Types of Off-Campus Programs

Off-campus programs fall into two broad geographical categories: sponsored programs abroad and special programs in the USA. Albion is a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association, Inc. (GLCA). Member colleges in the GLCA manage programs in both categories.

A.  Off-Campus Programs Abroad

Most students planning to study abroad choose to study under the auspices of a program.  A program may be sponsored by Albion, by other American colleges or universities, or occasionally by foreign institutions. Such programs relieve the student of bureaucratic red-tape by handling all or part of the housing, and registration arrangements and securing smooth transfer of credit back to Albion.  As most of the programs have been operating for several years, you can be confident that your experience away from Albion will be rewarding. Your personal goals and academic needs will determine which program you choose. There are five types of sponsored programs:

"It was fantastic!! One of the hardest, but most rewarding decisions that I've made at Albion. Erica Tauzer, IFSB spring 2009

  1. Programs that offer their own courses exclusively for American/foreign students. All courses are taught by faculty members of the sponsoring institution and by foreign faculty members engaged specifically for the program. Albion students who participate in this type of program are required to study the language of the country for the duration of their stay. For some programs, the language of instruction is English. Other programs require students to have some language proficiency before they arrive;  all instruction is in the target language. Examples: Students on the Japan Study Program study Japanese before and during the program, but classroom instruction is in English. Students on Albion's program in Grenoble, France take all their course work in French.
  2. Programs that enroll American students directly in a foreign university for a full course of study. The language of instruction is the language of the country. Therefore, enrollment in a university in a non-English speaking country requires a high degree of foreign language proficiency. This type of program usually provides challenging intellectual opportunities in courses that are more specialized than those generally offered in American undergraduate institutions. Examples: The Scotland Program at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, Kalamazoo College programs in Kenya and Sénégal, and Albion's direct enrollment programs at the University of Cape Town,  South Africa and University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.
  3. Programs that combine courses arranged for American/foreign students with part-time enrollment in a foreign university. Students do part of their academic work with fellow Americans and part with native students in the local university.  Proficiency in the language of the country is necessary.  Depending on the students' degree of fluency, more or fewer courses at the university can be arranged.  Examples:  Antioch's program in Tübingen, Germany and the CIEE program in Alicante, Spain.
  4. The independent study program, which often offers intensive language and cultural training upon arrival, and on-site supervision of an independent study/research project. This type of program is for the highly motivated and well-prepared student.  Examples: Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) India Studies Program and the SFS (School for Field Studies) program in Kenya.
  5. The combined academic/internship program  is becoming increasingly popular as an overseas and USA option for Albion students. These programs require a high degree of maturity and motivation and, if they are located in a non-English speaking country, proficiency in the foreign language. Examples: Educational Programmes Abroad London internships, Boston University's Paris Internship Program, the Philadelphia Center and the New York Arts Program.

"It was amazing and I learned so much. I wouldn't trade it for anything.." Katherine Ross, CIEE- Alcala, summer 2009

B.  Special Programs in the USA

Some of these programs are sponsored by universities and others are administered by member colleges of the GLCA. Programs, such as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (managed by Denison University), or Newberry Seminar in Chicago have a very specialized, single discipline focus.  See the OCP Handbook for details.

"It was an invaluable experience. Despite the costs, every moment was well worth it. It changed my life forever, I hated to leave.     Alex Ewing, Cork Ireland- spring 2009