Office of Study Abroad and Study Away Programs

Faculty and Staff Frequently Asked Questions

Note: Most of the typical FAQs for Clark programs are answered here.

What if my student wants to enroll on a program or course overseas that is not offered by Clark?

Any program that is not a Clark-affiliated program is considered a Non-Clark program. These programs must be pre-approved through the Study Abroad Office, and are considered as a foreign leave of absence with transfer credit, not Clark credit. You can download a full description of Non-Clark Program policies here. Students are not permitted to take independent courses, studies, internships or research projects overseas except when part of a Clark program.

What is the typical level of courses taken overseas?

The level varies depending on the program and/or the institution, but in general, all study abroad program courses are registered as at least 200-level courses. However, each department makes a determination on the equivalent course level at Clark. We are happy to direct you to the course catalogue/descriptions of overseas programs, if they are available.

What about domestic study away programs?

Our office also coordinates study at the Washington Center for Internships and the American University Washington Semester Program. These programs are either full-time internships or a combination of an internship and academic course work. Students need to have courses/internships pre- approved with the Clark application.

Any other type of domestic program or course (e.g. a summer course at another university in the U.S. or an internship program) would be approved as transfer credit by the Academic Advising Center and/or as an internship program by the Office of Career Services.

Does Clark offer summer study abroad programs?

With the exception of the May Term in Luxembourg (administered by its own office), Clark does not have affiliations with any summer study abroad programs. However, students can be pre-approved for a Non-Clark summer program and gain up to 2 Clark units of transfer credit. Students must be pre-approved by the Study Abroad Office.

Can Clark students complete the language perspective or other perspectives overseas?

In some cases, this is possible, but students must complete at least 75 hours (usually two semesters) of work in the target language to earn credit for the language perspective. Or, students must follow or precede the language work abroad with a sufficient number of hours on the home campus or another institution (equaling 75 hours in total).

For other perspectives, equivalences need to be pre-approved by the Academic Advising Center, x7468.

What kind of academic support is offered overseas?

Academic support varies depending on the program type, educational system, country and culture.

Typically, programs administered by on-site providers or resident staff ("study center programs") offer more U.S.-style academic and social support than direct enrollment programs. It is worthwhile to gauge what your student needs in a program, or what you assess their needs to be, and to talk to us about available options.

In general, we tell students to expect less academic and social support than offered on a U.S. campus. We try to frame these differences in a cultural and educational context - in other words, because less support is offered it does not necessarily mean the host institution/program is less friendly or helpful.

How are study abroad programs evaluated?

Clark's study abroad programs are evaluated in multiple ways. First, almost all of our programs are directly administered by a U.S. accredited program provider or third-party institution - these providers evaluate their own programs frequently using outside academic review boards. In addition, Clark study abroad staff and faculty advisors conduct a site evaluation of each program abroad regularly, usually every few years.

In addition, our office makes use of numerous professional resources, from study abroad advisor professional groups, to regular conferences, to quality standards set by the profession.

We also collect and use student evaluations from each program to improve offerings or components.

What are the academic and personal benefits of study abroad?

Studying abroad offers many academic and "liberal" benefits. We have outlined some of these benefits here. For additional information and databases of recent research studies, see our Resources section.