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Faculty and Staff FAQ

What questions should students think about as they select a study away program?

Students should begin by reflecting on their hopes and aspirations for study away. They are asked to complete a questionnaire during the advising process that has them reflect on their hopes and aspiration for study away, learn how to find programs that support these hopes and aspirations, and consider other topics related to study away. Faculty and staff are encouraged to have similar conversations with their advisees and other students.

What do students submit for their application?

Please see the below information which we provide for students about what to expect in the application:

  • Basic information

    Certain fields in this system will be locked because the Center for Study Away receives this data from Macalester’s student information system. To change or correct locked information, you can contact the Registrar.

    This section asks for the following information:

    • Name
    • Pronouns
    • Email
    • Contact information: phone, address
    • Academic information: Major(s), minor(s), concentration(s), GPA, graduation year

  • Eligibility

    This section asks for the following information:

    • Have you attended First Steps and met with an advisor?
    • Do you meet the program’s specific eligibility requirements such as minimum GPA and language level?
    • What semester to you prefer to study away and why?

  • Short-Answer Questions

    In this section we ask you to answer 4 short-answer questions using 100 words or less:

    • Learning: what are 2-3 specific things you hope to learn and/or accomplish during your study away experience?
    • Program components: which features of this program (e.g. structure, curriculum, co-curricular activities, location) drew you to choose it for study away, and why are these features important to you?
    • Engagement: in what ways do you expect you will engage with the local community (location, people, institutions, historical context, etc.)? What impact do you imagine your engagement will have on those with whom you interact?
    • Connection to your education: in what specific ways do you anticipate your study away experience will connect to your overall experience as a student at Macalester?

  • Study Away Coursework

    In this section we ask you to think about the courses you might take during study away and how they fit into your overall graduation plan. You will be asked to complete the below PDF document and submit it as part of your application. Study_Away_Coursework_Details_f23

  • Experiential Learning

    If your program requires students to engage in an internship or an independent study research project, or if your program offers these as optional opportunities and you would like to participate, you will be asked to complete an additional essay:


    • If you plan to participate in an internship: with what type of organization do you hope to work? What do you hope to learn through an internship placement? How do you plan to ethically engage with the organization, people, and community with which you work?
    • If you plan to participate in research: what theme or topic do you hope to explore? What research methods do you think will be most effective in conducting your research? What training and experience do you have, or anticipate needing, in order to successfully complete your research? How will you ensure that you conduct your research in an environment that is safe for you and your research subjects and that your topic is culturally appropriate?


In most cases, as long as you apply early and meet your program’s eligibility criteria, you should be accepted to your program of choice. For this reason, students are not encouraged to apply for a back-up program. Instead, we recommend that you pay close attention to when your program’s application becomes available and apply early to ensure your best chance of acceptance.

In the unlikely event that the program fills before you submit your application, or if you don’t receive acceptance to your program, the Center for Study Away staff will work with you to find an appropriate backup program, provided suitable alternatives remain. If you apply early in the application process, this will allow time to find an alternative program should the need arise.

What is the role of a student’s academic advisor? 

Academic advisors should discuss study away and graduation plans with students prior to the application deadline.

Do students need to declare a major before applying to study away?

No. Students do not need to declare a major before applying to study away.

My advisee wants to include a course from study away in their major, minor, or concentration plan. What is the next step?

Students should take course information to the chair of the department or director of the concentration. The chair/director will review the course and determine if it can be included in the major, minor or concentration plan. More detailed information on this process is in Approving Courses from Study Away.

When should students get courses approved for major, minor or concentration credit?

Students can request course approval at any time, at the discretion of the academic department or concentration. We strongly suggest that all students discuss their courses with the department chair and/or concentration directors prior to finalizing their course choice.

A student’s academic advisor is on sabbatical. Who completes the online Academic Advisor Form? 

When a faculty member leaves for sabbatical, they either agreed to advise during this time or requested advisees be reassigned. Students should defer to their “advisor of record”, according to their 1600Grand account.

A student is double-majoring; their official advisor is for major A, but their study away plans relate mostly to major B. Who completes the online Academic Advisor Form? 

The student’s official academic advisor should complete the online Academic Advisor Form. Students are encouraged to review their plans with their major B advisor, but no additional form is needed.

If you do not see your question in this list, please email [email protected]. We will follow up with you as soon as we are able.