Please review the CGSE's frequently asked questions for off-campus study.

What types of off-campus study opportunities exist?

Dickinson Programs

Semester and Academic Year Programs

The defining characteristic of what makes a program a Dickinson Program is the closeness of the overall academic relationship, in all its many dimensions, between Dickinson and its partners. Otherwise, Dickinson Programs vary as much as the parts of the globe in which they are located and there is no one program model.

Roughly seventy percent of Dickinson students who study off-campus participate in Dickinson Programs. Moreover, more than forty percent of the Dickinson faculty have led or taught on a Dickinson Program. In some cases, Dickinson faculty, who are serving as rotating resident directors, teach one or two courses on Dickinson Programs, with the remainder of the courses taught by faculty at our partner institutions (e.g., Spain and England - Norwich). In other instances, Dickinson Programs are led by a permanent in-country director or coordinator who supports students and may also teach a course (e.g., Cameroon and Germany). Another model is that Dickinson works closely with the international office of a partner institution abroad (e.g., Japan and England - Oxford) and all courses are taught by local faculty at the host institution.

There is a Dickinson faculty advisor on campus for every Dickinson Program. These on-campus coordinators work closely with students during the selection, application, and pre-departure process, offering individual guidance for each program. In addition, faculty and on-site staff from our partner institutions regularly teach and lecture during visits to Dickinson, increasing students’ familiarity with our programs and host institutions overseas.

Summer Programs

Dickinson College runs a number of summer, faculty-led programs.  These programs are designed to access local cultures and societies in creative ways, providing intensive and effective learning opportunities for all participants. All programs, unless otherwise noted, are open to non-Dickinson students.

Globally Integrated

Globally Integrated Courses link the serious study of a global theme or issue in a semester-long course with the opportunity to build on and deepen understanding of the issues at play through fieldwork or research at a global center or site.


Global Mosaics are intensive, interdisciplinary research programs designed around ethnographic fieldwork and immersion in domestic and global communities. Their objective is to encourage students to think reflectively about the diverse world in which they live as they engage in collaborative work with local, transnational, and international communities. Global Mosaics provide opportunities for students to apply what they are learning in the classroom, both theoretically and methodologically, to the world beyond, and to bring their experiences in the world back into the classroom. 

Partner Programs

Semester and Academic Year Programs

Partner Programs are developed through linkages between Dickinson academic departments and departments at overseas institutions. Partner Programs allow students to apply their Dickinson financial aid to the programs and continue to pay their regular Dickinson comprehensive fee. Students enroll in the partner institution with few services provided by Dickinson.

Non-Dickinson Programs

Semester and Academic Year Programs

Non-Dickinson programs extend Dickinson’s off-campus network to include study options in every part of the world and in every academic area. While not as closely monitored as Dickinson Programs and Partner Programs, these programs are offered and overseen by accredited colleges and universities. Students pay a study abroad fee to Dickinson and are not able to transport institutional aid to these programs. Students must seek approval to apply to a non-Dickinson program from the Center for Global Study and Engagement.

Summer Study on Non-Dickinson Programs

Students who are looking to study off-campus in locations where Dickinson does not have a summer study program may participate in a non-Dickinson summer program. For more information for studying on a non-Dickinson program, please visit the Summer Programs page.  

Where will my student live? 

Your student’s living situation will vary depending on their program choice. Possible housing options include: homestays, apartments and/or dorms. Please consult the program-specific page for housing choices available.

How will my student eat while off-campus?

Dining will depend on your student’s living arrangements and program location. Some students will eat meals with their homestay families, while others will need to shop and cook for themselves. Still others may have the benefit of cafeteria-style dining. Dining information can be found in the handbook or on program specific webpages. If your student has food allergies or special dietary restrictions, please encourage them to speak to someone at the Center for Global Study and Engagement, as not all restrictions can be easily accommodated abroad.

How will I stay in touch with my student?

We understand that staying in touch while your student is away will be of utmost importance to both of you.  The ways in which this will happen will vary based on location.  Some students will enjoy wifi within their home to utilize Skype and emailing; others opt to purchase/utilize cell phones if they are available.  In some places, students are using WeChat, WhatsApp, and other forms of technology to stay in touch with their families and friends back home.  Please consult the handbook for more detailed information on staying in touch. Be sure to establish communication expectations with your student before their program begins.

How will my student get from place to place once they have arrived?

Students will almost exclusively use public transportation or walk to get around.  Their commute to class could be anywhere from a 10-minute walk to an hour and ten minute subway ride, and any combination in between.  If your student is unfamiliar with using public transportation in the United States, it may be helpful to get some practice beforehand.

Is insurance included in the cost of the program?
Yes, basic insurance is included in the cost of the program as well as medical and travel security assistance through International SOS . However, students should maintain their own personal health insurance, whether that is purchased through Dickinson or independently. For more information, please visit the Health, Safety and Insurance webpage.

What if my student gets sick abroad?

During on-site orientation your student will be given information about local doctors, clinics, and hospitals. Encourage your student to speak with his/her on-site staff about any health issues he/she is experiencing. 

For more information, please visit the Health, Safety and Insurance webpage.

My student has a disability and/or on-going medical concerns – how might this impact the study abroad experience?

Accommodations available to students in the United States may not be available to students studying abroad. It is unlikely that your student will find the same medications, medical and/or psychological care, or support services at your study abroad site that you would at home. It is also possible that some host sites abroad may not be adequately equipped for students with physical disabilities.

To fully assess whether your student will be able to successfully complete a study abroad program, we encourage any student with special needs to review the program descriptions, visit websites about the community in which he/she will be living and learning, and communicate their concerns with the Center for Global Study and Engagement.

For more information, please visit the Health, Safety and Insurance webpage.

What is the cost for my student to study off-campus?

Dickinson College is committed to making off-campus study affordable for Dickinson students and supporting off-campus study with financial aid. Dickinson students are able to study off-campus on any Dickinson Program or Partner Program for approximately the same price as study on the Carlisle campus.

The fees for academic year and semester Dickinson Programs and Partner Programs are based on and correspond closely to on-campus tuition, room and board and fees, which are announced each spring. It is therefore possible to plan for the overall cost of a four-year education at Dickinson from the moment you make your decision to attend. In the same way that some academic majors at Dickinson are more expensive to operate than others, some of our off-campus programs are more expensive to operate than others. To ensure that every student has equal access to all academic opportunities, we charge the same price for all our programs. This way the College can ensure that students are able to make decisions about their on-campus major and their off-campus program based solely on their interests and abilities, rather than cost. Through this cost-sharing structure we are able to offer a wide range of programs that meet students’ curricular needs all over the world.

This cost structure does not mean that students receive identical services as they do on campus. Included in the fees to study off-campus are not only tuition, room and board, but also a reallocation of funds to many different services provided to our students who study away.  For instance, while services such as printing, laundry and gym access are included in the fees paid to Dickinson to study in Carlisle, students who study off-campus receive a range of services that are not accessible to students in Carlisle.  These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Excursions;
  • Local transportation;
  • On-site Director and Overseas Faculty Presence;
  • Group Meals with the Director and other program participants;
  • Cultural Allowance and;
  • International emergency health insurance.

Not included (in many locations):

  • Laundry;
  • Printing;
  • Gym facilities

Summer and short-term program fees continue to be determined independently of the on-campus fees. Please see individual program pages for cost information.

Does financial aid apply?

State, Federal and Institutional aid will apply to all Dickinson and Partner programs.  Only State and Federal aid will apply to Non-Dickinson programs; Institutional aid will not transfer to Non-Dickinson programs.

For more information on off-campus study finances, please see Finances on the CGSE website.

Where can I find more information about a specific program?

Please browse the Education Abroad section of the Center for Global Study and Engagement’s website.

How will the courses my student takes off-campus transfer?

In most cases, and with departmental approval, courses that students take off-campus can count towards their major, minor, college requirements or general credit.  We require that all students take the equivalent of a full course-load.  Depending on the program and department, courses may come in as Dickinson credit or transfer credit.  For more specific transfer credit policies, please see Transfer Credit Polices on the CGSE website.