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When and How Long

Semester Preference

Macalester strives to keep a balance between students studying away in the fall and spring. In order to maintain this balance, you may be approved by the Study Away Review Committee (SARC) to study away in that academic year, but for a semester other than the one for which you have applied.

When deciding your semester preference, think through the following questions:

  • Macalester course schedules
    • Many classes are not offered every semester. Think about when you will need to be on campus to take specific classes.
  • Programs requirements and prerequisites
    • Many programs have prerequisites, especially those focusing on language learning. Think through when you will have completed on­-campus coursework required for admission to your program.
  • Extracurricular activities

Year-long Study

Only in exceptional cases will study away lasting an academic year be considered, and in these cases only when a full year of study is essential to your educational program. Study away applications for more than one semester on more than one program will not be entertained.

Applications for year-long study away must show clear evidence that a full year is essential to the completion of your primary academic goals and/or Macalester liberal arts course of study. Such applications must also include a description of your preferred one-semester option, which can be either participating in the same program for one semester or participating in a different program, selected from the approved program list. If you do not make a compelling case for full-year study, you may be approved for a single semester.

Once you are approved for one semester of study away, you will not be permitted to extend that term.

Please note that additional language proficiency or cultural awareness gained by spending a full year on study away, rather than a single semester, will not by itself be sufficient to support year-long study. In many cases, your desire for longer immersion in the culture and language may be met by participating in a summer or January program before or after a semester of study away.

Single Program Approval

Macalester limits approval of participation to one program during a student’s enrollment at Macalester. This does not apply to short term or summer programs.

Early Start

A small number of study away programs offer an early start option. As part of the study away application, students wishing to pursue early start will write a short essay explaining their rationale for participation. If approved, coursework taken during early start will be reflected on students’ Macalester transcript as part of the study away semester’s curriculum. Early start coursework and grades will follow study away policies and procedures.