Off-campus study plays an important role in a W&J education. By placing students in educational settings that intentionally combine classroom and experiential learning, off-campus study provides an invaluable opportunity for students to interrogate, re-work, and hone their intellectual skills, as well as to cultivate the intellectual responsibility and capacity for civic engagement associated with a liberal arts education.
Off-campus study also produces significant personal growth as students gain independence, self-confidence and the capacity for constructive communication across difference through purposeful experiences of other educational, cultural, and socio-economic settings.
Selecting an Appropriate Off-Campus Study Program
It is strongly recommended that students interested in off-campus study make an appointment with the director of global education study early in their W&J career. This allows ample time to formulate appropriate learning outcomes for an off-campus study experience, to explore a range of options among the W&J-approved programs, and to consider carefully issues such as timing of participation and possible integration with major, minor and/or general education program requirements.
W&J maintains a list of approved off-campus programs that seek to address the curricular and pedagogical concerns, as well as the academic standards, associated with a W&J liberal arts education.
In rare cases, students may propose study on a non-approved program offering specialized curricular opportunities, usually associated with the major, that are not afforded by any of the programs on the approved list. Approval for such proposals is made on an individual basis and does not in any way indicate that future proposals for study on that given program would also be approved. Students who withdraw to attend a program without W&J's approval are not eligible to receive financial aid, and credit transfer is not guaranteed.
Campus visits in the fall and spring semesters by representatives of the approved programs, as well as individual discussions with the faculty members who have relevant expertise, also provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about specific program opportunities.
Financing Off-Campus Study
In an effort to promote off-campus study, students will be assessed W&J's tuituion, room and in some cases board. This allows students to apply their federal, state and institutional scholarship and need-based financial aid to approved off-campus programs. W&J charges a nominal administrative fee of $300 per semester for participation in an off-campus program.
To determine whether a given program is affordable, students should make certain they consider out-of-pocket expenses as well as the program fees. A comprehensive cost estimate for any given program on the W&J approved list is available from the Office of Global Education.
The College provides on-campus housing to students enrolled full-time in classes at Washington & Jefferson College, in Washington, PA. On-campus housing is not provided to students during the same semester as their off-campus study program, neither before their off-campus program begins (if the off-campus program’s semester starts after W&J’s) nor immediately following their off-campus program (if the off-campus program’s semester ends before W&J’s).
Health Advisories, Travel Advisories and Travel Warnings
W&J strongly recommends that all students avail themselves of the travel information available at the U.S. State Department, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and World Health Organization (WHO) web sites. In particular, students should carefully consider the information included in State Department travel advisories for the country in which they are pursuing off-campus study and/or for any other country to which they are planning to travel during their time abroad.
W&J reserves the right to cancel a W&J-sponsored program or withdraw its approval for study on an accepted program if a State Department travel warning or a CDC or WHO travel advisory is in place for the host country at the start of the program. Withdrawal of approval for an accepted program bars a student from receiving W&J credit for the program and from applying financial aid to the program costs. In order to make certain that a student may make an informed decision regarding participation on a program, the issue of potential loss of W&J approval for an accepted program will be brought to the student's attention as far in advance of the program start date as is feasible.
In the case of a State Department travel warning or a CDC or WHO travel advisory arising after a program has started, W&J will work closely with the program sponsor and other informed parties to determine an appropriate course of action. In the case of requiring that a student return home, W&J will pursue reasonable steps with the program sponsor to mitigate the financial and academic impact of such an action.