Preparing for Study Away


Excitement, discovery, anxiety, confusion, adventure, disappointment, and discomfort are only some of the emotions that students report as part of their experience of study away. As a student heading off to a new city, you can expect to face once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, ambiguity, differences in core values, new friendships, stress, self-questioning, changes in behavior, and much more. The experience is unique for everyone and learning to cope with unplanned situations is one of the most exciting and terrifying things about being away. So, what can you do to prepare?

Pre-Application Information

Policies and Procedures

The complete policies and regulations that govern the Study Away Program at Kalamazoo College are found in this Handbook, which is published by the Center for International Programs (CIP).

As a study away participant, it is your responsibility to become familiar with all study away policies, regulations and guidelines. Your online Hornet Passport application for participation in study away, your signature and/or submission of the required materials or forms contained therein are confirmation of acceptance of the policies governing the Study Away Program, including all academic and social policies of Kalamazoo College, among them the Honor System. Failure to adhere to any of these will be considered sufficient reason for dismissal from the program.

This document represents the most accurate information available at the time of publication. Statements contained herein are not contractual obligations and verbal or other representations that are inconsistent with or not contained within this handbook and its policies are not binding. Kalamazoo College reserves the right to change, without specific notice, programs and the conditions under which they are offered. Please refer to the Kalamazoo College catalogue for complete details.

Faculty/Staff Liaisons

New York, NY Winter Away: New York Arts
Dr. Andrew Koehler ~Music ~ 269.337.7323

Washington, DC Fall Away: The Washington Center
Dr. Sally Read ~ International Programs ~ 269.337.7133

Program Information

Academic programs and requirements for a specific study away program, as well as eligibility criteria, etc., are described in detail on the individual program descriptions available via Hornet Passport. The CIP determines which study away programs qualify for transfer of academic credit and Kalamazoo College financial assistance/scholarships. Students should consult the approved Study Away programs list on the 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, global health or other conditions.

The College collaborates with domestic program partners in order to offer a variety of study away experiences. Although they are not operated by Kalamazoo College, the approved programs on the list are permitted for the transfer of academic credit. No special process is required to apply academic credit, earned on these programs, to general graduation requirements.

Students interested in study away programs will need to complete additional application materials for the host institution and be prepared to be the primary contact with the study away program 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 deadlines designated by the program partner. Upon acceptance, students are encouraged to direct any questions to the contact person for the study away program. Program contacts and email information is located on the Program Contact information pages of this Handbook.


Students wishing to participate in study away must have a minimum 2.5 GPA at the time of application; some programs have higher minimum GPA requirements. Students whose GPA does not meet the College’s 2.5 minimum or the program’s minimum and who still wish to study away must meet with CIP staff prior to submitting an application to study away.

Note: Kalamazoo College cannot waive GPA or other eligibility requirements established by other programs. Therefore, only certain study away programs may be available to these students. First-year students are not eligible to participate in study away.

Kalamazoo students are eligible to participate in only one study away experience for credit during their time at the College. Students may participate in a study away program AND a Short-term or Long-term study abroad program. 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 the study away program. All incompletes must be changed to actual grades prior to departure for study away. 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 away options. 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 non-Kalamazoo College transcripts. A combined Transfer and Kalamazoo GPA will be used to determine eligibility.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Study Away

Students whose physical, mental or emotional condition may require accommodations to participate in the study away program are encouraged to contact the 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 the 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 the 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 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. The student’s acceptance into a specific study away program is contingent upon the determination to the Executive Director’s satisfaction that reasonable accommodations are available at the program location.

Application Process

Application to study away programs is a two-step process. Students first submit online applications via Hornet Passport to the Center for International Programs for preliminary review. CIP endorsed applicants are then nominated for selection with the host institution. It is important that students interested in study away are aware that the program 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 sponsoring institution.

Students must meet specific requirements and deadlines in order to be eligible to participate in any study away program. These requirements differ from program to program, but for all of them, prospective participants must complete and submit all required application materials. Incomplete applications will be considered late and will not be processed until completed. Failure to turn in the completed application materials by the due dates can jeopardize a student's participation in study away. Students may only apply for one program at a time.

Selection and Admission

Students meeting the College’s and any program-specific eligibility requirements are selected for participation in the study away program on the basis of such items as their cumulative grade point average, the strength of the required essay(s), faculty letters of recommendation, 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 Executive Director of the Center for International Programs and host institutions. The Executive Director or assigned delegate of the CIP reserves the right to deny participation in study away when students' actions either on or off campus raise doubt that they are ready for study away experience or prepared to represent Kalamazoo College appropriately. Programs may be changed, suspended, or withdrawn at any time due to political, economic, global health or other conditions.

Financial Matters

Billing and Payment

Students participating in the Study Away programs will be charged K tuition for 3 K-units. The Study Away comprehensive fee includes tuition and a program fee, which covers housing at the program site. Payments to K for study away tuition 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. For specific billing dates, contact the Kalamazoo College business office.

All accounts, including fees, must be cleared before students can leave for their programs. Non-payment of your K bill while away will jeopardize a student’s continuing participation in the program and may result in withdrawal or dismissal.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

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: NY Arts Program and The Washington Center.


No employment is available to students while on study away. 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 away.

Budgeting for Personal Spending

The amount students spend above what they pay the College varies greatly according to the individual student and the cost of living in the host city. Returning students suggest that an average of $1,500 -$2,500 extra (beyond lodging, meals, books and supplies) for a study away program is realistic. Students may be able to make it on less than these amounts if they budget carefully and restrict independent travel plans. Please see the budget sheet on Hornet Passport for your program’s specific costs.


All study away participants are required to purchase any required books, course-packs, photocopies, and other educational materials (including personal printing) needed for their course work away. Some programs require additional equipment. In all cases students need to plan to have funds available to purchase the required books and equipment at the program.

Deadlines and Due Dates

Students intending to participate in study away are required to comply with announced deadlines in a timely manner. The CIP establishes deadlines to ensure that there is sufficient time for student applications and supporting documents to be processed by staff at the study away program. If a deadline passes and a student has not submitted the required information, the student’s file will be deemed inactive and the student risks his/her ability to participate in study away.

Study Away Withdrawal Fee

If students withdraw from a study away program after submitting a participation confirmation notice, students will be charged a $300.00 withdrawal fee. This will be in addition to any nonrefundable college funds already paid on their behalf (deposits to program, room, board and tuition). 

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.

Pre-Departure Information


Housing for The Washington Center and New York Arts Program is provided by the partner programs. Students are typically housed in dorms/shared apartments with small shared kitchens. Students should expect to utilize public transportation to commute to internship placements and/or courses. Unless pressing health reasons are involved, there can be no assurance that housing will not require using public transport. There are typically no transportation subsidies at any study away program. All students need to be prepared to assume the responsibility for their own local transportation costs, which will vary, depending on where they live, from $20-$50 a week.

Students participating in study away programs are required to be housed according to the arrangements made by that program. No student may move from the arranged housing without the approval of the Executive Director of the Center for International Programs in advance. Any participant, who moves from this housing without approval in advance, except in emergency circumstances, will be subject to immediate dismissal from the program.

If problems with the housing situation should arise, the student should bring the matter to the attention of the program staff or the housing coordinator in charge of housing for that particular program. If, in the judgment of the housing coordinator, a housing problem can best be resolved by moving the student, they will assign the student to different housing. Once this is arranged, the student is obligated to move.


Students will be responsible for paying for their food while on the all study away programs.

Damaged Property

Students are individually financially responsible for any breakage and/or damage that they cause in the assigned housing, dormitory, or elsewhere while away. In some programs, students may be assessed a refundable damage deposit fee; this fee will be paid directly by the student to the program, and will be refunded to the student at the conclusion, minus any charges for damages.


Parents and other family members are strongly encouraged to visit students on study away 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 on study away. Visitors will not be able to stay in assigned housing or any other student housing arranged for the student. Please also remember that family visits do not constitute an excused absence from class.

Independent Travel

No student is to be absent from the program while classes are in session. Students who plan to be away from their residences at their study away programs for weekend or vacation travel are strongly encouraged to leave itineraries and an approximate return time with the roommates, and/or program director. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to communicate their travel plans and itineraries with their families at home. If the travel will be longer than a day or two, students should arrange some form of “check-in” communication with the program director, their study away residence and/or families.

Academic Policies and Information

Academic Credit

All academic work completed in the study away 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 on study away. The distribution of credit towards the major, minor or concentration will be determined by the specific academic department. 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 on study away and to retain 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 away which are within the “Liberal Arts Tradition” of the College will be accepted for credit. Typically, distance learning courses will not be eligible for transfer of credit.

In most cases, students may expect grades from study away 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 away program and (where necessary) consulted with the Registrar after grades and credits have been received from the programs, 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 web site. Students may contact the Office of the Registrar while away via email at


All grades earned on study away fall within the College's general policies on transfer credit. Study away 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 away courses will not be counted in the student’s Kalamazoo grade point average. To receive credit for a study away 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 host 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 away, 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 away 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.

Students may not enroll in courses on study away on a Pass/Fail basis without the written approval of the Executive Director of the CIP and the Registrar.

Incomplete Grades

Students must complete all course work while they are enrolled in the academic study away program; no “Incompletes” will be given for course work. All course work must be completed by the deadlines set by the staff and instructors at the study away program. Courses that are not completed on study away will be recorded as an “F” (no credit) on the Kalamazoo College transcript.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is required at all classes while on study away 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. In most program locations, unexcused absences will result in the lowering of grades. 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.

Under-loads, Drops and Added Courses

Students are not permitted to arbitrarily under-load, drop, or add courses while on study away. Students must enroll in the required number of courses as specified by Kalamazoo College and cannot exceed or 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 add a course without permission will receive no credit for that course. Students who drop a course without permission or fail to enroll in the prescribed number of courses will receive an F for each dropped 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. 

Early Departures

With the exception of personal and family emergencies where the student and the Executive Director for International Programs have made appropriate arrangements with the host institution, students must remain in the study away program 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. There is no provision for making up a missed examination for any reason.


Students who withdraw or are dismissed from the study away 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, housing deposits, etc.).

The Executive Director or assigned delegate of the CIP reserves the right to withdraw or dismiss students from the study away program for violations of College policy or regulations, disruptive behavior or conduct which could bring the program into disrepute, misuse and/or abuse of alcohol or drugs, medical or academic grounds; or behavior that poses a danger.

Students who wish to return home once a study away program 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 study away program 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 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 some fees paid. Consult the Student Accounts office for details.

Study Away Code of Conduct

Expectations and Consequences

The Study Away Program has, from its beginnings, minimized formal rules and emphasized individual and group responsibility for appropriate behavior away. What is considered appropriate is determined largely by the local context and local norms and practices. With certain exceptions, participating students have enjoyed a degree of freedom, both social and academic, generally comparable to that of their counterparts.

A guest student’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, 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 universities that indirectly subsidize study away, and to students who may want to study away in the future. Recommended and accepted as someone who desires to take advantage of educational opportunities, a study away participant is obligated to take seriously the role of a student, and the College is likewise obligated to see that poor academic performance and unacceptable social behavior, even though judged on a somewhat different basis, have at least the same consequences away 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, 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 host and community, in order that student actions not be offensive either to the host 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 away. More generally, any behavior which in the judgment of the Executive Director of the Center for International Programs 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.

Controlled Substances

While studying and living in another city, students are still subject to the laws of that state and the U.S. This applies especially with regard to the use or sale of controlled substances, i.e. drugs and alcohol. 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 city.

It is the policy of the Study Away Program that any illegal drug use or the abuse of alcohol while away will result in disciplinary sanctions, up to and including an immediate dismissal from the program. Such actions not only affect the individual, but also put others in the group and the entire program in jeopardy. Such actions may also result in campus judiciary proceedings against the offending individual(s).

Dismissal from the Program

Application and acceptance into the study away program are separate from admission to the College. Participation in study away 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 away 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 away is the “Study Away Code of Conduct” section above which states in part that acceptable behavior includes, at a minimum, compliance with local laws and regulations, host program policies and regulations (including local housing regulations and policies), and adherence to the social patterns of the 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 away 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 away program will be withdrawn from their courses at the host program and receive a grade of “F” for each course. They will also be removed from their program-provided housing. 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 away that may lead to immediate administrative action by the Executive Director of the Center for International Programs 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 away program, unauthorized changes in housing, arrest for infractions of local laws, and violations of other Kalamazoo College policies. Any dismissed student must return 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 away in the judgment of the Executive Director is unacceptable or in violation of Study Away and/or College policy.