Students must meet the following Smith College study abroad eligibility requirements in order to receive approval for study abroad. Students must also meet admission requirements set by their chosen study abroad program and be accepted to the program. Smith approval does not guarantee admission into any study abroad program.
For Smith approval, students must:
- Demonstrate evidence of maturity, responsibility and preparation for study abroad;
- Have a 3.0 overall grade point average and be in good academic standing at the time of application: students placed on probation after receiving approval to study abroad will have their approval rescinded;
- Be in good standing in student conduct matters at the time of application and up until departure for the approved program;
- Declare a major; (students who are planning on a self-designed majors must meet with Dean Margaret Bruzelius in the Class Deans Office);
- Demonstrate language proficiency for languages taught at Smith and/or adequate preparation for study in Africa (see Language Proficiency Requirements and Study in Africa, below);
- Have no credit shortage when the program starts;
- Not exceed transfer credit limit requirements: no more than 32 transfer credits when starting a year-long program, or 48 transfer credits when starting a semester-long program;
- Not have previously studied abroad as a Smith student; students are eligible to study abroad once, for a maximum of two semesters.
Approval for study abroad is also dependent on the following Smith rules:
- “Candidates for a degree must complete at least 4 semesters of academic work, a minimum of 64 credits, in academic residence in Northampton; two of these must be completed during the junior or senior year.” (Smith College Bulletin)
- Students may not be away from the college on leave for more than one year. “A student who wishes to be away from the college for more than one year must withdraw.” (Smith College Bulletin)
- Students who take a full semester medical leave are not eligible to study abroad the following semester. Eligibility of students who take a short-term medical leave is determined on a case by case basis.
- Student accounts must be in good standing at the time of application and prior to the start of the term abroad.
In all instances, Smith College reserves the right to approve, retract or deny a student's participation in study abroad.
Ada Comstock Scholars and Transfer Students
The two most important issues for an Ada Comstock Scholar or transfer student considering studying abroad are how many credits she transferred to Smith College and how close she is to completing the 128 credits needed for graduation. These factors determine what kind of international study experience is available through the College.
The PDF above outlines the various options available for international study. Students should also meet with the dean of Ada Comstock Scholars or their class dean for more guidance.
International students are recommended to meet with the associate dean for international students in order to verify their visa status for re-entry into the United States after a year or semester abroad.
Students must demonstrate proficiency in host country languages when that language is taught at Smith.
French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian
For programs where courses are taught in the host country language: two or more years of college study or equivalent proficiency demonstrated by two semester courses at the 200 level, or one semester course at an advanced 200 or 300 level.
For study in Paris: students normally take four 4-credit French courses, including one at the 250 level or higher in the semester prior to their study in Paris. Those who enter Smith at the 230 level or above are required to take three semesters of French prior to study in Paris, including one course at the 250 level or higher in the semester prior to study in Paris. Students beginning with FRN 101 and 102 (Beginning French I and II), or FRN 101 and 103 (Accelerated Beginning French I and II) must take three 4-credit French courses in their sophomore year, including the 250 level course (or higher). Students who do not meet these requirements are encouraged to consult with a member of the Department of French Studies.
Exception for study in Hamburg: students with one year or the equivalent of college level German may apply to the spring semester option.
Exception for study in Geneva: for spring admission to Track A, at least one semester of college-level French or equivalent is required prior to the start of the program; ability to communicate in elementary French is expected. Students with one year or the equivalent of college-level French are eligible to apply for Track A (fall) or Track B (spring).
For programs with English-language curriculum: One year of college study of the language—or equivalent proficiency demonstrated by one semester course at an advanced 100 (intermediate) level or higher. (Exception: 1 year or intensive summer equivalent of Italian is strongly recommended, but not required, for the ICCS program in Rome.)
Exceptions to the Language Requirements for Selected Science Programs: Exceptions to the Smith Study Abroad Language Proficiency Policy are made for the following programs:
- Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Students may attend without language prerequisites but must study Chinese during the entire time at HKUST.
- Organization of Tropical Studies, Costa Rica. Students may attend without Spanish language prerequisites, but must study Spanish during the entire time at OTS.
- SIT Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management. Students may attend with three semesters of French; students study French for Natural Sciences and Elementary Malagasy.
These exceptions are allowed with the goal of encouraging increased access to non-English speaking destinations for the study of STEM-related fields.
Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, or Portuguese
One year of college study or equivalent proficiency demonstrated by one semester course at an advanced 100 (intermediate) level or higher.
Students are encouraged, but not required, to learn host country languages available at other colleges before studying abroad. Languages taught through the Five College Center for the Study of World Languages include Czech, Hindi, Hungarian, Modern Greek, Swahili, Thai, Twi, Vietnamese, Wolof. Swahili and Hindi have mentored programs. In addition, Polish is taught at the University of Massachusetts.
Students planning to study in Africa must take one course related to the continent before their term abroad.