Frequently Asked Questions
Can I go abroad as a freshman or senior?
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are able to study abroad through Lewis & Clark College. Freshmen are not eligible to study abroad, as the application and orientation process occurs during the academic year prior to the start of the program.
Can I go abroad for an entire academic year?
It is possible to go overseas for an entire year, depending on your major and the programs in which you are interested. A full year abroad takes careful planning and forethought. Please note that in most cases students will not be able to extend a semester-long program into a full-year program once they depart. You will need to meet with your faculty advisor to discuss your four-year plan and evaluate if your course of study can accommodate two semesters away well before you leave. Make an appointment with our office to talk about full-year study abroad options.
NOTE: Participation in the second semester is often contingent upon satisfactory grades received on your first semester.
Here are some examples of programs often combined for a full-year of study abroad:
- 2 semesters in France OR Fall semester in France + Spring semester in Senegal
- Fall and Spring semester on two different Spanish language intensive programs (Spain, Chile)
- Students with a World Languages major may wish to study in two countries to further their skills in both languages.
Can non-LC students participate?
Are graduate abroad programs offered?
For more information about Lewis and Clark Law School’s study abroad opportunities visit their website.
What if my parents have questions about the program?
We ask that parents look on our website for basic program information. We also have an informative page for parents. If there are additional questions, you are welcome to contact our office. Please understand that the amount of information we can disclose is very limited when discussing details about our students; we strongly encourage parents to start by contacting their students directly.
How many students do you accept on a program?
Most of our Regional Area Study programs are limited to 25 participants. Language study programs are generally more flexible. Each semester is different and the numbers are unpredictable – don’t let a large application turn-out dissuade you from applying!
Can I apply if I’m not on campus during the term when applications are due?
Yes! If you are planning to be away during the application period, special arrangements will need to be made with the Overseas Office and your advisor. Please make contact well in advance!
Can I graduate while I am overseas?
If you have (a) fulfilled your general and major College requirements, and (b) your degree application has been submitted and approved, then you can complete your last semester on one of our programs. Be sure to check in with both your faculty advisor and the Registrar’s Office before finalizing your participation on a program that overlaps with graduation!
NOTE: For several programs, grades are not available immediately following the program end date. In those cases, students can participate in the Commencement Ceremony (if their program is over by that date), but their official graduation will be listed as summer, rather than spring. Please contact the Overseas office if you have questions about this.
Incorporating Study Abroad in your Academic Plan
Can I speak to a past program participant?
We are happy to help get you in touch with past program participants. Previous program leaders or faculty from your language departments are also great resources in getting you connected with students who have participated on programs in the past. We also have a blog which features posts and pictures from past participants.
Do I receive academic credit for going overseas?
Yes, all LC students receive credit for participation on an LC Overseas program. In addition to fulfilling the International Studies General Education Requirement, courses in language, art, music, theater, history, and others may fulfill additional graduation requirements. Each program profile indicates which requirement the program fulfills, but it’s a good idea to discuss course ideas with your college or faculty advisor – especially if you are participating in a program that allows you to choose from a variety of course offerings.
Do I have to be a biology major to go on a biology-focused program? What about a music-themed program if I’m not studying music?
No! While these programs are designed for students of a specific major with particular prerequisites, participation is not limited to that major. As long as you meet all prerequisites, you are welcome to apply.
What program do I go on if I’m a Psychology major? What about Fine Arts or Political Science?
Some programs are designed for a particular major. Others will have a focus, but not be limited to a major. On many programs, you may have the opportunity to take part in an internship or independent study project that will allow you to enrich your studies in specific areas of interest to you.
These are some examples of programs aimed at particular courses of study (keep in mind that some of these change from year to year):
- Psychology – Australia Summer, Ireland
- Fine Arts – London, New York City
- Chemistry - Berlin
- Biology – East Africa Fall, Australia Spring
- Humanities - London
- Theatre - New York City
- Political Science - Washington, DC
Do you have summer programs available?
Yes! Check out our programs page and search by ‘summer’ to view upcoming options.
What majors require overseas study?
- Asian Studies
- World Languages & Literatures
- French Studies
- German Studies
- Hispanic Studies
How do I learn about non-LC abroad programs?
LC students do have the option of participating in outside programs offered through program providers. In order to start this process, you would want to research and select a program, and fill out the Non-LC Study Abroad Application form with as much info about the program as you could (including course syllabi if possible). Next, contact the Overseas Office to make an appointment to discuss your program. Students who are interested in an outside program will need to make a strong case for why this particular program fills an academic need that another program that we offer does not fill.
Are there overseas-specific scholarships?
Yes, there are scholarships available to support students financially. Visit our Scholarship Opportunities page for more information.
If I go overseas on a summer program, will I receive financial aid? Would summer aid affect my financial aid during the school year?
We recommend that you arrange a meeting with the Financial Aid Office. Generally, students can receive student aid during the summer in lieu of a fall or spring term’s aid. The Financial Aid Office can help you understand your unique financial situation.
What happens if my parents/guardians have questions about my financial aid?
In order for parents or guardians to discuss your account information with the Financial Aid Office, you will need to fill out a FERPA release. Financial Aid will not be able to disclose any specific information about your account without this release form. Authorization to release information can be found here.
Travel Plans, Passports, and Visas
How do I acquire or renew my passport?
Passports are the responsibility of the student. Check out our passport resource page for information on how to apply for or renew your passport.
What are the visa requirements for my program?
Each country (and sometimes each program) has different requirements. This page has some information, but know that detailed instructions will be shared with you once you have been accepted to a program. The Overseas Office is a resource as you navigate the process, but ultimately it is the students’ responsibility to complete their visa applications.
What service should I use to book my flight?
Students may choose any service, website, or agency to book their flights. All students are responsible for purchasing their own round trip tickets, and sharing their finalized itinerary with the Overseas Office. Our Travel Resource handbook has some tips on student-friendly websites you may want to check out.
Why do I need a round trip ticket?
In some countries, it is absolutely required to show proof of a round trip itinerary in order to cross the border. If you are required to apply for a visa ahead of time, you’ll need to include entry and exit dates in your application.
Other countries don’t have explicit laws that require proof of a flight out of the country – however, each immigration officer has the authority to require it at whim. In order to ensure ease of entry (without prolonged questioning or being asked to purchase a return ticket while going through customs), it is highly recommended to travel with a return flight already booked.
Health and Safety
How do I know which vaccinations I need on my program?
The Travel Medicine Clinic on campus provides education and immunization services to all students from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Law School and the Graduate School. Faculty and staff accompanying Lewis and Clark students may also use the services of the Travel Medicine Clinic. The goal of the Travel Medicine Clinic program is to assist travelers in maintaining good health while traveling, so that the traveler can maximize his/her experience abroad. For more information on the service provided, please visit Overseas Health Information on the Student Health Service website.
Should I be worried about diseases or viruses abroad?
The Overseas Office follows medical updates and procedures for all program locations closely, and would not send students to a place that posed extreme health risks to our students. It is, however, the student’s responsibility to get the required vaccines and take necessary preventative medication with consistency and care.
The CDC frequently updates its website with new information about any health concerns around the world: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/ You can search by country, and their website will tell you what precautions should be taken while studying abroad to avoid any diseases specific to that region. Typically, vaccines and medication can be used to prevent contracting any viruses or diseases of concern – so plan ahead!
Will I be safe overseas?
LC has a long history of study abroad. We make every effort to anticipate and prepare for emergency events. For more information, please read Resources for Parents on the Overseas website.
What if I get sick or injured while I’m abroad?
Lewis and Clark College requires overseas program participants going to a foreign country to have health insurance with coverage for international travel. For questions regarding your coverage, please contact your health insurance provider. In addition, program fees include LC-provided supplemental travel insurance for students going to a foreign country. More detailed information about health and safety can be found here.
Can special dietary needs be accommodated on an overseas program?
The Overseas Office asks that students disclose any dietary restrictions or allergies on their confirmation form. We will share the student’s dietary needs with in-country staff, and notify the student if there is any concern about being able to accommodate them while on the program.
The Application Process
What if I am a freshman or transfer student and would like my high-school teacher to be an academic reference?
Applicants are required to provide recommendations from Lewis & Clark professors, rather than a high school teacher or professor from a previous institution. Study abroad is a huge part of the academic culture on campus, and LC professors are accustomed to receiving overseas program reference requests every semester. Even if you have only met with your professor once or twice in office hours, it is more than likely that they would be happy to advocate for your participation on a program! If you are worried about reaching out, feel free to contact our office for some strategies on how to make this request and what information would be useful to provide when you talk with them.
Do I need to meet all of the prerequisites before I can apply?
No! You can apply if you have not yet met the prerequisites for the program. You would be issued a conditional acceptance, with your participation contingent upon fulfilling the prerequisites before you begin the program. If you are concerned about your ability to meet the prerequisites before the program, be sure to reach out early on so we can work together on a back-up plan.
Do I need to have a valid passport before I can apply?
No! In your application you can just leave the passport field blank. However, you should get started on applying for your passport (or renewing an expired passport) ASAP. It typically takes 6-8 weeks to receive your passport in the mail, and you’ll need to have your passport shortly after you are accepted to the program. More info about passport applications/renewal can be found here.
What if my academic advisor is unavailable to sign my Faculty Advisor Approval Form for my application?
Please allow time to set up an appointment with you advisor well before the application deadline to avoid late application materials. If your faculty advisor is unavailable due emergency circumstances or sabbatical, you can make an appointment with the college advising center. If you haven’t already done so, this meeting is a great opportunity to set a 4 year plan with your participation on an overseas program in mind.
How do I transfer my application to another program?
If you have applied or been accepted to an LC Overseas Program, you can contact the Overseas office to request a program change. Please note that if a program is already full, the Overseas office cannot transfer applications to that program.
Can I apply to two programs and choose which one I want to do later on?
No. You may only apply to one program each semester. We want to make sure that you are 100% invested in the program that is the best fit for you. We offer program advising if you are having trouble deciding between a few different programs. Especially for programs with higher numbers of applicants, it’s important that the review committee/program leader knows that this program is the one you truly want to pursue. If you were to be unsuccessful in this initial application, don’t worry! We’ll work with you to find another option during the same application cycle (or we can hold on to some of your application materials if you want to wait to re-apply in a different semester).
Can I defer my acceptance to a program?
No. If you choose to attend your program at a later date, you will need to re-apply. While we can transfer many of your original application materials to the new application, your application will be considered without any preferential treatment. Please be sure to think about your decision to withdraw carefully: many programs are only offered in a specific term, or every two years. Your academic schedule may not allow for attendance at a later date.
What happens if I want to withdraw from my program?
You must contact the Overseas Office via email. Please note that program withdrawals are only accepted in writing. If you have not yet been accepted, we can withdraw your application (no cancellation fee). If you have been accepted, please refer to your acceptance letter for details, as there may be a cancellation fee.
Before Your Program
What kinds of things will I need to do to prepare?
Once accepted, you’ll be asked to provide a color scan of your passport. If your passport is set to expire within six months from the end of your program, you’ll need to apply for a new one. Please complete this process right away, to avoid extra fees and delays closer to the start of your program.
During the semester prior to the program, you will be required to attend orientation meetings and complete supplementary materials for your in-country program provider. The frequency of orientation meetings and types of supplementary materials vary by program.
The Travel Resource handbook has more advice on things to prepare before you depart.
Can I skip orientation if I am not on campus that semester?
If you are planning to be away the semester before your program takes place, special arrangements will need to be made with the Overseas Office and your program leader. Please make contact well in advance!
During Your Program
Can I have friends/family visit me abroad?
You will be very busy during your program, so we recommend that friends and family visit you before or after your program ends.
What if I want to stay in my host country after the program ends in order to do research?
We encourage you to apply for the Dinah Dodds Endowment for International Studies Grant. This grant allows students to extend their overseas experience in order to expand on work begun on their Lewis & Clark program.
After Your Program
Do you have resources for students after they have returned from their overseas experience?
Yes! Check them out!