International and Off-Campus Studies: Global Engagement

St. Olaf College, through International and Off-Campus Studies, creates and provides programs that serve the mission of the College at sites in the United States and abroad. These programs are characterized by the integration of academic and experiential education. The experiential component of these programs amplifies and extends the liberal arts learning that occurs on campus and enhances students' global engagement.

Approximately three-fourths of all St. Olaf students participate in off-campus programs, many of them led by St. Olaf faculty members. Of the participants, about 85 percent have studied internationally, in places as diverse as Aberdeen, Chennai, Dakar, Irkutsk, Quito, Rennes, and Shanghai. Around 15 percent have participated in domestic programs — ranging from Interim courses focused on field paleontology in Florida or the contemporary art scene in New York City, to semester programs with courses on entrepreneurship in Chicago or a foreign policy internship in Washington, D.C.  A number of students find off-campus study so valuable that they participate in two or three programs during their St. Olaf careers. Of equal importance is the fact that faculty members find these programs extremely rewarding — both for their students and for their own teaching and scholarship. 

Each off-campus offering has a program advisor. Program advisors are St. Olaf faculty members who are particularly well qualified to offer academic advice on specific programs.

It is strongly recommended that all first-year students discuss off-campus study plans with their academic advisor and with the International and Off-Campus Studies Office advisor.  Students with an interest in a particular program should also consult the faculty program advisor.

Policies and Procedures

Students are responsible for adhering to the regulations and policies contained in the Academic Regulations section of this catalog. In particular, students on St. Olaf off-campus programs are directed to refer to the policies on “Graded and Ungraded Courses” for full details on how off-campus programs affect this graduation requirement.


Nearly all St. Olaf students who study off campus do so during their sophomore, junior, or senior years. (A few Interim programs are open to first-year students.) The college’s 4-1-4 calendar (two semesters separated by an Interim in January) contributes to the flexibility: it enables students to participate in programs that last a month, a summer, a semester, or a full year.

Students intending to take part in a recognized program off campus must be in good academic and disciplinary standing and able to participate in the core activities of the program. Students with documented disabilities may request accommodations to enable them to participate in most off-campus programs, though not every program can accommodate every disability. Many programs have prerequisites, including introductory or advanced courses in a specific discipline or certain levels of language proficiency. Some programs are competitive, and applicants are accepted based on meeting a standard set of criteria governing the selection process. Details about all St. Olaf-approved Interim, summer, semester and year-long programs, program advisors, prerequisites, and application deadlines and procedures are found on the International and Off-Campus Studies Web site.


Students who participate in international and off-campus studies programs pay St. Olaf tuition plus program fees and out-of-pocket costs.  Complete cost information for each program is available on the program application website. St. Olaf financial aid can be applied to St. Olaf off-campus programs and additional off-campus studies scholarships are also available. Information about scholarships for off-campus study is available from the Financial Aid Office or the International and Off-Campus Studies Office advisor.