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Policies for Semester Programs

Student Eligibility to Apply for Off-Campus Programs

Earlham students who meet the requirements of each individual program as outlined on program brochures are eligible to apply. Each program has its own set of criteria, which may include a language requirement or specific course requirement. Students may only apply to one program at a time.

Students must be in good academic status with the College and making satisfactory academic progress toward graduation requirements (see Curriculum Guide) to apply. Students who are on academic probation are ineligible to apply to or to participate in off-campus programs.

Students must be in good standing with the College. Students who are on disciplinary probation are ineligible to apply or to participate in off-campus programs.

Students who are on a Medical Leave of Absence from the College and who are interested in an off-campus study program should have a healthy and academically successful semester on campus after the MLOA and prior to application and/or approval for off-campus study.


Application Process

Applications consist of several components, including an online application form, a four-year plan and form signed by the Academic Advisor, a recommendation form completed by a faculty member, a set of essays to be completed by the applicant, and a student agreement. Students may only apply for one program at a time.

Completed applications must be submitted in Terra Dotta by 5:00 pm on the application deadline. Deadlines are posted in the CGE, on this website, and in Today @ Earlham.


Selection Criteria for Earlham Semester Programs

Criteria for selection include but may not be limited to, the following:

  • carefully prepared application materials and academic plan, signed by the student’s Academic Adviser, that verifies that the student has a viable plan to complete required general, major and minor courses for graduation;

  • appropriateness of the program for the student;

  • personal qualities of the student and ability to benefit from and contribute to the program in a new cultural context;

  • special competencies and requirements (such as language skills or pre-requisites for courses);

  • demonstrated emotional stability and maturity, indicating the ability to lead a stable, responsible, and healthy lifestyle. The Center for Global Education may, therefore, consult with the relevant college personnel for advice concerning, but not limited to, recent and serious medical or emotional problems, recent and serious violations of acceptable community behavior such as substance abuse, threats of physical harm, damage or destruction of property, sexual assault. Students on disciplinary probation are not eligible to participate;

  • academic status - students must be in good academic status with the College and making satisfactory academic progress toward graduation requirements (see Curriculum Guide). Students who are on academic probation are ineligible to participate on off-campus programs;

  • financial aid - eligible students may apply their Earlham financial aid toward one Earlham or Earlham-approved program. Off-campus study must be part of the 8 semesters of aid;

  • accounting - students must be in good standing with the Accounting Office. All prior semesters must be paid in full in order to participate;

  • program limitations and priority factors - if there are more applicants than there are spaces in the program, priority will be given based on factors such as quality of overall application, the above-mentioned criteria, seniority, ability to participate at a later date, previous experience in an off-campus program, and academic major or minor; and

  • presentation in an interview with faculty leader or faculty representative.

A note about late applications: Students who submit applications after the published deadline should provide CGE with a written explanation of why their application is late. Acceptance of late applications is at the discretion of the faculty leader(s) and the CGE.


Student Selection Process

A selection committee composed typically of the faculty leader(s), past program participants, and a representative from the CGE reviews the application materials. In addition to the application, an interview is also an important component of the selection process.

The Center for Global Education may consult with relevant college personnel for advice concerning, but not limited to, serious medical or emotional problems, violations of acceptable community behavior such as alcohol or drug abuse, threats of physical harm, damage or destruction of property, or sexual assault.

No student is guaranteed acceptance to any specific program. Programs are subject to capacity limitations and other admissions criteria.

After the selection of students has been made, the Center for Global Education will send a letter to all applicants informing them of the results. In some cases, students may be placed on a waitlist. If there is a withdrawal from the program, waitlisted applicants may be reconsidered.

A student who has not been selected may appeal the decision. For an appeal to be considered, the student must be in good standing with the College and eligible to participate. The appeal must be in the form of a letter and should be submitted to the Director of Off-Campus Programs. The Center for Global Education will inform the student of the results of the appeal. Results of all appeals are final.

The Student Acceptance Process

The Center for Global Education will inform students of the results of the selection process through their Terra Dotta accounts. Faculty may inform students after the formal acceptance from the CGE has been sent. Students will also be informed of the Conditions of Acceptance through Terra Dotta. Participation in the program is contingent upon:

  • continued good standing with the College;

  • satisfactory academic work prior to the program and making satisfactory academic progress toward graduation (see Curriculum Guide);

  • willingness to be a cooperative and responsible group member throughout the experience;

  • active participation in the required Cross-Cultural Explorations - Pre-course during the semester prior to the off-campus experience;

  • ability to engage in program activities;

  • continued good standing with the Earlham Accounting Office;

  • completion and submission of all required documentation, which includes a Conditions and Release document, medical forms and proof of insurance, passport and orientation documentation, and visa materials if applicable. If the student is under 21 years of age, the conditions and release form must be signed by a parent or guardian.

Failure to meet all of the above conditions may result in a student being withdrawn from a program.

Program Cost and Billing

Earlham semester programs cost the same as tuition, room and full board, and fees on campus. Students are required to have a 19-meal plan on an off-campus program. Students are responsible for travel costs to and from the program site, independent travel expenses, books and course materials, passport and visa application (if applicable) expenses, health costs and inoculations, and personal expenses.

Students will be billed for semester programs on the regular Earlham billing cycle.


Participation in the program is voluntary, but in order to participate students must agree to cooperate with Earlham College, the faculty leader (s), and the group in all aspects of the program.

Student Withdrawal

Students who withdraw from the program should notify CGE immediately in writing.  Students who withdraw from the program, or who do not meet acceptance policies and cannot participate, will be required to compensate the College for program expenses already committed on their behalf. 

Cross-Cultural Explorations - Pre

Participation in this 1-credit course is required for enrollment in an Earlham off-campus program. This 7-week course will be scheduled during the second half of the semester and includes three joint sessions with all programs. The remaining class sessions will be held with individual groups. This course is designed to prepare participants for the cross-cultural experience. Earlham students will receive 1 semester hour credit (OFFC124) for completion of this course. There is no charge for the credit. During the preparation course, students will be provided with a program handbook with important information. Parents/guardians will also receive the handbook. Students who do not complete all class sessions may be withdrawn from the off-campus program.


Cross-Cultural Explorations - Post

Upon returning to campus after participating in an Earlham off-campus program, students are required to enroll in this 1-credit, 7-week course. CCE - Post will guide students in processing and analyzing their off-campus experiences, and it will help students to think about ways to build upon and integrate those experiences into their future and career plans. There is no charge for this credit.


All students on Earlham off-campus programs are required to have medical insurance that covers them when they are outside of the United States. In addition to personal health insurance coverage, Earlham provides students and staff on Earlham off-campus programs with travel insurance through AIG Assistance Services.  Earlham also provides all students on our programs with the International Student ID card sponsored by STA Travel, which provides supplemental travel insurance coverage when traveling outside of the United States. 


Program Dismissal

The faculty leader(s), in consultation with the Center for Global Education at Earlham, has the authority to establish expectations necessary for the operation of the program either prior to the off-campus experience or during the off-campus experience. Should the faculty leader or Director of Off-Campus Programs decide that a student must be terminated from the program, that decision will be final. Expectations include: active participation in the Cross-Cultural Explorations - Pre course; satisfactory academic work; making satisfactory academic progress toward graduation; ability to meet the financial obligations of the program and the College; willingness to be a responsible and cooperative group member; conformity to program rules and expectations; upholding laws and regulations of the area; good health that promotes effective participation; disclosure of material information requested by the program; and appropriate conduct in the host community or host country.

Conduct that is potentially dangerous to the student or to others, such as the use or possession of illegal drugs or excessive alcohol consumption, may result in termination from the program. Serious physical or mental health issues that hinder the student’s ability to participate successfully may also result in termination from the program. 

In the event that a student is dismissed from a program, the Center for Global Education and the faculty leader(s) or resident director will work together to coordinate a student’s return trip and to communicate information on the Earlham campus. Students who are dismissed from a program or who leave a program early will receive no credit for the semester.

Risks and Responsibilities

Participation in an off-campus semester program involves risks not found in study at the College. These may include, but are not limited to: risk involved in traveling to and within and returning from the program site; political, legal, social and economic conditions; different standards of design, safety and maintenance of buildings, public places and conveyances; local medical and weather conditions. Students assume responsibility for their actions and well being at all times: prior to the program, during the program, during the independent periods, and following the program. It is the responsibility of the student to consult with the United States Department of State and other appropriate agencies and authorities regarding the advisability of travel to other areas in the region if traveling overseas. Prior to departure for the program, students are asked to register with their national embassy in the country in which they will study. Students must accept these risks and responsibilities.

Arrival and Departure from Program Site

Students are required to arrive at the program site by the date specified. Students are expected to complete the program and remain at the program site until the specified departure date. Students who arrive prior to or depart after the scheduled program dates are responsible for their own arrangements and costs.

Courses, Academic Credit and Grades

Students are required to be full-time students throughout the program and will be enrolled in all of the courses offered on the Earlham off-campus program. Audits, Credit/No Credit, and variable credit are not permitted. Credit is awarded only as indicated on the course schedule.

Grades from Earlham off-campus programs will be included on the Earlham transcript and will be calculated into the grade point average. Students must complete the entire semester program on-site in order to receive academic credit.

Student Conduct and Health

Students are required to obey the conduct requirements of the off-campus program. Students are required to be in good physical, mental and emotional health to complete the program.

Students who participate in Earlham off-campus programs are required to be up to date on all vaccines and inoculations listed as needed for their specific program. There will be no exceptions to this policy for philosophic or religious reasons.

Independent Travel

Students are responsible for their expenses during the independent travel period.

Breakage, Damage, and Loss of Items

Students who are responsible for breakage or damage in their living situations or in the classroom setting will be charged for the cost of repair or replacement. Students who lose host family or other keys pertaining to the program will be charged for replacement and other associated costs.

Program Evaluation

Students are expected to complete a program evaluation at the end of the off-campus program.

Program Changes

Earlham reserves the right to terminate or alter a program at any time and for any reason, without prior notice. Every attempt will be made to keep students apprised of these changes as they arise.