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 Spanish students…

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

What are the types of OCS programs recommended by the Spanish department?

  • Direct enrollment in a foreign university with local students

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

  • Most students experience significant linguistic development through off-campus studies in the Spanish-speaking world even if the student studies abroad for just one semester.
  • Broad exposure to Spanish and Latin American cultures, specialized course work, and internship opportunities for career development
  • Linguistic, literary and cultural immersion

Which requirements can Spanish majors fulfill while off campus?

  • 400-level equivalent major credit in Spanish and/or Latin American literature, film, theatre
  • Elective major credit from courses in Spanish language and literature
  • General Studies distribution credit
  • General degree credit

Planning Tips

As a general rule of thumb, the Spanish Department recommends the following for students who wish to study off campus.

  • First and second-year students who intend to study abroad in the Spanish-speaking world should keep in mind that most programs taught in Spanish require students to have completed a minimum of second-year Spanish (SPAN 205 & 206) or the equivalent prior to enrollment.  However, we strongly recommend that students planning on studying in Spanish complete at least one semester of third-year Spanish prior to studying abroad.  The more Spanish courses a student has prior to departure the better.
  • Students with little or no background in Spanish prior to entering Whitman should take SPAN 105 and 106 Elementary Spanish their first year. Students who have a previous background in the language must take the Spanish placement test prior to registering for classes and should then enroll in a Spanish course at the appropriate level.
  • A full year of off-campus study will yield the greatest linguistic benefit.  In many cases, students are able to obtain 11 credits in Spanish language and literature in just one semester.
  • Students may study abroad in either the fall or spring semester or for the academic year.
  • Note to Heritage speakers of Spanish and students with a strong background in Spanish: Program admission applications will require at least one graded Spanish course on your Whitman transcript at the time of application.

Credit Limitations

A maximum number of 11 credits may be transferred to the Spanish major from off-campus studies (including credits from other U.S. institutions).  Credit transfer must be approved by the student’s major adviser.  All transfer credits in Spanish must be equivalent to 300 or 400-level courses.

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the Spanish department?

Spanish majors should enroll in study abroad Partner Programs that offer courses that can be applied to the major, which are typically available on the following programs.

  • IFSA-Butler Argentine Universities Program (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • IFSA-Butler Mendoza Universities Program (Mendoza, Argentina)
  • IFSA-Butler Chilean Universities Program (Valparaiso, Chile)
  • IFSA-Butler Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan (Merida, Mexico)
  • Middlebury Spain (Cordoba, Getafe and Madrid)
  • CIEE Alicante:  Liberal Arts (Spain)
  • IES Granada (Spain)

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.