Academic Advisor Guide


Studying in other educational systems offers students opportunities to develop academic skills and intellectual capacities that are not emphasized in the U.S. This exposure helps them become stronger learners who are better equipped to accomplish their individual goals. Pairing newly acquired abilities with the foundation K provides positions our students for success within more than one approach to education.

Study abroad participation is not automatic upon admission to Kalamazoo College. Study abroad is an optional academic program, and in order to participate, students must submit a completed application that meets GPA and other requirements, course prerequisites, deadlines, assignments and expectations for preparation.

The Role of the Academic Advisor

The role of the academic advisor in the study abroad process is to help students fully consider the academic, intercultural, and career advantages of study abroad. Some questions advisors should ask their advisees about study abroad include:

1. What are your priorities and/or goals for this experience? What transferable skills (problem solving, planning, conflict resolution, listening, storytelling) do you wish to develop on study abroad?

2. What do you see yourself doing after K? How will this program impact your ability to pursue Life after K?

3. Are you concerned about any obstacles to participate in study abroad?

Who Can Study Abroad/Away

First Years

  • Apply for a fall short-term programs to study abroad/away fall of sophomore year

Sophomore Year

  • Apply for winter short-term programs to study abroad/away winter of sophomore year
  • Apply for spring short-term to study abroad spring of sophomore year
  • Apply for long-term programs to study abroad fall of junior year

Junior Year

  • Apply for winter short-term programs to study abroad/away winter of junior year
  • Apply for winter-spring long-term programs to study abroad winter-spring of junior year
  • Apply for spring short-term to study abroad spring of junior year

Senior Year

  • May be able to participate at the discretion of the Executive Director and Registrar

Courses and Majors

Will all classes taken on study abroad transfer back to K?
Courses taken on study abroad, as long as they are in the Liberal Arts Tradition, may be used to fulfill general College graduation requirements. Students are encouraged to obtain approval from the department in advance to use a course from study abroad to satisfy major, minor or concentration requirements. No credit for duplicate/repeated courses. PE credit is possible.

Which courses do students take on the specific programs?
The typical units available for each program are listed on the “List of Study Abroad Programs” and on Hornet Passport, which is searchable by program at the approved programs list. For some programs, students choose from the general university offerings and these courses cannot be determined until the student is on-site.

Does study abroad have to be connected to the major?
Study abroad at Kalamazoo College does not have to be connected to the major. The College encourages students to develop breadth and practical skills to complement a major and connect to goals for Life After K. As a Liberal Arts institution, we want students to have opportunities to grow intellectually and to engage with communities with an informed and humbled perspective.

Most programs will work for students from various disciplines, although some have specific course prerequisites. Students should carefully investigate the requirements and courses offered for each program.

It should be noted that to be in line with the K plan and the structure of classes offered for graduation tracks, students may want to align their study abroad experience with their major, minor or concentration.

Students interested in classes that will earn credit toward the major should get permission from the major department (in writing). Departments may accept units that students can apply to their majors from study abroad. Students credit distributions for other college graduation requirements are determined by the Registrar and CIP. Close contact with faculty and the Registrar during study abroad is highly recommended.

The academic department has the sole authority to accept or deny units that students can apply to their major, minor or concentration from study abroad. Students should make sure to have the syllabus and completed assignments available for assessment.

Terms and K-units

What’s the difference between short-term, long-term and extended-term?
While study abroad programs have different durations than K quarters student will earn credits based on the term.

•Short-term programs (ST) yield 3-4 K Units (equivalent to one quarter) and typically take place during fall, spring or winter quarter.

•Long-term programs (LT) yield 6 K Units (equivalent to two quarters) and are typically one semester. For programs that start in the fall students depart for these programs from July through September and are expected to return to campus in the spring. For programs that start in the winter students depart for these programs in January and are expected to return to campus in the fall. All long-term programs allow students to earn 2/3 of a year’s credit.

•Extended-term programs (ET) yield 9 K Units (equivalent to three quarters). Students depart for these programs August through September and are away for the entire academic year.


How should I advise athletes regarding study abroad?
Some student athletes have difficulty choosing between study abroad and their sport. If they decide that they don’t want to miss a sport season by going on study abroad, there may be options for these students, and they are encouraged to consider a short-term program in the spring if their season is either fall or winter quarter.


My advisee is really worried about the cost of study abroad. How much does it really cost?
Study abroad is a very serious financial undertaking, so the college works to maintain and improve wide access to study abroad. K financial aid, applied to all pre-approved programs, and CIP scholarships can be used to cover most study abroad costs, however the actual quarterly-billed costs are particular to each student based on need and program choice. Understanding how k study abroad is financed does not have to be an overwhelming task.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) additionally, the CIP Cost and Aid website lists a number of need and merit-based scholarships and grants to which students can apply. There are also a few Kalamazoo partner programs that offer scholarships.

Furthermore, the center for international programs offers financial support to students demonstrating high financial need, as determined by financial aid, to cover passport application fees and round-trip airfare.

In many cases, a combination of financial aid resources helps to make study abroad financially accessible.

Application Due Dates

When are the application deadlines?
Winter Short-term programs: Thursday, 4th week fall quarter

Spring Short-term programs: Thursday, 7th week fall quarter

Fall Short-term, Long-term*, & Extended-term programs*: Tuesday, 4th week winter quarter: *All programs in Japan: Friday, 10th week fall quarter

More Information

How can students find out more?
See the CIP Event Calendar
Attend the CIP Sophomore Meeting during Fall quarter (watch for announcements)
Attend the Study Abroad Fair during Fall quarter