The most rewarding study abroad experiences start with early planning. Although much learning abroad comes from cross-cultural immersion and “life” experiences, the goal is study abroad. Thinking about how study abroad fits into an overall academic plan will produce the broadest range of academic opportunities and the best personal, cultural and intellectual experience.

Year 1

  1. Tell your academic advisor that you hope to study abroad!
  2. Begin fulfilling the basic eligibility requirements for study abroad:
    • Writing Intensive requirement
    • Physical Education requirement
    • Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning requirement
  3. Begin or continue language study, even if you are not sure you want to study in a non-English speaking country. Hamilton requires a level of proficiency in all languages regularly taught here if you will study in a country where the language is spoken. Specifically:
    • Fourth-semester (140) level for French, German, Russian, Spanish
    • Second semester (120) level for Arabic, Hebrew, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese
  4. Programs, including Hamiltons in France and Hamilton Academic Year in Spain, may require more.
  5. Take courses toward your probable major and think about how your intended major relates to study abroad choices. Most majors don’t require study in a particular country, but some countries may be of more academic and cultural interest to some majors than others.
  6. Take courses about areas of the world whose history, culture, society and environment intrigue you.
  7. Attend a Study Abroad Information Meeting. If you need more information, make an appointment by calling 315-859-4022.

Year Two

  1. Talk to professors in your prospective concentration about study abroad. Learn the requirements for the concentration, including which courses must be taken at Hamilton.
  2. Make a study abroad advising appointment in the fall (call 859-4022). Start to focus on specific programs. Some deadlines are as early as January of the sophomore year. A fall appointment helps avoid missed opportunities!
  3. Continue completion of basic eligibility requirements and fulfill some course requirements for the concentration.
  4. Continue language study and confirm any language requirements for countries of interest.
  5. Maintain a strong GPA. Hamilton requires a 2.7 GPA for the two semesters prior to declaring a leave of absence. Many abroad programs require at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA for admission.
  6. Continue learning about destinations of interest. If courses are not available, read history and literature, watch movies, talk to international students from the country, or listen to music. If the language is not taught at Hamilton, begin studying it through an audio or online course. The Office of Off-Campus Study can provide suggestions.

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