Office of Study Abroad and Study Away Programs

What We Do

Our Mission Statement:

"The Office of Study Abroad Programs works to enhance Clark University's mission of educating students to become imaginative and contributing citizens of the world. With today's increasingly global society and international approaches to humanistic studies, the arts, economics, the sciences, government, and many professions, studying abroad has become an important component of a liberal arts education. Immersion in different cultures by means of academically focused programs enables students to become active and creative learners, whether acquiring mastery of a foreign language or conducting research and field projects overseas. Study abroad also contributes to the international character of Clark University. The academic emphasis of Clark's study abroad programs provides our students with the opportunity to extend Clark's classrooms beyond the Clark campus, to augment the curriculum, and to acquire different perspectives--the hallmark prerequisite for the active and fertile exchange of ideas."

What is a Study Abroad Program at Clark University?

As part of Clark's Experience Diverse Cultures signature, we support programs that strengthen undergraduate education in three, sometimes interrelated ways: by enhancing a student's major or academic program; advancing language study; and contributing to cross- cultural competence by active immersion in the host culture. Many of our programs also offer an internship, community service or field research project component.

In conjunction with their faculty advisor, all students must have developed an academic purpose for studying abroad and have agreed to follow Clark's Study Abroad Requirements.

Successful study abroad programs have many possible benefits and outcomes, including increased academic performance, contribution to a global or pluralistic outlook, enhanced career preparation, and personal growth, among others.

What We Do

The Study Abroad Programs Office handles all elements of the study abroad process, from advising students on a portfolio of over 30 programs, supporting them through the application process, to facilitating return and re-entry workshops and activities. A list of our duties includes:

  • developing programs
  • working with faculty and staff during the academic and student advising process
  • holding informational meetings and fairs
  • advising individual students on academic and student support issues during one-on-one sessions
  • conducting pre-departure orientations and re-entry workshops
  • communicating with overseas staff
  • arranging payments and finances
  • monitoring immigration issues and concerns
  • monitoring safety and health concerns
  • translating overseas transcripts

Clark programs are evaluated regularly by both faculty and staff at Clark, but in several cases they are not administered on-site by Clark University. Rather, we have formed long-standing relationships with various third-party study abroad providers, independent providers overseas, and universities overseas.

The office also advises students who pursue Non-Clark programs and students who study abroad on Non-Clark programs during the summer.

What We Don't Do

Although we provide resources on other kinds of international opportunities, we do not administer volunteer programs, self-designed studies or research abroad (that are not already a program component), work abroad programs (that are not part of an internship component), short-term programs, fellowships, or other forms of travel and cultural exchange.  There are some limitations on what students can do for academic credit during a semester abroad, and all programs must be approved through our office.

We also do not arrange visas or international flights. Each student is responsible for his/her own travel arrangements and medical needs.

Please also note that although our office provides academic advising and course selection guidance to students, it does not pre-approve individual credits or courses. This is done by the department/ faculty advisor during the application process. All students must have their entire course selection pre- approved by their department/faculty advisor, along with major or minor credit pre-awarded. Credit for perspectives is pre-approved by the Academic Advising Center, x7468. For more information on advising and course selection, please see Advising Applicants.