Columbia College, Columbia General Studies, Columbia SEAS
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Petitioning to Participate on an Unapproved Program - Sub-Saharan Africa
Student may petition to particulate on a study abroad program or at an institution abroad that is not currently on the Approved Programs List. The petition process entails a review of your proposed program and study plan by the Faculty Committee for Study Abroad, as well as the approval of your major department. Petitions are due NO LATER than March 1st for the fall semester and October 1st for the spring semester.
In choosing a study abroad program, you should consider a few criteria and your own goals for your time abroad. Some factors to consider:
Program or institutional model: Is your proposed program a traditional university-based program where you take university classes alongside local degree-seeking peers? Is it s 'field-based' program that utilizes non-classroom resources and locations as the main study sites? Is it a supported enrollment program where you undertake language study at a study-center for non-local students?
Language level: Is all of the coursework you would do with this program in English, or is it in the local language? Does this program offer language courses at the appropriate level for you?
Academic focus: How will the courses offered integrate with your studies here at Columbia? How will the classes you take abroad complement your academic focus, offer you the opportunity to build on work you have already accomplished, or give you the opportunity to further your studies in a new direction?
Housing and extracurricular arrangements: Does this program offer housing that immerses you in the academic or local community? Does it facilitate student involvement with local athletic, artistic, volunteer or internship opportunities?
You should review the program's overall philosophy and goals, housing policy, orientation programs, academic courses offered and the availability of courses which are relevant to your major, and language proficiency requirements. Good research resources include general Columbia faculty and advisers, study abroad information found online, and catalogs for various programs.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Here are a few things to keep in mind when proposing a study abroad program:
In cases where a student studies abroad through a program (e.g. IES in Rome), the student is expected to take at least 2 courses at the local university. The remaining courses can be taken either at the local university or at the program center in the local language.
Students who attend programs in non-English-speaking countries are expected to fulfill the appropriate language requirements and to continue to take the local language while abroad.
If the country in which a student wishes to study abroad is on the approved list, but their particular program of interest is not, the program will probably not be approved by Columbia. However, if students have compelling academic reasons for preferring the particular program over one of the approved programs or if it is located in a country that is not on the list, they may present their rationale, in writing, for the consideration by the Office of Global Programs and the Faculty Committee for Study Abroad.
If the U.S. State Department has issued a Travel Advisory Warning for a particular country, Columbia may restrict their approval for programs in that country while the Advisory is in effect.
Selecting an appropriate program is a critical part of study abroad preparation. Students are encouraged to take time to find out as much as they can about programs of interest using a variety of the resources that are available to them. If any of the information on the list of approved programs is unclear, students should contact the OGP at firstname.lastname@example.org .
All students should consult the OGP eligibility page to ensure that they meet all specific academic requirements for each school (CC, GS, SEAS) to study abroad.
You are strongly encouraged to consult with an OGP advisor before starting a petition. For programs in sub-Saharan Africa, please contact Sara Ede at email@example.com. If you would like to petition to participate in a non-approved program, please click "Start an application" above for the materials you will need to submit. Petitions are due NO LATER than March 1st for the fall semester and October 1st for the spring semester.