Please find the Education Abroad Policies below for all students participating on a study abroad/away experience. We expect that each student participating on a program read through and understand these policies. If you should have any questions, please contact the Center for Global Study and Engagement by email at global@dickinson.edu or by phone at 717-245-1341.

Selection Process

Study off campus is an opportunity available to Dickinson students, subject to a selection process. It is the responsibility of the student to present a persuasive case for off-campus study and to be aware of all prerequisites and observe application deadlines. Program committees select students for off-campus study. Committees are composed of faculty members and administrative staff from the Center for Global Study and Engagement. Selection is based on a written application and, in some cases, an interview. Admission to programs may be competitive.

Application Deadlines

Applications must be submitted by the following deadlines. Please keep in mind that applications for most programs are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, some programs may reach capacity prior to the final deadline. Students are strongly encouraged to submit applications as early as possible.

APPLICATION DEADLINES
 PROGRAM  ACADEMIC YEAR  FALL  SPRING  SUMMER
Dickinson Feb. 15 Feb. 15 Sept. 15 Feb. 1
Partner Feb. 15 Feb. 15 Sept. 15 Feb. 1
Non-Dickinson Feb. 1 Feb. 1 Sept. 15 N/A

NOTE: Some programs have earlier deadlines. Please see individual program descriptions for exceptions to the above due dates.

Visiting Students from Other Institutions

Each year, more than 40 students from other institutions participate in Dickinson study abroad programs, some through special arrangements. These students are warmly welcomed as "guest students" of the college for the duration of the program. As such, they enjoy all the rights and privileges granted by the program, the one restriction being ineligibility for Dickinson grant money and endowed scholarships.

Situations Requiring Special Permission

Off-campus study in the final semester of the senior year requires special approval from the Academic Program and Standards Committee. Special approval also is necessary for participation in more than two semesters of study off campus. Petitions should be addressed to Samantha Brandauer, Director of Education Abroad, Center for Global Study and Engagement, and should include the following:

  • An essay describing how study off campus fits in with overall academic goals and plans;
  • Letters of support from the academic adviser, department chair, program coordinator and/or resident director, as applicable;
  • An audit showing in detail how off-campus courses will fit in with graduation requirements.
Selection Criteria for Off-Campus Study

Successful applicants must demonstrate the following qualifications for off-campus study:

Academic background

  • Students must successfully complete all prerequisite courses before participating in a program.
  • Preference is given to students who have completed background courses for the program in which they intend to study.
  • Strong language preparation is especially important for foreign language programs.
  • Preference may be given to students who have taken an appropriate foreign language course in the semester preceding their anticipated study abroad.

Academic Appropriateness of Program and Location

Applicants must justify their program choices in terms of appropriateness for their academic, linguistic and cultural learning goals. This may be within the context of a liberal arts education, or specific academic goals, normally focused on a student's major field. The location of a program is less important than how the program uses a location to foster learning.

GPA Requirement

Generally, a 2.8 GPA is the expectation for acceptance into an off-campus program. Some programs have higher GPA requirements. While a student's GPA is an important factor in the selection process, meeting a program's GPA requirement does not guarantee acceptance.

Initiative, Maturity, Responsibility and Adaptability

The successful completion of an off-campus program requires initiative, maturity, responsibility and adaptability. Studying off campus requires tolerance and a willingness to adjust to living and learning conditions very different from and often much less comfortable than those in Carlisle. While studying off campus, students are responsible for representing Dickinson College well in all of their behaviors. As part of the selection process, therefore, Student Life records are taken into account.

Progess Toward Graduation

The proposed off-campus stay may not impede students' normal progress toward graduation. Students must indicate in their applications how they plan to complete major and graduation requirements. Students should discuss their off-campus plans with their academic advisers.

Declaration of Major

Students will not be allowed to study off campus on a semester or academic year program until they officially declare a major. Major declaration forms are available in the Registrar's Office, located in Biddle House, or on the Web here.

ineligible Students

Students who are on academic or disciplinary stayed suspension or suspension are not eligible to apply for or to participate in off-campus study.

Application to and Selection for Non-Dickinson Programs

Students may participate in a non-Dickinson program only when they can demonstrate compelling reasons why a Dickinson Program or Partner Program cannot fulfill their academic objectives. Students interested in a non-Dickinson program should contact the Center for Global Study and Engagement for selection criteria and details on how to apply.

Students may not apply to programs with the same academic focus as Dickinson Programs or Partner Programs, nor may they apply to programs in countries that host Dickinson Programs or Partner Programs, without demonstrating compelling academic reasons why they choose not to apply to the Dickinson Program or Partner Program. The location of the alternative program will not be considered a compelling reason in and of itself. Students will be expected to study on Dickinson or Dickinson Partner Programs except when:

  • The student’s academic major cannot be accommodated by a Dickinson Program or Partner Program;
  • Another program fits the design of the student’s personal independent study or career goals; or
  • The student applies to, but is not accepted into, a Dickinson Program or Partner Program.

Under no circumstances may a student study, enroll or register independently at an institution where a Dickinson Program or Partner Program currently exists. If a student does study, enroll or register at one of these institutions, the student will receive no transfer credit in any subject for the coursework.

Once a student is accepted by Dickinson for study on a non-Dickinson program, he/she is given a letter of permission and can then apply directly to the host program. If a student applies to a program without official approval from Dickinson College, the credits from the program will not transfer.

Summer Study on Non-Dickinson Programs

Students interested in participating in non-Dickinson study abroad programs during the summer are not required to complete a Dickinson application. However, the following steps must be followed in order to transfer in any credit from summer study abroad programs:

  1. Students must fill out an Enrollment in Another Institution Form, listing the course (or courses) they plan to take.
  2. Students seeking major, minor, or distribution credit must obtain signatures from the chairs of the relevant academic departments, who may want to see course descriptions and/or syllabi.
  3. Students should then bring the signed form to the Center for Global Study and Engagement (CGSE), along with an unofficial copy of their transcripts.
  4. CGSE will check to make sure that the student has at least a 2.0 GPA (the minimum required to transfer in credit); that the proposed summer course does not duplicate coursework the student has already completed for credit at Dickinson; and that the student has not already transferred in four summer and/or January-term credits (the maximum number allowed).
  5. If everything is in order, CGSE will forward the Enrollment in Another Institution Form to the Registrar's Office, where it will be kept on file pending receipt of the summer transcript.
  6. Students must earn grades of "C" or better in order to transfer in credits. Courses taken for pass/fail will not be accepted for transfer credit.
General College and CGSE Policies

College Non-Discrimination Policy:

Dickinson College is an academic community that values justice, free inquiry, diversity, and equal opportunity. It is a fundamental policy of Dickinson College to respect pluralism and to promote tolerance, civility, and mutual understanding within its community. On that basis, Dickinson College does not discriminate as to race, color, sex, political and religious beliefs, marital status, age, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origins, veteran's status, or disability.

Status of Non-Dickinson Students:

Students from other institutions who participate in Dickinson College study abroad programs are considered "guest students" of the College for the duration of the program; as such, they will enjoy all the rights and privileges granted by the program. (The only restriction is ineligibility for Dickinson grant money and endowed scholarships).

Program Cancellation Policy:

All decisions concerning the cancellation (or required modification) of a Dickinson College program will be made by the Center for Global Study and Engagement in consultation with responsible authorities on campus and overseas. These decisions will be based on, but not limited to, State Department warnings. In the unlikely event of an emergency program cancellation, every effort will be made to accommodate the academic needs of program participants by offering an alternative to enable students to complete their course work. For example, one possible alternative would be to offer suitable coursework on-campus during the summer.

Students whose program is cancelled prior to the start date will receive a full refund of the program fee, including the confirmation payment.

If a program is cancelled after it starts and an alternative for credit completion is offered, no refund will be given.

If a program is cancelled after it starts and an alternative credit completion is NOT offered, the student will receive a full refund including the confirmation payment.

Conduct and Discipline Policies

At Dickinson College, study abroad is not about travel to an exotic destination. It means becoming an active participant in the life and culture of a foreign locale in order to gain useful knowledge about a place and its people. By applying to a program, you have taken a significant step toward expanding your mind, engaging other cultures, and becoming a more active participant in our global society.

In a very real sense, you go abroad as an ambassador of Dickinson College. Your attitude, interactions, and presence abroad will speak volumes about you and about us. You are privileged to be abroad as a full-time learner, both academically and in all other aspects of daily life. Many study abroad participants are used to being the “majority,” and once they become a minority abroad they realize their actions are viewed as representative of their entire group. Resist playing the role of the “ugly American” stereotype. Resolve instead to develop understanding and show respect for the culture you are visiting.

Code of Conduct:

All students studying abroad are expected to abide by the code of conduct as expressed in the Student Agreement that you signed as part of your application.

It is a fundamental expectation that students will respect the norms of the host culture with regard to behavior and dress and will obey host country laws as well as all policies and regulations of the host institution and/or Dickinson Program. It is further expected that students enrolled in Dickinson programs will:

  • Attend and participate in classes and complete assignments
  • Participate in planned group excursions
  • Observe the rules and respect the property of the host institution, housing accommodations, and any temporary program accommodation such as hotels or hostels
  • For safety purposes, provide the Resident Director with contact information and/or itinerary to the extent possible when they leave for private travel.

Students shall respect the rights of other students whether on the pro¬gram or at the host institution, as well as those of homestay families, staff, and faculty. Dickinson College policies regarding student conduct as outlined in the Dickinson College Student Handbook, including academic infractions such as plagiarism, apply to students enrolled overseas as well. In Dickinson programs abroad, the Resident Director will serve as the Judicial Hearing Officer for alleged violations.

Drinking and Drug Use:

Most cultures have well-established customs with regard to acceptable social drinking. Mature behavior and respect for local customs is expected of all students. The misuse of alcohol will not be tolerated and can result in dismissal from the program. The use, purchase, or sale of illegal drugs is prohibited. A student caught using, purchasing, or selling drugs will be sent home immediately without refund.

Legal penalties with regard to drugs and alcohol may be more severe in the host country than in the U.S. and may entail fines and/or jail time. A student charged with breaking local laws will be subject to the rulings of local courts. U.S. laws and constitutional guarantees do NOT apply. The ability of program staff or U.S. Embassy personnel to assist is very limited. In most countries release on bail while awaiting trial is not an option.

Removal from Program for Disciplinary Reasons:

Students can be dismissed from programs for violating policies, rules or regulations, for engaging in disruptive behavior, for academic infractions or failure, and for conduct that could bring the program into disrepute. In such cases, students will be discharged without a refund. The Executive Director of CGSE will make the judgment in consultation with the Resident Director and/or On-Campus Coordinator.

Early Withdrawal and Extension of Stay: Process and Refund Policy

Student Status and Changes of Status:

All students approved to participate in an academic year/semester program off campus continue enrollment as Dickinson students with “off-campus” status and are expected to keep their commitment to participate in an academic year/semester program for the full term, and to return to campus following their semester or academic year away. To extend a stay or to return early requires changing status, a process initiated by the Center for Global Study and Engagement.

Early return or withdrawal

  • A compelling medical or academic reason is required for leaving a program early. You should consult first with the Dickinson Resident Director/on-site staff, and then with the Center for Global Study and Engagement. The Center for Global Study and Engagement will notify your class dean about your change in status.
  • Whenever possible, students should complete the semester that has already begun. Students risk not receiving credit if they withdraw from a program mid-semester or before completing scheduled instruction and examinations.
  • Financial consequences for early withdrawal are described in the following section, “Refund Policy for Early Withdrawal."
  • When you are certain of your decision, communicate your reasoning in writing to the Center for Global Study and Engagement at global@dickinson.edu. Please also request that your Resident Director e-mail the Canter for Global Study and Engagement to confirm the last date you attended class.
  • The Center for Global Study and Engagement will then officially notify the campus of your change in status. If you are asked to follow-up directly with certain offices, please do so.
  • If your withdrawal occurs prior to the end of the first week of classes at Dickinson, you may be granted permission to return to campus. If so, you can contact Campus Life to arrange for housing on a last-in-line basis.
  • Students returning early from study abroad will register during the add/drop period of the following semester.

Refund Policy for Early Withdrawal:

Refund Policy for Early Withdrawal from Dickinson and Partner Programs Administered by the Center for Global Study and Engagement (CGSE)

In all cases, Dickinson retains the right to deduct non-recoverable costs from any applicable refund.

For partner programs, any refunds to students attending partner programs will be also based on the partner institution’s refund policy. It is the student’s responsibility to understand the refund policy of the partner program/institution, but students may contact CGSE with any applicable questions.

A student enrolled in an Academic Year Program will be subject to the refund policy for each semester as defined below.

Date of Withdrawal

A student’s date of withdrawal is determined by one of the following:

  1. The date the student notifies CGSE in writing of his/her decision to withdraw, or
  2. The date the student is officially dismissed from the program by the partner or by CGSE, or
  3. If a student leaves without notifying CGSE, the date of withdrawal is determined by either: the mid-point of the semester or the student’s last documented attendance at an academically-related activity, whichever is later.

Withdrawal Once Semester has Started

A student who withdraws 61 days or more prior to the begin date of each semester will receive a 100% refund, less the non-refundable confirmation payment, and less the non-recoverable costs from the Dickinson program or Partner Institution.

A student who withdraws during the 60 days prior to the begin date of each semester will receive a 95% refund of the Comprehensive Fee (Tuition + Program Fee), less the non-refundable confirmation payment, and less the non-recoverable costs from Dickinson program or Partner Institution.

Withdrawal Once Semester has Started

A student who withdraws after the semester starts will forfeit:

  • Non-refundable confirmation fee
  • 5% of the Semester Comprehensive Fee (Tuition + Program Fee)
  • Pro-rated portion of the remaining semester fee until 60% of the semester has elapsed.
    - Weekends are included in counted days, except when they are part of a scheduled period of non- attendance of five days or more, such as spring break.
    - No refunds will be calculated after 60% of the semester has elapsed.
  • Non-recoverable costs from the Dickinson program or Partner Institution will be deducted from the calculated refund.

Sample Refund

For example, if a semester includes 110 days from the start date through the end date and a student withdraws on the 50th day, the student forfeits the confirmation payment*, 5% of the semester fee, a pro-rated portion of the remaining fee and any non-recoverable costs.

 Dickinson Comprehensive Fees 29.607.00
 Less Confirmation Fee  (300.00)
 Less 5% of Program Fee
 (5% x 29,607.00)
 (1,480.35)
 Less Pro-Rated Portion of  Remaining Fee 
 (50/110) x (29,607-300-  1,480.35))

(12,648.48)

 Refund Subtotal  15,178.17
 Less Non-Recoverable Costs  (2,000.00)
TOTAL REFUND  $13,178.17

* Partner Program Confirmation Payment Based on Partner Program Deposit Amount

Financial and Refunds

For students receiving financial aid, refer to the financial aid refund rules as stated in the Dickinson College Bulletin under the Dickinson College Refund Policy. It is important to understand that, since the financial aid refund and the refund to the student’s account are calculated using different methods, the refund to the student account may not fully cover the required refund to the financial aid programs, and the student may end up owing funds to the college after the refund to the financial aid programs has been made.

Extending for a Second Semester

  • You should first consult with the Dickinson Resident Director/on-site staff.
  • If the Resident Director/on-site staff indicates that an extension is possible, you should discuss your plans with your major advisor(s). You will need to consider how an extension will affect the completion of your major and other graduation requirements. Your advisor(s) must indicate approval by e-mailing the Director of Study Abroad in the Center for Global Study and Engagement.
  • If your advisor(s) approve(s) of your change in plans, you and your advisor(s) should e-mail Samantha Brandauer, the Director of Study Abroad, at brandaus@dickinson.edu. The Director of Education Abroad will give official approval to extend for another semester, and the Center for Global Study and Engagement will notify other campus offices of your change in status.
Refund Policy for Emergency Cancellation

Refund Policy for Emergency Cancellation:

Dickinson College Semester/Academic Year Programs

Administered by the Center for Global Study and Engagement

All decisions concerning the cancellation (or required modification) of a College program will be made by the Center for Global Study and Engagement in consultation with responsible authorities on campus and overseas. These decisions will be based on, but not limited to, State Department warnings. In the unlikely event of an emergency program cancellation, every effort will be made to accommodate the academic needs of program participants by offering an alternative to enable students to complete their course work. For example, one possible alternative for Semester/Academic Year programs would be to offer suitable coursework on-campus during the summer.

Students whose program is cancelled prior to the begin date will receive a full refund of the Program Fee, including the confirmation payment.

If a program is cancelled after it starts and an alternative for credit completion is offered, no refund will be given.

If a program is cancelled after it starts and an alternative credit completion is NOT offered, the student will receive a full refund including the confirmation payment.

Non-Traditional Off-Campus Study

Off-campus study in the senior year that precludes meeting the senior residency requirement requires special approval from the Academic Program and Standards Committee.

Special approval is also necessary for participation in more than two semesters of study off campus. Petitions should be addressed to Samantha Brandauer, Director of Education Abroad, CGSE and should include the following:

  • An essay describing how your specific study abroad plans fit in with your overall academic goals and plans
  • Letters of support from your academic advisor(s), department chair(s), on-campus coordinator and/or Program Director, as applicable an audit showing in detail how off-campus courses will fit in with graduation requirements
Transfer Credit Policies

General Policies for All CGSE Programs:

  • Dickinson students who have been granted permission to study off-campus must take a normal full load of classes as defined by their program or host institution.
  • Only liberal arts classes will qualify for transfer credit.
  • Generally speaking, courses must have an equivalent at Dickinson. Exceptions include classes that focus on the culture and/or history of the country in which a student is studying.
  • Transfer credit will not be awarded for coursework that duplicates what a student has already completed at Dickinson.
  • Transfer credit is awarded only for classes in which a student earns a grade of “C” or better. However, all courses for which a student has registered will appear on the transcript, along with the corresponding grades.
  • Grades for courses taken at a cooperating institution (including all non-Dickinson programs) are recorded on the transcript, but are not included in the GPA (see exceptions for Dickinson and Dickinson Partner Programs below).

Specific Policies for Dickinson and Dickinson Partner Programs:

  • Dickinson students enrolled in a Dickinson or Dickinson Partner Program abroad may receive up to a maximum of 4.5 course credits for one semester.
  • Some programs require a separate pre-program orientation course that may yield an additional credit (please consult your program-specific handbook for more information).
  • Please note that not all programs will provide half courses (.5 credit).
  • To take more than 4.5 credits per semester, a student must petition Samantha Brandauer, Director of Education Abroad. In the Director’s absence, students may also address their petitions to the Associate Provost and Executive Director of CGSE. If a student registers for more than the maximum credits allowed without permission of the Center for Global Study and Engagement, the course credit will not transfer. Students will also be responsible for any additional fees for doing this.
  • Grades for Dickinson courses taught at Dickinson Centers (i.e., courses approved by the Academic Program and Standards Committee and taught by faculty approved by the Faculty Personnel Committee) are included in the GPA, regardless of the grade earned.
  • The following courses taken at cooperating institutions have been approved as “Dickinson courses” by the appropriate academic departments. Letter grades earned will be included in the GPA for:
    1. University of East Anglia (Norwich) courses in English, American studies, economics, fine arts, theatre, music, history, philosophy, and religion. Courses in sociology except for core courses 240, 241, and 330/331, for which pre-approval is required.
    2. University of East Anglia (Norwich) courses in biology, chemistry, environmental science, environmental studies, geology, mathematics, and computer science.
    3. University of Queensland courses in Psychology
    4. All courses taken through the School for Field Studies.
    5. All courses taken at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (ICCS) in Rome, Italy.
    6. DIS Psychology classes

Upon return to Dickinson, students must complete an Enrollment in Another Institution Form. Seniors are required to submit this form prior to the course request period for their last semester. If the form is not in the Registrar’s Office by that time, the student will not be permitted to participate in the course request period. Please note that this form is required only when a student is seeking major, minor, or distribution credit for coursework completed at a cooperating university or through the Dickinson in Yaoundé program. The form is not required for Dickinson Center courses, or for courses at a cooperating university for which a student is seeking only general credit. After obtaining the required signatures, the student should bring the form to the Center for Global Study and Engagement. The form will then be forwarded to the Registrar’s Office.

Specific Policies for Non-Dickinson Programs:

  1. Dickinson students enrolled in a non-Dickinson program may receive up to a maximum of 4 course credits for one semester.
  2. To take more than 4 credits per semester, a student must petition Samantha Brandauer, Director of Education Abroad. In the Director’s absence, students may also address their petitions to the Associate Provost and Executive Director of CGSE. If a student registers for more than the maximum credits allowed without the permission of the Center for Global Study and Engagement, the course credit will not transfer.
Applicants Who do not meet GPA Expectation

Dickinson's GPA expectations were set to ensure the academic success of students abroad in a variety of higher education environments. However, we recognize that GPA is not the only indicator for student academic success abroad. Thus, for those who fall slightly below the GPA expectation, we provide the following guidelines. Please contact the CGSE if you have any questions about these policies and your eligibility to study abroad.

Dickinson Programs

As part of the application cycle, the CGSE will identify students who do not quite meet the GPA expectation but may still be eligible for their program. Once those select students have been identified, the CGSE will contact these students to complete the following additional steps:

  • Submit an additional reference from a Dickinson staff or faculty member who can speak to the student's academic growth at Dickinson.
  • In conjunction with academic advisor, submit supplemental information on what courses students are planning to take abroad and how these course will move the student forward in his/her academic progression at Dickinson.

During the application review process:

  • Be prepared for an interview with the Program Coordinator or a CGSE staff member (students will be contacted if this is a necessary step).
  • CGSE holds the right to wait for Roll Call grades to be posted to make final admission decisions.

Note: For most programs, final admission decisions will be made by host institution. (No exceptions will be made to the GPA requirement for the Dickinson at Oxford Program.)

Partner and Non-Dickinson Programs

Students should contact program providers about additional steps they need to take if they do not meet program GPA eligibility requirements and/or consult with a Study Abroad Advisor in the CGSE.

International Travel Warning Policy

Policy/Procedure

Dickinson College is committed to educating its students in a global community. This includes creating many opportunities for study and service abroad. Providing for the safety of our students as they travel around the world for educational and service programs is of paramount importance. When there is a United States State Department Travel Warning in place for a particular area to which students will be traveling or where students are currently studying or serving, the presumption is that traveling to or remaining in these locations is unsafe and will not be permitted. Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the International Travel Risk Assessment Committee which will make a recommendation to the President’s Staff.