepare for an increasingly diverse and international workplace
  • Gain research skills from field studies or work with primary sources

What are the types of OCS programs recommended by the German Studies program?

  • Studying at a center for U.S. students with German or Austrian faculty (such as IES) and/or direct enrollment in a foreign university with local students
    Note: Whether or not a student can enroll in courses at a university in Germany or Austria depends on the student’s German level and study abroad term. Students studying abroad for only the fall semester must study at a center rather than directly enroll at a university because the fall semester calendar in Europe conflicts with Whitman’s spring semester dates.
  • Programs that offer an opportunity for an internship embedded in an academic course as part of a program

How does a semester or year of OCS help students in German Studies prepare for graduate school or various career opportunities? 

  • After spending an academic year abroad, the students’ German language skills are typically significantly improved, allowing them to be stronger applicants in both graduate school and job applications.
  • Studying abroad helps German Studies majors develop international contacts and networks that can help with post-graduate grants and fellowships.

Which requirements can German Studies majors fulfill while off campus?

  • Elective major credit in consultation with your German Studies major adviser
  • General Studies distribution credit
  • General degree credit

Planning Tips

As a general rule of thumb, the German Studies program recommends the following for students who wish to study off campus.

  • Ideally students should take as much German as possible before studying abroad.  Students who wish to take their courses in German need at a minimum to have successfully completed German courses through GERM 206 Intermediate German to qualify for the programs.
  • Discuss your graduation plan fully with your German Studies major adviser in your second year if you plan to study abroad.
  • Note to Heritage speakers of German and students with a strong background in German: Program admission applications will require at least one graded German course on your Whitman transcript at the time of application.

Credit Limitations

The maximum number of credits that can be applied to the German Studies major from off campus studies (including AP credits or credits from other U.S. institutions) is 12 credits with the approval of your major adviser.

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the German Studies program?

  • IES Berlin: Language and Area Studies (Germany)
  • IES Freiburg: Language and Area Studies (Germany)
  • IES Vienna: European Society and Culture (Austria) - especially the courses taught in German

Advising Support

Students interested in Off-Campus Studies should attend an OCS First Step meeting in the fall of their second year, discuss their interests with their major adviser, and schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser.