Global Learning


The World is Your Classroom

Student overlook a valley in PeruWhether studying abroad with one of our affiliated programs, interning in Washington, D.C., studying away at a participating college in the United States, or enrolling in a faculty-led travel course, MCLA students have many options for studying away from campus.

Why Study Away?

Students who have studied away often speak of life-changing experiences in the areas of personal growth, cultural competence, and language proficiency. Marketing these experiences will also enhance your resume as you apply for jobs and graduate schools.

For more information please contact

Am I eligible to study away?

  • Student in New ZealandYou must have completed 30 credits by the time of your anticipated departure (ideal candidates are second-semester sophomores through second-semester juniors). Special approval must be granted for study away during your final semester at MCLA.
  • Eligible transfer students should complete at least one semester at MCLA before applying to any program, with the exception of National Student Exchange. Please note that you must have junior status to participate in The Washington Center.
  • You must have a GPA of at least 2.5 in order to apply for any program (but GPA requirements for individual programs vary).
    You must be in good conduct standing at the time of anticipated departure (based on a review of your disciplinary record and current probationary status).
  • You cannot have any holds on your account (e.g., from Student Accounts, Financial Aid, etc.)

Students should have declared a major in advance of any study away applications to facilitate course selections. Please Note: MCLA reserves the right to cancel a student’s travel plans if one or more of the requirements to study away are no longer satisfied.

  1. Students in ItalyExplore your options. Research all of MCLA’s study away offerings:

    Center for International Studies Abroad (CIS Abroad)

    International Studies Abroad (ISA)

    The Education Abroad Network (TEAN) – An affiliate of ISA for programs in Asia Pacific

    Semester at Sea (SAS) – Travel by sea (with classes on board) to destinations around the world

    National Student Exchange (NSE) – Exchange at a participating college in the U.S. and its territories or Canada

    The Washington Center (TWC) – An intensive internship program in Washington, D.C., including career workshops, networking, and an academic course

    MCLA Travel Courses – An option for students who may not want to commit to a full semester away from campus. Short-term, faculty-led travel courses take place during Spring Break each year (locations vary).

  2. Attend the study away fairs (usually held in the fall and spring) to speak with representatives from our affiliates. Watch for special information sessions on campus throughout the academic year. Travel Course informational meetings are typically held in the fall.

  3. Discuss your travel plans with your faculty advisor early on to determine the best semester to study away, based on major requirements and the locations that offer courses in your major. Keep in mind that you can also take core courses and electives, if approved.

  4. Student in GreeceWhen you are ready to apply, make an appointment with the Study Away Advisor (visit the Office of the Registrar/Student Records or call 413-662-5389) to discuss the application process, program costs, and funding.

  5. Next, make an appointment with Financial Aid to learn how your financial aid is applied to study away costs and to discuss a plan for paying out-of-pocket expenses. Accepted students must also meet again with Financial Aid close to their departure date.

  6. Apply for a passport or be sure that your current passport is up to date well in advance of your planned departure (if applicable). Passport applications are available at your local post office and online. You can also find additional information on the U.S. Department of State’s Passport and International Travel page.

Refer to the Study Away Checklist for further details.

Students typically apply for programs the semester before they plan to travel but may apply as soon as applications open.

Deadlines for most (but not all) programs (check for individual program deadlines):

  • March 1 for fall
  • October 1 for spring
  • Deadlines vary for summer programs

Study Abroad (ISA, TEAN, CIS Abroad, Semester at Sea)

Student in a market in Ghana

Students apply online directly to their program of interest. Refer to the websites of each program for detailed instructions, application fees, and payment schedules.

National Student Exchange (NSE)

Students apply through the Study Away Advisor, indicating their top five choices, and are entered into the NSE placement system (deadline for applications is mid-February). At the NSE Placement Conference every March, you are placed in the order of your choices (although first-choice placements are not always guaranteed). Participants in NSE pay tuition and fees to MCLA and room and board costs directly to the host institution.

The Washington Center (TWC)

Eligible juniors and seniors apply directly to The Washington Center after consultation with their advisors. Faculty sponsors submit an MCLA internship application for the semester students will be attending TWC.

Student at Stonehenge in EnglandYour MCLA financial aid covers some of the fees for your study away program, but you will be responsible for any costs not covered by financial aid. Please note that, with the exception of application fees, MCLA bills students for study away so that financial aid is applied.

Refer to the Financial Aid Study Away Tip Sheet for more information on how financial aid is applied to study away costs.

Our study abroad affiliates offer scholarships and grants; please note that scholarship deadlines may be earlier than application deadlines.

Please also refer to Study Abroad Scholarship Resources for additional options for funding.

In addition to documentation required by each program, students must complete and submit the following forms to the Study Away Advisor before final approval to study away.

Student in Scotland with an own on her armStudy Away Course Approval – In consultation with your faculty advisor/department chair

Travel Liability Waiver

Copy of Passport

Special Note about COVID Restrictions
Although study abroad programs are operating in many countries, some programs may be cancelled for the health and safety of participants—until further notice. All study away participants must be fully vaccinated for COVID. Always check for COVID updates on each affiliate’s website and be sure to read the cancellation policies.