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See the World!

Academic Knox

OFF-CAMPUS STUDY: More than 40% of Knox students study off-campus. This shouldn't be a surprise since Knox faculty strongly believe in what is called a "global" education. You are here on an international campus -- one with students and faculty from all over the world. (Actually, a large number of the faculty, including the American nationals, have spent time abroad.) No college study in this new century is complete if it doesn't help you understand the world you live in -- and the people and issues you are certain to encounter as the rest of your life unfolds!

Most Knox students who do off-campus study do so in their junior year. Why not earlier? The main reason is Knox's approach to off-campus study. Like all our educational goals and opportunities, we believe that off-campus study should be intentional. As you begin to develop your personal educational agenda, we hope you'll consider whether off-campus study not only "fits" but will strengthen your educational experiences. For example, a year in France makes sense for a student only after a certain number of completed French language courses. Studying art history in Italy works if you've established a background through art history courses on campus. And studying American politics in Washington, D.C., will most benefit someone who's got a firm background in political science.

The Catalog lists all the programs available to Knox students. Some are sponsored and staffed by Knox, while others are sponsored by other organizations and institutions. But every program has a campus advisor (also listed in the Catalog). You can get in touch with the campus advisor for information on a program, or visit the Center for Global Studies. The Center coordinates the application process each year. While the Knox faculty directors of our own sponsored programs in France, Spain, and Argentina do the selection for their own participants, all other programs have a two-step admission process. First, you submit a proposal (usually by February 1 of your sophomore year) for study in your junior year to the Center for Global Studies; a selection committee (which includes a senior student who has returned to campus from a successful off-campus study experience) evaluates your proposal. Second, approved proposals are forwarded to the organizations which actually sponsor the programs (for example, to the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, the sponsor of programs in Chicago, Tanzania, Czech Republic, Italy, etc.). Those organizations then consider Knox applicants together with those from other colleges and will inform us of your acceptance or denial.

Knox authorizes off-campus study on the educational merit of a proposal you are required to submit. In the proposal you can explain both the educational and personal aspects that lead you to want to study off-campus. You will also need to consider how the program will contribute to requirements in your major and/or other educational goals you are required to meet. Your advisor can help you with ideas for your proposal.

If you are accepted for off-campus study, you might consider whether your participation also will be an appropriate way to meet the experiential learning goal. For example, if you will live abroad in a cultural setting new to you, and if you will live with a family (rather than in a residence hall for "international students"), you might be able to make a case for meeting the experiential learning goal in this way.

Knox makes every effort to make off-campus study available to all qualified students, regardless of financial means. Some programs are "fall semester" (usually 14-15 weeks) rather than coinciding with Knox's 10-week fall term. Those programs usually involve more credit than the three you would have earned on campus; therefore, there is an extra tuition charge for the additional credits. We can't always control the costs of programs offered by other organizations and institutions, but we choose our affiliations as carefully as we can to minimize cost differences. Further, we allow students with financial aid awards to apply those to the cost of programs -- even those sponsored by non-Knox organizations. Financial information on all programs is available through the Center for Global Studies.

In addition to these study abroad programs, you'll find from time to time special courses offered that combine on-campus study with short-term off-campus opportunities. For example, the English and Theatre Departments periodically offer "London Arts Alive," a fall term course that is followed by December travel to London. The "Slavery" course travels to Ghana and Togo between terms. The "Chicago Dance" course includes two weeks in December in Chicago. And Knox's Quick-Start Language courses (offered periodically in Spanish and German) takes first-term language students abroad to a setting in which they can be immersed in that language. Each of these courses includes a special program fee to cover costs of the off-campus segment; generally these fees (range from $1,500 to $2,000; a few are higher) are not covered by financial aid awards.

TECHNICAL STUFF: More on Off-Campus Study

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