Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Change of Plans

Costs & Financial Aid

Coursework and major

Who can study away?

Any Macalester student can! Macalester encourages you to pursue study away as an enriching component of your liberal arts education along the path of global citizenship. The following majors require a semester of study away:

  • Anthropology,
  • Asian Studies,
  • Chinese,
  • Classics,
  • French and Francophone Studies,
  • German Studies,
  • Hispanic Studies,
  • International Studies,
  • Japanese,
  • Latin American Studies, and
  • Russian Studies.

The following minor requires a semester of study away:

  • Hispanic Studies minor in Portuguese Language, Literature, and Culture.

All students who wish to study away for a semester or longer must receive approval from the Study Away Review Committee. Read more about eligibility

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Do I have to take courses for my major or minor during study away?

If your your major or minor requires it, yes.  If not, you can include a class from study away in your major, minor, or concentration plan, but it is not required. Some students use study away to explore other areas of their liberal arts education.

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How long can I go?

You may apply for a single semester of study away during your tenure at Macalester. Only in very exceptional cases will students be considered for an academic year, and in these cases only on certain programs or in extraordinary cases where a full year of study is essential to the student's educational program. Read more about when and how long you can study away

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When can I go?

You can study away during your junior or senior year, as well as the second semester of your sophomore year. First year students, first semester sophomores, and transfer students who enter as juniors may not participate in study away (except January, summer, and special Macalester­-organized programs). Read more about eligibility

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Can I go during J-­term or summer?

Yes  but the process and level of support is different than for semester programs.
Read more about January and summer programs

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How do I find a study away program?
Read more about study away programs

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When do I submit my application?

Submit your Study Away Application in early December during the academic year before you would like to study away. Whether you study away in the fall or spring semester, the deadline is the same. This means that if you want to study away as a senior, you submit your application in December of your junior year. If you want to study away as a junior (as most students do), you submit the application in December of your sophomore year. And if you want to study away as a sophomore, you submit the application in December of your first year.

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Why is there a single annual deadline for study away applications?

The main goal of this policy is to achieve rough equality between the two semesters, which helps the college with planning and finances. By reducing the overall cost of study away, more students can take advantage of this excellent learning opportunity.

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Can I choose which semester I go?

In your Study Away Application, you will indicate your semester preference. You will also have space to explain your reasons for choosing a particular semester. We cannot, however, guarantee that you will be approved for your preferred semester, as our goal is to have roughly the same number of students studying away in both semesters. Read more

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Who reviews the Study Away Applications?

The Study Away Review Committee (SARC), consisting of the Registrar and two faculty members, reviews and approves all applications. Read more about the application review process

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Do I need to wait for Macalester approval before applying to my program?

Talk with your study away advisor about the best timeline for your specific program. If your program has an early deadline or fills up quickly, you should apply as soon as possible. Read more about what to do after Macalester approval

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What should I do if my plans change?

If your study away plans change, it is important to contact the Center for Study Away immediately. You may have the option to defer your plans to a future semester, cancel your plans, or change programs. Which of these options are open to you depends on the point in time that your plans change, whether a change is voluntary or not, and other factors. Read more about Changes of Plan

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Will my grades count?

Grades earned during study away will appear on your transcript and are figured into your GPA. The majority of Macalester students actually increase their GPAs during this time. Read more about study away coursework

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How much will study away cost? Is it covered by Financial Aid?

Read more about Study Away Costs and Financial Aid

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Can international students study away?

All international students are eligible to study away at Macalester. Macalester financial aid can be applied to study away costs for international students in specific circumstances. Read the full policy financial policy for international students on study away

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I am an incoming international exchange student. Where can I find information about spending a semester or year at Macalester College?

Information for incoming international exchange students can be found online. Read more

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My advisor is on sabbatical. Who completes the online Academic Advisor Form?

You should defer to your "advisor of record,” according to your 1600grand account.

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I have not yet declared a major and need to submit the Department Chair Review form, but the chair is on sabbatical. Who signs the Department Chair Review Form?

The department will have designated an "acting" chair; consult your department.

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I am double­-majoring; my official advisor is for major A, but I am studying away mostly for major B. Who completes the online Academic Advisor Form?

Your official academic advisor should complete the online Academic Advisor Form. However, you are encouraged to review your plans with your major B advisor, but no additional form is needed.

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I have not yet declared a major and plan to double­-major. Who signs the Department Chair Review Form?

You only need one Department Chair Review Form, as only one intended major is required for your application. However, you are encouraged to review your plans with a chair or advisor from both intended majors, but no additional form is needed.

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