Many Smith English majors spend all or part of their junior years abroad. Most, predictably, have attended universities in England, Scotland or Ireland, but some have chosen Smith's own programs in Paris, Hamburg, Florence or Geneva, and a few hardy travelers have ventured as far as Australia. With careful planning, English majors are able to apply the credits they earned abroad toward their English department requirements on their return.
Choosing Where to Go
Since the English department publishes no officially recommended list of its own, you should make choices according to your own interests and preferences. First ask yourself some basic questions:
- Do you plan to be away for one semester or an academic year?
- Do you want to study only English or an additional subject or subjects?
- Are you interested in highly traditional institutions like Oxford or St. Andrews or in highly nontraditional ones like East Anglia and Sussex?
- Do you prefer to be in a big city like London, Edinburgh, Dublin or Sydney? Or would you rather be in the countryside, on an American-style campus, as at York, for example?
- What about accommodations: university dorm or shared flat?
- Research about the universities is best done online. Begin with Smith's own study abroad Web site for short descriptions of foreign universities and links to their home pages. Always go to a university's home page for the most current information and to check its regulations, which may vary by department. Go beyond the university's general home page to its English department Web page to get information about programs and offerings; sometimes you will find the name of an English department faculty member who may be consulted by e-mail.
- Visit the Smith Office for International Study to consult with professional staff and find resources: brochures, reference books and reports from returned Smith students.
- Talk to the Smith English department adviser for study abroad.
Applying and Course Selection
- Fill out the requisite forms (available from the Office for International Study). These forms will require you to list specific courses for study abroad.
- Discuss your plans with your regular departmental adviser. You should choose courses that might fulfill major requirements, that build on coursework you've already completed, that might lead to further coursework on your return and that take advantage of the particular strengths of the university you plan to attend.
- Get your adviser's approval and signature, as well as that of the department's study abroad adviser.
- Follow the application deadlines posted at www.smith.edu/studyabroad.
- If your course selections change while you're abroad (they frequently do), consult with your departmental adviser by e-mail.
When You Return
Arrange to transfer your study-abroad credits to Smith. See your major adviser; he or she will determine whether a course taken abroad is reasonably close to a Smith course in its coverage, its assignments and its methods of assessment.