Skip Navigation

Summer & Interterm Opportunities

Photo of a student standing near the water in Costa Rica
 

While almost 300 students per year participate on either a semester or yearlong program abroad, many other students seek an international research, study or internship experience during the summer or January break (interterm). These opportunities may be an alternative to a full term abroad or they can be an extension of a student’s time abroad to deepen knowledge of another culture or global topic. To ensure that all Smith students have access to international study opportunities—regardless of major, transfer status, life commitments or financial need—grants from Smith's endowment and discretionary funds can provide needed funding for students to pursue special projects that can be enhanced by a learning experience abroad.

Credit & Costs

Students have the liberty to define their own summer and interterm experiences free from prerequisites, eligibility requirements and program restrictions. While the Office of International Study is happy to advise students in the process of planning their experiences, students do not need approval from Smith for summer and interterm programs. Students can apply online using the Smith International Travel Experiences System (click on the Search Programs button above) for transfer of credit earned on an accredited summer or interterm study abroad. Students may earn up to 12 summer/interterm transfer credits during their Smith career.

Students are fully responsible for all program/host institution costs and expenses for summer and interterm programs. That said, students are highly encouraged to apply for scholarships offered by their program/host institution as well as applying for outside scholarship such as the Critical Language Scholarship or the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Additional funding sources can be found in the Additional Resources section at the bottom of this page.


Finding a Program

In addition to using the search option above to peruse academic bearing summer/interterm program options, the following may also be helpful with identifying summer/interterm opportunities.

Summer Opportunities Fair

The fair is a good way to meet program providers and host institution representatives. The fair is held in mid-February each year. Check the News and Events page for the specific date of this year’s fair.

Smith-Affiliated Short-Term Programs


Applying for Credit Approval

To seek credit approval from Smith College, submit the summer credit approval application online in the Smith International Travel Experiences System (SITES).

Log into SITES


International Experience Grants

About International Experience Grants

The Office for International Study oversees the award of Smith College International Experience Grants (IEGs). These grants provide partial funding toward international projects during interterm or the summer that deepen a student’s academic engagement. Priority funding will be granted to applications that fit within the project categories outlined in "Funding Criteria. Applications for awards of between $250 and $3,500 will be considered.

The average award amount is approximately $1,000. Students are expected to apply for additional funding and/or plan to bear a portion of the cost themselves. Prior to selecting a program, students interested in pursuing service learning opportunities abroad are advised to consult the website of the International Volunteer Programs Association, paying special attendance to the “Why Standards” and “Volunteer Stories” links. It is especially important to consider issues related to program quality, ethics and safety when participating in international volunteer programs.

 

Application Deadlines

For interterm proposals: Third Monday in October
For summer proposals: Second Monday in March

To be eligible for funding, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Smith undergraduate in good academic standing.
  • The proposed activity must be completed before graduation and may not conflict with the academic year.
  • The proposed activity must not be part of a semester or year-long study abroad program and must not take place in your country of residence.
  • The proposed activity must not take place in a country that is under a U.S. State Department Travel Advisory of level 3 or above. (Some exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis). If the student is proposing an activity in a country with a Travel Advisory of level 3 or above, students will be required to consult with the Dean or Assistant Dean for International Study, and, if approval is given, the student will have to complete an Acknowledgment of Risk & Release Form.)
  • The proposed activity must not be politically or religiously related (contact the dean of religious life in the chapel about religious activities).
  • If the proposal includes a research component and the proposed research involves human subjects you may additionally be required by federal law to gain approval from a formally convened Institutional Review Board (IRB). This process can take up to four-to-five weeks. Students must still submit their IEG application by the posted deadline even if IRB approval is pending. If the student intends to interview or study people for their research project, please visit the Smith College Institutional Review Board Approval for more information or contact Professor Nnamdi Pole. If you have any questions about the IRB application process, contact Johanna Ravenhurst at irb@smith.edu.

Note: Some college funds (including Praxis and the Tomlinson Fund) may have restrictions about combining funding sources. Students should familiarize themselves with the criteria of each fund to which they apply.

International students must consult with the International Students and Scholars Office regarding their visa clearance to travel abroad and return to the United States.

A federally mandated withholding tax of 14 percent may be applied to grants awarded directly to international students at the time the funds are disbursed by the Controller's Office. International students may consult with the Controller's Office or the International Students and Scholars Office to determine if this tax will be withheld and to learn how the these funds may be returned to the student when the student files taxes.

Project Categories

Proposals will be accepted in the following categories:

  • Intensive language study and proficiency with a preference for language study beyond the novice level
  • Practical experiences related to Concentrations, degree requirements, and/or Smith-approved study abroad programs
  • Smith College faculty-led programs (including Global FLEX, and other similar opportunities)
  • Independent research projects linked to your academic area of interest and supported by a faculty mentor

Evaluation of Proposals

Proposals will be evaluated based on adherence to the following criteria:

  • Proposal clearly articulates how the proposed activity will enhance your academic course of study.
  • Proposed project/activity is of significant length (three weeks during J-Term or six to eight weeks during the summer).
  • Strength of your faculty recommendation letter. Letters will only be accepted from Smith faculty serving as your major adviser or a professor linked to your topic of interest.
  • Determination of final funding amount will be based in part on the level of your financial need as determined by Student Financial Services.

How to Apply

To apply for an IEG complete the application in Smith International Travel Experiences System (SITES).

  • This application includes a budget worksheet, a one-page statement outlining the proposed activity, a transcript copy printed from Banner, and a resume which demonstrates preparedness for the program/project.
  • If the proposed activity is not a Smith faculty-led program, the application must also include a pamphlet or website description of the program/project with dates, cost, and local emergency contact information as well as a recommendation from a faculty member that indicates why this program fits the student's academic interests.
  • Any questions about the IEG application may be directed to studyabroad@smith.edu

Preparing a Budget

Use the Budget Worksheet (XLS) as a template to prepare a budget and calculate the amount of funding to request.

  1. Expenses: Expenses include international travel, local transportation, room and board, major incidentals required for you to participate in the project and reasonable daily living costs. Study may include books; research may include photocopying, library fees, archival access fees; travel may include visas, vaccinations or a first aid kit.
  2. Resources: Resources include the income and contributions that the student can dedicate specifically to the project. These may include personal savings, a family contribution, frequent flyer miles, free housing or meals or another grant.
  3. Funding Request: The student's funding request will be the amount needed after subtracting projected expenses from the total resources. Students should be conservative, since most funding is limited. Funding committees will appreciate careful, practical and conservative funding requests.

The college requires that students document that they spent their grant funds for the purpose for which they were awarded. To do this, send the completed expense report form and scanned copies of receipts (for at least the amount of your award) to the Office for International Study via email within one week of returning to campus.

Failure to do so will result in your student account being charged for the amount of your award. Any unspent funds must be returned to the Office for International Study.



 

Thank-you letters should be addressed to the stewards of the fund from which your award was made (e.g., "Dear Stewards of the Wilder Fund...") and should contain the following information:

  • Descriptive detail about the international experience
  • Why the student chose Smith
  • Student's academic interests, major and career aspirations
  • Where the student is from and which house they live in
  • Warm thanks for the generosity provided
  • Student e-mail address
  • A photo of the student abroad, saved as a jpg file

Thank-you letters should not mention the dollar amount received.

Upon return, send the thank-you letter (as a Word document) and photo to the Office for International Study via email. Be sure to include your name, class year and the name of the fund from which you received an award in your e-mail and in your thank-you letter.


Blumberg Traveling Fellowships

About Blumberg Traveling Fellowships

The Janet Mitchell Blumberg Traveling Awards were established by Professor Phillip I. Blumberg and his children in 1976 in honor of his late wife, Janet Mitchell Blumberg ’39, who spent her junior year with the Smith program in Florence. The award allows students to augment their study abroad experiences by undertaking faculty-mentored research projects that encourage intellectual growth and cultural appreciation. Any Smith student enrolled in a Smith Program Abroad for a semester or a full academic year is eligible to apply.

Blumberg research proposals require a Smith College faculty mentor who provides support throughout the proposal development, research phase and final presentation on campus. The projects are expected to combine observation, research and first-hand cultural experience. The award is intended to support students who can demonstrate a personal and intellectual commitment to their proposed project and whose projects will enhance the student's understanding and appreciation of the host culture.

Approximately five awards of up to $2,500 are granted each year. This is a merit-based competition; financial need is not taken into account.
Note: Blumberg funding cannot be used with Praxis funding.

 

Application Deadlines

Summer proposals for all programs: second Monday in March.
Geneva & Florence fall term applicants: Proposals for late December through January are due November 15.
Hamburg yearlong applicants: Proposals for March/spring term are due January 15.

Eligibility

  • Smith student enrolled in a Smith Program Abroad for a semester or full academic year
  • Projects should be of at least four weeks duration and take place in summer or equivalent academic break during or immediately after the student's term abroad.
  • All proposals must have the support of a Smith College faculty mentor who agrees to assist in the proposal development and final presentation.

Restrictions

Blumberg funding cannot be used with Praxis funding.

Students who apply for a Blumberg Traveling Fellowship agree to prepare and deliver a brief presentation of their project at the annual Blumberg Award Luncheon, attended by the donor Professor Phillip Blumberg and held in October. Visual aids are strongly encouraged in the form of PowerPoint, sound recordings, slides, photos, materials and so on.

Applicants also agree to submit a two-page project report, which outlines the activities undertaken, and an expense report via email to the Office for International Study in the first week of classes in the fall semester.

Students must consult with their JYA program director as they design and propose their projects.

Projects involving human subjects (such as interviews) must receive IRB approval before they will be considered for funding.

Submit the Blumberg Traveling Fellowship application via the Smith International Travel Experiences System (SITES) by the deadline.

Please note that the online application in SITES will include the the following components:

  1. Project proposal: outline of the project in terms of goals, procedures, concrete results the student aims to obtain and how they will be presented at the Blumberg Luncheon. Be specific in describing the project's academic validity and its connection to your academic and/or career goals. Include the project title at the top of the document. 1,000 words maximum.
  2. Personal statement: describe personal and academic preparation for the proposed project, including related activities and interests. 500 words maximum.
  3. Résumé: include all activities since high school and any community, sports or arts involvement.
  4. Letters of recommendation: One letter should be from the Smith faculty mentor and the other should be an academic recommendation from a Smith or local study abroad faculty member.

Please direct all questions to global@smith.edu.

Please note: Student academic records will be also be reviewed by the committee.

The college requires that students document that they spent their grant funds for the purpose for which they were awarded. To do this, send the completed expense report form and scanned copies of receipts (for at least the amount of your award) to the Office for International Study via email within one week of returning to campus.

Failure to do so will result in your student account being charged for the amount of your award. Any unspent funds must be returned to the Office for International Study.



 

Thank-you letters should be addressed to the stewards of the fund from which your award was made (e.g., "Dear Stewards of the Wilder Fund...") and should contain the following information:

  • Descriptive detail about the international experience
  • Why the student chose Smith
  • Student's academic interests, major and career aspirations
  • Where the student is from and which house they live in
  • Warm thanks for the generosity provided
  • Student e-mail address
  • A photo of the student abroad, saved as a jpg file

Thank-you letters should not mention the dollar amount received.

Upon return, send the thank-you letter (as a Word document) and photo to the Office for International Study via email. Be sure to include your name, class year and the name of the fund from which you received an award in your e-mail and in your thank-you letter.


Additional Resources