Study Abroad Policies and Procedures
The CIP determines which study abroad programs qualify for transfer of academic credit and Kalamazoo College financial assistance/scholarships. Students should consult Hornet Passport regularly to determine if a program qualifies for the transfer of academic credit and Kalamazoo College financial assistance/scholarships. Programs may be changed, suspended, or withdrawn at any time due to political, economic, or other conditions. No credit will be awarded for any academic work done outside the United States without prior endorsement by the CIP. Requests for endorsements after the fact will not be considered.
** Students interested in enrolling in a program not approved for Transfer of Academic Credit can petition the CIP to have the program endorsed on a one-time basis. Such petitions must be filed by November 1st of the calendar year prior to the year in which the student wishes to apply to participate by emailing email@example.com **
Quick Eligibility Checklist
- Does my current cumulative GPA meet the minimum requirement for the study abroad program?
- Am I currently on academic or disciplinary probation?
- Do I have the minimum amount of language study required for my program?
- Have I talked with an academic adviser or CIP staff about all of my program options?
Students wishing to participate in study abroad must have a minimum 2.0 GPA at the time of application; some programs have higher minimum GPA requirements. Kalamazoo College cannot waive GPA or other eligibility requirements established by other programs. Therefore, only certain Kalamazoo programs may be available to these students.
There is no institutional financial aid available for summer study abroad; however, students who wish to study abroad in the summer may work with the CIP to transfer the academic credit back to K by filling out the Summer Off-Campus Study application in Hornet Passport.
Kalamazoo students are eligible to participate in only one extended-term, long-term, or short-term study abroad experience and only one domestic study away program for credit during their time at the College. No more than ten units of credit from off-campus programs (including study abroad and study away programs) can be used to meet a student’s graduation requirements.
Students on academic probation or who have a history of significant disciplinary problems are not eligible to participate in Kalamazoo or partners’ study abroad programs. All incompletes must be changed to actual grades prior to departure for study abroad. With the exception of a single required foreign language course, students must meet all eligibility requirements at the time of application and continue to meet the set requirements prior to departure.
Students who transfer to Kalamazoo College should talk with a CIP staff member during their first term on campus about their study abroad options. Generally, students who transfer as sophomores in the fall will be eligible for a short-term or long-term program. Students who transfer as juniors in the fall may be limited to short-term programs only. Transfer students are required to submit original copies of transcripts from any college or university that they have attended by the application deadline, as previous academic work will be reviewed as part of the selection process. The Office of the Registrar cannot release copies of transcripts from institutions other than Kalamazoo College. A combined Transfer and Kalamazoo GPA will be used to determine eligibility.
K Programs and K Partner Programs
Kalamazoo College Study Abroad Programs
Kalamazoo College sponsors programs in ten countries, including Ecuador, France, Germany, Kenya, Mexico, Spain, Thailand, and Trinidad and Tobago. On most Kalamazoo College sponsored programs, a College representative meets each group as it arrives abroad. College personnel visit these study abroad programs as needed. All Kalamazoo College sponsored study abroad programs have a Resident Director appointed by the College to mentor students and represent the College. At many programs, students live in homestays; in other instances, housing is arranged by the program, typically in university residence halls. In most cases, the CIP will assist students during the pre-departure process, including processing required documents and student visa applications.
Kalamazoo College Partner Study Abroad Programs
The College collaborates with domestic and international program partners in order to offer a wide variety of study abroad experiences. Programs in this category are referred to as Kalamazoo Partner Programs in Hornet Passport. Although they are not operated by Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo Partner Programs on the program list are approved for the transfer of academic credit. No special process is required to apply academic credit earned on these programs to general graduation requirements. For study abroad credits to apply toward the completion of a K major, students must get prior approval from their department chair.
The Center for International Programs assists students with the application processes, and coordinates the payment of tuition, room and board, and non-refundable deposits required by the host institution.
Students interested in Kalamazoo Partner Programs will need to complete additional application materials for the host institution, submit pre-departure forms directly to the program partner and be prepared to be in direct, regular contact with the K program partner prior to departure. In other words, students will need to communicate directly in a timely manner with the program partner and independently work to turn in materials, forms, and other items by the due dates designated by the program partner. Upon acceptance, students are encouraged to direct any questions to the Partner Program’s appointed contact person.
Application to Kalamazoo Partner Programs is a two-step process. Students first submit applications to the Center for International Programs for preliminary review. CIP-endorsed applicants are then nominated for selection with the host institution. Students typically need to submit application materials to Kalamazoo Partner programs by the deadline indicated by the partner. It is important that students interested in Kalamazoo Partner Programs are aware that the host institution makes the final selection and participation decisions. Neither the CIP nor Kalamazoo College has the authority to change or alter the policies or decisions made by the partner institution.
The CIP provides a Kalamazoo Partner Program Application Advisory and a Kalamazoo Partner Program Pre-Departure Advisory to applicants and students endorsed by the CIP for participation in Kalamazoo Partner Programs. The application advisory is a component of every Kalamazoo partner study abroad application while the pre-departure advisory accompanies the notice of endorsement for a Kalamazoo Partner Program. Both advisories inform students of their responsibilities regarding required application documents, fee payment, pre-departure requirements and due dates, international transportation and student visa application.
Students endorsed for most Kalamazoo Partner Programs are responsible for obtaining their own student visa or entry document. In most cases, Kalamazoo Partner Programs will give directions to K students for applying for their visa, though Students will be ultimately responsible for all steps according to partner (or 3rd party) guidance.
Kalamazoo Partner Program participants are invoiced for the study abroad comprehensive fees. The College Business Office issues the invoices on the same schedule as the College tuition, room and board fees. In turn, the CIP draws on the study abroad comprehensive fees to make payments on eligible partner institution program fees. Kalamazoo Partner Program participants are responsible for payments on refundable deposits required by Kalamazoo Partner study abroad programs. Specifics on the study abroad fees are explained on the Financing Study Abroad page. Payment information can be found in the Student's Hornet HQ account.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Study Abroad
Students whose physical, mental, or emotional condition may require accommodations to participate in the study abroad program are encouraged to contact CIP staff well before the deadlines for applications. CIP staff will assist by providing the student a clear description of the physical and academic requirements of the program. The student will be asked to provide CIP staff with a clear description of the accommodations that the student believes will be necessary to meet the requirements of the program as well as a list of the accommodations provided the student by Kalamazoo College. The student may be asked to provide the CIP with a release to speak with the student’s healthcare provider so that CIP staff can clearly understand the student’s needs. CIP staff will determine the availability of those accommodations, or other reasonable accommodations, at the program location. Staff at the host university or program will also review the information to determine if accommodations are possible. In cases where no accommodation is possible, CIP staff will work with the student to identify programs that may be able to offer the appropriate accommodations.
Selection and Admission
Students must meet specific requirements and deadlines in order to be eligible to participate in any study abroad program. These requirements differ from program to program, but for all of them, prospective participants must complete and submit required application materials. Incomplete applications will be considered late and will not be processed until completed. Students may only apply for one program at a time.
Students meeting the College’s and any program-specific eligibility requirements are selected for participation in the study abroad program on the basis of such items as their cumulative grade point average, their grades in the appropriate foreign language (where applicable), the strength of the required essays, faculty letters of recommendation (for some programs), an evaluation of the transcript, and other information provided in their application and their College records. The Center for International Programs may also require applicants to be interviewed.
The final decision regarding admission to and participation in specific programs rests with the staff of the Center for International Programs and host institutions abroad. CIP staff members reserve the right to deny participation in study abroad when students’ actions either on or off campus raise doubt that they are ready for an international study experience or prepared to represent Kalamazoo College appropriately. Programs may be changed, suspended, or withdrawn at any time due to political, economic, global health issues, or other conditions.
Approximately 95% of study abroad applicants are admitted to their first-choice program. We do have a handful of programs with enrollment limits. When we have more applications than spots, we refer to these programs as “oversubscribed programs.” Only a small number of programs are oversubscribed each year. When this happens, the CIP notifies all applicants in oversubscribed programs as soon as we receive more applications than the enrollment cap. This gives students time to switch to a different program or to make improvements to their application materials before the application deadline. Although some sophomore students are allowed to study abroad on certain programs, if they are applying to a program that becomes oversubscribed, applicants who will be juniors when beginning their study abroad program will be given preference over sophomore applicants.
Students who are not admitted to their first-choice program, still have a chance to go abroad! In this case, students enter a secondary application cycle we call "Open Programs." This process only allows applications for programs that still have open spots from the initial application cycle. Because of this, there may be some programs which are not available for Open Program applications. However, students will have the opportunity to apply for and participate in a program that does have availability. Students may schedule an appointment with a CIP staff member if they have any questions about this process.
Billing and Payment
Payments for study abroad programs are made according to the regular College payment schedule. Bills are sent directly from the student accounts department of the Business Office at Kalamazoo College. Students on long-term programs will receive two separate bills each charging the one quarter study abroad comprehensive fee: one in August and the second in late November. Even students participating in programs with significant difference in starting dates (for example in July) will not receive the first bill until August. For specific billing dates, contact the Kalamazoo College business office.
All accounts, including fees, must be cleared before students can leave for their programs abroad. Non-payment of the comprehensive fee installments while abroad will jeopardize a student’s continuing participation in the program and may result in withdrawal or dismissal.
Note: the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that Kalamazoo College report tuition separate from other fees on the form 1098-T. Study abroad students at Kalamazoo College are charged a comprehensive fee for participation in the program. For the purposes of the 1098-T form, tuition will be listed in the same amount charged for the on-campus program. The remaining portion of the study abroad comprehensive fee will be noted as “study abroad program fee.”
Study Abroad Comprehensive Fee
Comprehensive Fee Includes:
- All academic tuition and fees
- Room and board while classes are in session
- Medical evacuation insurance
Comprehensive Fee Does NOT include:
- Round-trip international airfare to program site (transportation subsidy possible for qualified students)
- Books and other required educational materials (including photocopies and personal printing–typically $150 per quarter) or additional lab or music fees
- Room and board during the December holidays, Holy Week, and other extended vacation periods when the academic program is not in session (funding available for qualified students)
- Cost of local transportation at the program location, including field trips for a course
- Passports or required photographs (CIP offers passport photo appointments for no charge – students must schedule appointment)
- Travel expenses to consulates and/or embassies to apply for the student visa. In some cases, these expenses may include air travel to appear in person for appointments, biometric processing fees, or fees for additional processing. Required physical exams, x-rays and other medical tests (these costs may or may not be covered by insurance - funding available for qualified students)
- Any required and recommended immunizations (these costs will vary from $35 to $450 depending upon destination; funding available for qualified students)
- Any anti-malarial prophylactic pills (where recommended by the CDC) that the student takes abroad (average cost $10.00 per pill taken on a weekly basis–total cost varies from $100-$800 depending on the length of the program; funding available for qualified students)
- Required health and accident insurance
- Fees charged by airline for carry-on bags, checked bags or overweight luggage
- Independent travel while abroad or incidental expenses en route and abroad
- Personal property insurance; cell phones or internet fees/usage; or memberships/fees at local gyms or exercise classes
Study Abroad Withdrawal Fee
If students withdraw from a study abroad program after submitting a participation confirmation notice, students will be charged a $300.00 withdrawal fee. This will be in addition to any college funds already paid on their behalf (deposits to program partner, air fare, room, board and tuition).
Financial Aid and Scholarships
International education is supported at Kalamazoo College by a number of generous gifts, including the Rudolph S. Light Endowment, the Arcus Gay and Lesbian Fund Study Abroad Endowment, and the Beeler Memorial Foreign Study Endowment Fund. For Kalamazoo College students receiving financial assistance and/or scholarships, this aid will be available for all CIP-approved study abroad programs.
Students who enroll at Kalamazoo College through the GLCA-TRE are eligible for off-campus programs that have been approved for transfer of academic credit and Kalamazoo College financial aid/scholarships. This includes the current domestic Study Away programs.
Work/Study: Employment is generally unavailable to students while on study abroad. Students travel overseas on a student visa or with the understanding that they are temporary guests, which typically prevents them from seeking employment or earning money while they are in the country. If work/study is part of a student’s financial aid package, students will have to find an alternative source for those funds for the quarters spent abroad. The CIP Supplemental Funding Abroad (SFA) application can be used to apply for essential funds not earned while abroad.
Travel Subsidy for International Airfare
Students with demonstrated financial need participating in study abroad may be eligible to receive a travel subsidy to help defray the cost of international air fare to the study abroad site. The subsidy is awarded based on consultation with the financial aid office and will be for students who demonstrate high financial need. Students do not need to apply or notify either the CIP or the financial aid office in order to receive the subsidy. However, they must complete the study abroad program application in Hornet Passport. The subsidy will cover up to 100% of the estimated airfare costs, but may cover less, depending on level of need. Students will receive notification of the subsidy amount and the conditions of the subsidy award upon admission to the study abroad program. Note: for students who receive the subsidy, the CIP will book air travel through the College’s travel agent. Students who wish to organize their own air itinerary will not be eligible for the subsidy. The travel subsidy is only available to students participating in programs that allow for the transfer of Kalamazoo College-based scholarships and financial aid.
Kalamazoo College students should attend all mandatory study abroad orientations, workshops, and sessions, sign and/or complete and submit all signature or material submission documents, and read all learning content material in the Hornet Passport. Orientations, workshops, and sessions, signature documents, material submissions, and learning content are listed in the site-specific checklists provided in the student’s Hornet Passport portal and in their Teams Program Channel. Failure to attend these important sessions or complete orientation assignments may result in withdrawal from study abroad. Presentations as well as question–answer sessions conducted by CIP staff members, past study abroad participants and visiting international students help students prepare to make the most of their time abroad. These sessions focus on program specific information (such as information about academic coursework), health and safety on study abroad, and other practical matters.
Transportation and Travel
For travel subsidy students, the travel agent will arrange group international air travel from a designated departure airport. The departure airport is determined by the availability and cost of the tickets at the time they are reserved. Students are responsible for arriving at the designated airport of departure, as domestic travel is the student’s responsibility.
Students who wish to organize their own air itinerary will not be eligible for the subsidy. Students must arrive at the airport (of their study abroad site) at the designated time of arrival, particularly on Kalamazoo programs, because that is when airport pick up will be arranged. Note: for students on extended-term programs the airline reservation system does not allow for a return date beyond one-year of ticket issuance date. Therefore, travel subsidy students on extended-term programs will need to notify the travel agent of their return date by December 31st. All other extended-term students will need to make their own arrangements with their air carrier.
Airlines will not allow passengers to check in or board aircraft with international destinations without the required documentation, including a passport and the appropriate student visa (where applicable) for the country to which they are going. Information will be provided to students regarding how and when to apply for their visa by either the CIP or the Kalamazoo Partner Program directly.
Applying for a student visa is in most cases a very straightforward process; however, it can be very frustrating for students because a lot of the preparation for long- and extended-term programs takes place during spring quarter. Individual consulates have the right to be very specific about the kind of documentation required and in some cases the requirements change with short notice. The CIP will keep students informed as to new requirements and procedures. Because of this, we count on students to be meticulous in checking email and instructions and turning in required materials on time.
The Center for International Programs coordinates the visa process on behalf of students who participate in the following programs; Ecuador, France, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Senegal, and Spain. These students are required to turn in the visa application materials by the due date indicated. In the case where a student has committed to the program, but not turned in the visa application materials by the due date, the CIP will assume that the student has chosen to apply and pay for the visa on their own.
In most cases, students are required by the host country’s US-based consulate to apply or pick-up the visa in person. For residents in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin or Minnesota, this will most likely require a visit to the appropriate consulate located in Chicago, IL or Detroit, MI. For students who reside in other regions of the United States, you will be required to apply to the consulate in your region or use your school address to apply in Chicago or Detroit. For students applying during the summer prior to study abroad in fall, you will need to schedule your appointment at least eight weeks prior to departure. Students participating in a Kalamazoo program and applying for their own visa must provide proof of their visa to the CIP before the departure date. Late departures will not be arranged for students who are unable to obtain their visa prior to the group departure date.
The CIP does NOT coordinate visa applications or entry documents for the following Kalamazoo Partner Programs: Australia, Border Studies, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, England, Greece, Jordan, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Jordan, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South Korea, and Trinidad. Students preparing to participate in these programs are responsible for obtaining the required application documents, payment of any processing fees and communicating directly with the appropriate consulate and host institution.
Students preparing to study on Kalamazoo Partner Programs are expected to use the following resources to become familiar with visa requirements and applications:
- Visa section of the CIP Program Brochure
- Country Specific Information Sheets searchable on this U.S. Department of State Website
- Host country consulate and embassy websites
- Visa and immigration pages of the host program/university website
- Instructions from your host program/university
- Contact person for your host program/university
- Questions that cannot be addressed by the information offered by the above resources should be brought to the CIP.
- When required, the CIP provides proof of admission and financial support and a statement of good standing. In a few cases the CIP forwards to students the enrollment certifications from the program partner institution.
Kalamazoo College, together with our partner institutions, is restricted to endorsing visas for academic study only. Due to the increase of visa controls, students should be aware that various countries may be interpreting visa documents and regulations in different ways. Therefore, students traveling at the end of the study abroad program will want to be informed about the visa regulations for travel.
International Students: International students may have specific requirements for the student visa based on their passport. In some cases, they may be required to apply in their home country.
Students with F-l visas should make sure they have the required travel endorsement on the I-20 before departure from the U.S., in keeping with federal regulations. Failure to do so may prevent students from being admitted to the U.S. upon return. International students with an F-1 visa who participate in study abroad must inform the CIP of their plans to return to the U.S. so that an updated I-20 with valid travel endorsement can be sent to that student abroad before they return to the U.S.
Parental Notification Policy
The College and the Center for International Programs recognize students’ developing independence, responsibility and accountability. However, the Executive Director for International Programs or her designates has the authority and reserves the right to notify parents in the following circumstances and conditions:
Emergencies: The College reserves the right to notify parents or guardians, regardless of age, status, or conduct, in health and safety emergencies, hospitalizations, or when in our judgment, the health or well-being of a student or others is or may be at risk.
Student Conduct: The College reserves the right to inform parents or guardians of a student when:
- That student’s behavior has been the cause of a disturbance to others on or off campus
- That student’s behavior has been the cause of a disruption of other students’ education
- That student’s behavior caused or had the potential to cause harm to persons or property
- That student’s behavior led to an arrest in which the student was taken into custody
- That student’s behavior resulted or could have resulted in the student being removed from study away
- That student’s behavior affected his/her/their ability to fulfill the essential functions of a student
- The student has demonstrated a pattern of unacceptable disruptive behavior, even if these incidents are minor
- The student has become physically ill and/or required medical intervention as a result of use/abuse of alcohol and/or drugs
Whenever possible, students will be informed that a parental notification is planned so that they have an opportunity to discuss the issue with their parents directly.
Study Abroad Code of Conduct
Expectations and Consequences: Student Conduct Abroad
The Study Abroad Program has, from its beginnings, minimized formal rules and emphasized individual and group responsibility for appropriate behavior abroad. What is considered appropriate abroad is determined largely by local context, norms, and practices. With certain exceptions, participating students have enjoyed a degree of freedom, both social and academic, generally comparable to that of their local counterparts.
A guest’s freedom, however, is different in kind from that of a host and entails certain unique obligations determined in part by the terms of the visit. The Kalamazoo student, as a guest abroad, functions within a context that needs to be clearly understood. Kalamazoo College and the student are jointly responsible for the student’s actions to individuals and communities, to host countries, to universities that indirectly subsidize study abroad, and to students who may want to study abroad in the future. Recommended and accepted as someone who desires to take advantage of educational opportunities abroad, a study abroad participant is obligated to take seriously the role of a student, and the College is likewise obligated to see poor academic performance and unacceptable social behavior, even though judged on a somewhat different basis, have at least the same consequences abroad as they have at home.
What, then, constitutes acceptable social behavior? Ideally, acceptable behavior should reflect such qualities as integrity, openness to the new and different, humility, sensitivity to others’ needs and a generous portion of compassion. Minimally, it must include compliance with all local laws and regulations and a genuine concern for the mores and social patterns of the homestay host and community, in order that student actions not be offensive either to the homestay or to the community. Student misconduct and poor behavior influenced by the abuse/misuse of alcohol and/or drugs may result in the immediate dismissal from study abroad. More generally, any behavior which in the judgment of the Executive Director of the Center for International Programs or their designate causes pain or serious discomfort to others or which reflects discredit upon the individual or upon the College is considered unacceptable and will subject the offender to dismissal from the program.
While studying and living in another country, students are subject to the laws of that country. This applies especially with regard to the use or sale of controlled substances, i.e. drugs and alcohol. The use and sale of drugs is illegal and can result in severe penalties. A U.S. passport or student visa will not protect anyone from arrest or detention. Furthermore, the judicial procedure in many countries provides for lengthy investigatory detention without bail and the Embassy will not be able to assist you to a great extent.
While local customs and laws regarding alcohol use vary greatly, there are laws and ordinances regarding its abuse. It is the student’s responsibility to familiarize themselves with these laws. It is the responsibility of each individual to understand the gravity of any violation of local laws, legal requirements, or behavioral norms when in another country. Copies of the U.S. Department of State “Consular Information Bulletins” containing information on penalties for violation of local laws are available on the Travel.State.Gov website.
Dismissal from the Program
Application and acceptance into the study abroad program are separate from admission to the College. Participation in study abroad at Kalamazoo College requires that students meet certain expectations and eligibility criteria, as well as exercise responsible judgment and behavior. When students accept their admission to the study abroad program, they agree to abide by the policies and regulations set forth in this set of stated policies, the College’s Academic Catalogue, and other relevant College publications. Of particular importance for students participating in study abroad is the “Student Conduct Abroad” section above which states in part that acceptable behavior includes, at a minimum, compliance with local laws and regulations, host university policies and regulations (including local housing regulations and policies), and adherence to the social patterns of the homestay family (or local housing placement) and the local community. Any behavior that in the judgment of the Executive Director of the Center for International Programs causes pain or discomfort to others or which reflects discredit on the individual or upon the College is considered unacceptable and may subject the offender to immediate administrative action by the Executive Director of the Center for International Programs including, but not limited to, immediate dismissal from the study abroad program. Immediate administrative action may be required for medical conditions which affect a participant’s ability to perform the essential functions of a student.
Students who are dismissed from the study abroad program will be withdrawn from their courses overseas and receive a grade of “F” for each course. They will also be removed from their program-provided housing, and be expected to return to the United States as soon as possible. Furthermore, staff of the Center for International Programs reserves the right to pursue separate sanctions against offenders under the College’s judicial system in the event that they are permitted to continue as students at the College. Students dismissed from the program will be required to reimburse any non-refundable expenses, including housing and program tuition. Examples of student behavior while on study abroad that may lead to immediate administrative action include, but are not limited to: illegal drug use, abuse of alcohol, failure to attend classes and/or other required academic activities, hitchhiking, unauthorized absence from the study abroad program, unauthorized changes in housing, arrest for infractions of local laws, and violations of other Kalamazoo College policies. Any dismissed student must return to the United States immediately after the dismissal and must pay any additional transportation expenses thus incurred.
Furthermore, the Center for International Programs reserves the right to notify the parents of any student whose behavior abroad in the judgment of the Executive Director is unacceptable or in violation of Study Abroad and/or College policy.
Academic Policies and Information
All academic work completed in the study abroad program is certified by the Executive Director of the Center for International Programs and the Registrar and recorded on the student’s Kalamazoo College academic transcript on the basis of examinations and reports supplied by supervisors and teachers abroad. The distribution of credit towards the major, minor or concentration will be determined by the specific academic department at Kalamazoo College. Credit distributions for other college graduation requirements are determined by the CIP and the Registrar. We encourage students to obtain approval from the department for specific credit prior to taking courses abroad and to retain electronic copies of coursework including syllabi, bibliographies, and course descriptions until grades have been processed on the Kalamazoo transcript. Please fill out this course substitution form that will allow you to get Major/Minor specific credit if approved by your department. Communication with Faculty, the Registrar and Center for International Programs staff members is easily accessible via email. Only those courses from study abroad which are within the “Liberal Arts Tradition” of the College will be accepted for credit. Distance learning courses will not be eligible for transfer of credit.
Students should be prepared to provide the Registrar, the departments, and/or the CIP with complete course materials (syllabus, assignments, reading lists, and completed work) for courses that they wish to use to meet specific requirements, especially in the major.
In most cases, students may expect grades from study abroad to be processed 8 to 12 weeks after the completion of the program. In some cases, there may be a delay because the host institution will not release transcripts due to fees or fines due from the student. Once students have completed the study abroad program and (where necessary) consulted with the Registrar after grades and credits have been received from the programs abroad, the appropriate grades and credits will be recorded on the transcript. At this time, students should be able to view their grades on the College’s portal. Students may contact the Office of the Registrar while abroad via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program Calendar for Semester Programs
Kalamazoo College is on a unique quarter calendar system that is not replicated at most institutions in the U.S. or in other parts of the world. For this reason, there are several partner programs that are on semester calendars. Students participating in a long-term (6 k-unit) program that is one semester will typically finish their course work in December. Students are expected to earn the equivalent of 6 K-units on long-term programs and their K financial aid for Fall and Winter Quarters has been applied to the study abroad comprehensive fee for fall and winter quarter. This means that students are expected to return to campus at the start of the Spring Quarter.
Students on fall/winter long-term programs will not have an option to return to campus for classes or housing for the Winter Quarter after their study abroad program has ended. Students will not have an option to “pay out-of-pocket” or submit a waiver to return to campus to take classes during Winter Quarter.
Many of the study abroad programs approved by the CIP for transfer of academic credit allow students to select their courses from a larger set of courses or from regular university offerings. When selecting courses abroad, especially when choosing from the wide array of courses available at a comprehensive university, students must take care to assure themselves that the courses selected are “liberal arts courses” and are thus appropriate and acceptable for transfer to Kalamazoo College. If the course at the foreign university is similar or equivalent to a Kalamazoo College course, there is typically no problem in transferring it. However, if the foreign course does not match any of the courses in the Kalamazoo College academic catalogue, students are strongly encouraged to contact either the CIP or the College Registrar before enrolling in that course. The College does not accept practical or applied courses such as construction science, food science, automotive mechanics, web site design, criminal justice, electronic commerce, surgery, nursing, etc. for transfer of credit. Students will not receive any credit for distance-learning courses sponsored by the host institution. All courses must meet for a minimum of 45 contact hours.
Students are encouraged to investigate the types of assessment used by the host university and study abroad program during the application process to study abroad. In some cases, students will be expected to work independently throughout the program and will receive a grade for a final exam or project due at the end of the term which will serve as the final grade for the entire course. In most cases, on-going assessment similar to what students experience in the Kalamazoo classroom (with mid-term, final, and various projects and assignments throughout the quarter) will be the rare exception, not the rule. Additionally, students will most likely receive a bibliography or reading list for the course, not necessarily a detailed syllabus with specific reading assignments (along with page assignments and summaries).
All grades earned on study abroad fall within the College’s general policies on transfer credit. Study abroad grades will be reviewed, translated, and certified by the Center for International Programs and will be recorded by the Registrar on the official Kalamazoo College transcript according to the Kalamazoo “A, B, C” grading system. Grades from study abroad courses will not be counted in the student’s Kalamazoo grade point average. To receive credit for a study abroad course, students must earn a “C” or better according to the local grading scale. Credits will normally be listed on the Kalamazoo College transcript, with the same academic rubric used at the foreign institution; for example, a class listed as a “History” course will be listed as a “History” course on the Kalamazoo transcript. A student who believes that, for instance, a course listed as “Art History” at a host institution should be listed as “History” on the Kalamazoo transcript should appeal to the Executive Director of the Center for International Programs and the Kalamazoo College Registrar. In consultation with the department affected and after examining a syllabus of the course completed abroad, the Executive Director and Registrar will determine how the course should be described on the transcript.
Students seeking a grade change for a course taken on study abroad must petition the Center for International Programs no later than six weeks after the Registrar has posted the grades on the student’s Kalamazoo College transcript. Requests for a grade review must be accompanied by complete documentation from the course in question including syllabi, assignment sheets, reading lists, homework and other assignments, essays, examinations, etc. Grade appeals must follow the College’s standard change of grade procedure as outlined in the catalogue. Study abroad grades are recorded on the Kalamazoo College transcript according to the Kalamazoo “A, B, C” system but are not computed as part of the student’s GPA. Students may not enroll in courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis without the written approval of the Executive Director of the CIP and the Registrar.
Students must complete all course work while they are enrolled in the academic program abroad; no “Incompletes” will be given for course work abroad. All course work must be completed by the deadlines set by the staff and instructors at the program abroad. Courses that are not completed abroad will be recorded as an “F” (no credit) on the Kalamazoo College transcript.
No independent study, including “distance education” courses, for credit may be pursued in any study abroad program, without prior approval from the Executive Director of the CIP.
Attendance is required at all classes while on study abroad except in cases of illness and/or emergencies beyond the student’s control. There is no such thing as a “permissible cut.” Unexcused absences will be deemed a sufficient reason for immediate dismissal from the program and the necessity to return home without any academic credit. Visits by family and friends are not reasons for an excused absence from class. Unless there is an official holiday, students are expected to be at their program and available Monday through Friday. Students are also expected to attend and participate in scheduled group activities.
Withdrawal from Courses on Study Abroad/Study Away
Students are not permitted to underload or withdraw from courses while on study abroad/study away. Students must be enrolled in the required number of courses as specified by Kalamazoo College and cannot reduce the required number of courses in the program without the written permission of the Executive Director of the Center for International Programs. Students who withdraw from a course without permission or fail to enroll in the prescribed number of courses will receive an F for each course, and the failed course grade(s) will be recorded as “F” on the transcript. Approved course withdrawals will be noted on the transcript with a “W.” If a petition for a course withdrawal is made on the basis of medical reasons, appropriate documentation and the signature of a health care provider is required. The availability of “extra credits” in the form of AP and/or dual-enrollment credits will not be accepted as a sufficient reason for course withdrawal.
Students wishing to withdraw from a course, must first submit the “Course Withdrawal Form” to the CIP. Approved withdrawal petitions will be sent by the CIP to the study abroad/study away partner institution.
Additional Withdrawal Information
Students who withdraw or are dismissed from the study abroad program after being admitted will be required to pay any additional costs incurred on their behalf (including, but not limited to, monies advanced on their behalf for non-refundable deposits at other institutions, airfare, legal documents, visa and application fees, housing deposits, etc.).
Students, who wish to return home once a program abroad has begun, must receive permission to do so from the Executive Director of the Center for International Programs. Students who withdraw without permission will not be eligible for any academic credits that would have been earned and will, in a separate administrative action, automatically be withdrawn from the College. These regulations also apply in the case of dismissal from the program.
Students who withdraw with the permission of the Executive Director of the Center for International Programs after the program abroad has begun may be entitled to a partial refund as specified in the College’s policies. These students may be eligible to receive grades of W (withdrawal) on their Kalamazoo College academic transcript. Students who withdraw or are dismissed from the program prior to completion will be responsible for paying all of the non-recoverable costs incurred on their behalf by the College. They may be eligible for a refund of the comprehensive fee. Consult the Student Accounts office for details.
With the exception of personal and family emergencies where the student working with a staff member from the Center for International Programs have made appropriate arrangements with the host institution, students must remain in the program abroad for its entire duration in order to receive credit. No credit will be granted to anyone departing prior to the official end of the course. Students should not expect to be able to make up a missed examination for any reason.
Physical Education Credits
Students who wish to fulfill Physical Education (P.E.) credits while abroad must present proof of participation in an athletic activity to the Executive Director of the Center for International Programs within the first 6 weeks of the quarter following study abroad. In order to be considered for such credit, athletic activities must include a minimum of 20 hours of activity, with at least 4 hours of instruction from a certified person. Students must submit confirmation of active and successful participation such as a certificate or letter from the host university or institution, including contact information. P.E. credits will be .20 K-units on the study abroad grade report but not be counted towards the 3 K-units (ST), 6 K-units (LT) or 9 K-units (ET) of the study abroad program.
Students are individually financially responsible for any breakage and/or damage that they cause in the homestay, dormitory, or elsewhere while abroad, including dormitory/apartment cleaning fees.
Parents and other family members are strongly encouraged to visit students on study abroad only during vacation periods or at the conclusion of the academic program. All visiting family members and friends should make their own arrangements for lodging when visiting a student abroad. Visitors will not be able to stay in homestays or any other student housing arranged for the student. Please also remember that family visits do not constitute an excused absence from class.