Information sessions and applications for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Colgate study groups are underway as the November 8 application deadline approaches. Each study group is a full semester, faculty-led program that offers students transferable credit upon completion, according to the office of Off-Campus Study (OCS).

OCS offers six study groups for the Fall 2020 semester, located in Wollongong, Australia; Xiamen, China; Manchester, England; Singapore; Cape Town, South Africa; Madrid, Spain; Washington D.C. and Santa Fe, New Mexico. While each program has an academic department of focus, many programs are open to students of all concentrations. 

The program in Wollongong, Australia targets students interested in Geography and Environmental Studies. England’s program gives students the opportunity to take three courses of their choosing, but requires one course called ‘Capitalism and its Discontents,’ a course about the capitalist economic system. The Peace and Conflict Studies program in South Africa program is open to all majors and includes two required courses. The program in Venice, Italy is for students with a strong interest in Italy’s cultural heritage and is geared towards the modern politics and economics of Italy and Europe. The Santa Fe program is rooted in experiential learning and only requires one course, in addition to the other three courses that students choose. Most participants in the Washington, D.C. study group are political science concentrators, as there is a prerequisite of at least one political science class, but the program welcomes all concentrations.

The fall study groups in Xiamen, Bethesda and Singapore have an academic focus. The program in Xiaen, China is for economic majors. The Program in Bethesda is for students interested in biology and health science with numerous chemistry prerequisite classes and one biology class. The Singapore study group is for the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The Spain program accepts all majors, but gives preference to Spanish concentrators  and minors and those concentrating in Latin American studies. There are also two Spanish courses required as prerequisites.

OCS will offer twelve study groups for the Spring 2021 semester, with nine that differ from the groups offered in the Fall. The programs are located in Russia; London, England; Freiburg, Germany; St. Andrews, Scotland; Geneva, Switzerland; Trinidad and Tobago; Augustine and Cardiff, Wales. The London group for Economics and the London group for History are the only two programs that are specialized and do not accept all concentrators. 

Although the other programs are open to all concentrations, they each have an academic focus. The program in Russia is for students interested in Russian language, culture, politics or the environment of the region. There are three London, England groups. Two are mentioned above, and one is meant to learn about the art and craft of travel writing. The study group in Germany includes a group travel seminar throughout German-speaking 

Europe in March and Early April, followed by the semester enrollment at a university in Freiburg. The study group travelling to Geneva, Switzerland is most relevant for concentrators in Political Science, International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies and Histories.The program for Augustine is relevant for those with Caribbean focuses. 

Junior Alex Monashefsky was accepted to the 2020 The London English Study Group in London. Concentrating in Psychology with a minor in English, she explained that she wanted to explore new places, but also wanted to continue her Colgate experience. 

“In a study group I get the comfort of being with people I know well and I get to have Colgate professors that I’m familiar with. 

Everything else will be changing, so it’s comforting to have some constants” Monoshefsky said. “I’m most excited to get a chance to experience a bunch of different countries and cultures.” 

Senior history Concentrator Tess Beddingfield attended the London History study group in the Spring of 2019. She raved about her experience, but said that the study group’s academics were high level. 

“The study group fit really well with my major and requirements and I wanted to get my thesis out of the way junior year,” Beddingfield said. “I think the best part was meeting people from Colgate that I wouldn’t ordinarily have met and being able to keep those friends after I came home from abroad. Also, having the GPA transfer was really convenient.” 

Information sessions have already begun for some programs, but students can reach out to program directors or by contacting the Office of Off Campus Study.

Associate Professor of Political Science  Bruce Rutherford held information sessions for Geneva, but is happy to discuss the program during his office hours and encourages students to email him to arrange appointments if necessary at his email brutherford@colgate.edu. Additionally, there is a two-page information sheet about the program that is available at the OCS office and in a folder that is taped to his office door in Persson 121. The folder on Professor Rutherford’s office door also contains a handout that lists the internships that students in the Geneva program have held in the past. 

According to the OCS, Colgate has over 100 pre-approved off-campus programs to over 50 countries, in addition to faculty-led study groups.

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