Off-Campus Studies Programs

78% of Carleton students participate in off-campus study program during their years at Carleton. To meet the needs of individual students, Carleton offers and supports a wide variety of off-campus study programs: Carleton seminars, winter break programs, and spring break programs in the United States and abroad, led by Carleton faculty; Carleton co-sponsored programs, and other non-Carleton programs. Students expecting credit for participation in an off-campus program, whether in the United States or abroad, during the academic year or the summer, should check with the Off-Campus Studies Office, Leighton 119, for procedures, required forms, applications, and deadlines.

Carleton Off-Campus Study Programs

Carleton offers a changing selection of seminars, winter break, and spring break programs every year. These programs offer a related group of courses designed and led by Carleton faculty for Carleton students, using the resources of a site other than the Northfield campus. Students are selected by application two to three terms preceding the actual program. Students pay the Carleton comprehensive fee, which covers room, board, tuition, plus excursions and social events at the program site. Transportation to the site, books, and personal expenses are the responsibility of each student. Financial aid applies to these programs.

In addition to the Carleton seminars and break programs, students can choose from four Carleton-Antioch Global Engagement programs that enroll students from institutions nationwide.

  • Carleton summer seminars require students to take a required leave of absence during the following winter term.
  • Cancellation Policy: Carleton College shall have the right, at its option and without liability, to make cancellations, changes, or substitutions in cases of emergency or changed conditions or in the interest of the program.

Other Programs for Off-Campus Study

Students can also select from a variety of co-sponsored programs and over 80 additional non-Carleton programs. Students who plan to participate in a co-sponsored or non-Carleton program must complete the online OCS Application for Approval prior to participation. Students participating in these programs pay a $500 administrative fee. The fee will be charged to the student’s Carleton account after the Off-Campus Studies Office has approved the application. Students who are approved for off-campus study by the College may earn up to 54 credits (one year’s worth) to be applied to their Carleton degree. Financial aid applies to one non-Carleton off-campus study program approved by the College.

Students are encouraged to learn more about off-campus study opportunities and information about specific programs by visiting the Off-Campus Studies office in Leighton 119 and by visiting its website:

Carleton Programs 2016-17

Course descriptions are found in the departmental pages in most cases. For the Carleton-Antioch Global Engagement Programs the descriptions are listed below the program information below.

Economics Seminar in Cambridge, England, summer term (winter term 2017 required Leave of Absence)

Faculty Director: Martha Paas

Residing at Hughes Hall of Cambridge University, students will study British Economics, past and present. Numerous excursions, including London, sites near Cambridge in East Anglia, and the Midlands, will expand the classroom study. 

Cambridge Courses

Cross-Cultural Psychology in Prague, fall term

Faculty Director: Ken Abrams

Students live and study in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. To help experience the culture and history of the region firsthand, students will participate in lectures, discussions, cultural events, walking tours, and out-of-town trips, including Krakow and the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, Poprad and the High Tatra mountains in Slovakia, and the medieval towns of Karlovy Vary and Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic.

Prague courses

Spanish Studies in Madrid, fall term

Faculty Director: Humberto Huergo

Spanish language program for advanced students, based at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. Course work focuses on providing a comprehensive view of Spanish literature, history and art. Home stays, group excursions, and participation in lecture series, theater programs, music and art seminars.

Madrid courses

Cinema and Cultural Change in Chile and Argentina, winter break

Faculty Directors: Jay Beck and Cecilia Cornejo

The program goal in the courses and off-campus study trip is to start an investigation of how these two Latin American countries view cinema from industrial, aesthetic, cultural, and personal contexts. The fall term course offers a broad historical and cultural overview of Chile and Argentina and the December study trip and winter term course concentrate on examining mainstream, alternative, and independent/marginal cinemas and the cultural movements that seek to enact change in both countries.

Cams courses

Geology and Natural History in Tasmania, winter break

Faculty Directors: Mary Savina and Nancy Braker

This program explores values of conservation, wilderness, and restoration in the unique historical and natural setting of Tasmania, an outstanding natural laboratory for studying the geology, natural history and biogeography inherited from the Gondwana supercontinent. This program deals with the intersection of these issues in a manner that complements and does not replicate material studied in other Carleton off-campus programs.

Tasmania courses

Public Health in Practice in the Twin Cities, winter break

Faculty Director: Debby Walser-Kuntz

Everyone in the United States is affected in some way by issues of public health. The program will explore the many dimensions of public health within the United States and will provide an introduction to community based work and research. Public health is by nature interdisciplinary, and the program will address local public health issues through the lenses of social, biological, and physical determinants of health.

Public Health courses

Sustainable Energy Principles and Practice in India, winter break

Faculty Director: Arjendu Pattanayak

The goal of this program is for students to understand the differences between energy issues for the future of industrialized and developing economies, as well as the complexities of the sustainable energy problem, ranging from scientific and engineering challenges to social context and economic policy issues. Field work in Auroville, India includes refining and installing the sustainable energy system designed during fall term, while learning how the local and geographical context matters, as well as the differences between the energy challenges for industrialized and developing countries.

India courses

Ecology in Australia, winter term

Faculty Director: Annie Bosacker

The main goal of the program is to explore ecological features of coastal environments in order to understand how natural and anthropogenic disturbances are impacting these systems. Fieldwork is the essential part of the program.  Shorelines, rocky intertidal areas, the Great Barrier Reef, and the rain forests will be the classroom.  Variety of lodging at research stations, dorms, hostels, and camping.

Australia courses

Digital Photography and New Media in Europe, winter term

Faculty Director: John Schott

This program has as its focus contemporary art and new media, particularly the philosophy and experience of place and location in Rabat, Morocco, Lisbon, Portugal, and Berlin, Germany. Students will explore genius loci or spirit of place in cultural, artistic, technological, physical, virtual and personal terms, and will create individual media projects reflecting and instantiating our studies.

Digital Photography courses

India: Globalization and Local Responses, winter term

Faculty Director: Meera Sehgal

This seminar will explore social structures and institutions through a focus on key areas of everyday life such as systems of stratification (class, gender and caste), economy, governance, family, religion, and protest movements.  The program travels to several regions including Uttarkhand and Goa. Includes a homestay for most of the program.

Globalization courses

Studio Art in the South Pacific, winter term

Faculty Director: Fred Hagstrom

The goal of this program is to bring together studio art practice with the challenges and advantages of off-campus study—drawing from nature in a new environment, studying social issues in the context of a foreign setting, and producing narrative work in response to travel. In the first half of the seminar students will study Polynesian culture, the Coromandel Peninsula, and the Tongariro National Park.  The second half of the seminar will include a few weeks in Sydney, Australia, a trip to the rain forest of Lamington, and a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. 

South Pacific Courses

Visions of California: Searching for the Golden State, winter term

Faculty Director: Michael Kowalewski

An intensive, total immersion experience, the seminar is a broad-ranging exploration of California literature, art, history, society, and environment.  An experiment in putting education in place, the seminar features multiple fieldtrips to literary and historical sites.  It also features an array of guest speakers – writers, artists, historians, actors, geologists, winemakers, architects, surfers, movie-makers – sharing their knowledge of and passion for the complex life and history of the Golden State

Visions of California courses

English Theater and Literature in London, spring term

Faculty Director: Arnab Chakladar

The goal of the London program is to immerse the students in the best and most varied performance the city has to offer, and to make use of local museums and other cultural sites to enhance the study of British literature. The group will attend productions of classical and contemporary plays in London and will travel to Stratford-on- Avon to see Royal Shakespeare Company productions.

London courses

French Studies in Paris, spring term

Faculty Director: Éva Pósfay

The program will make extensive use of local resources both in Paris and Morocco, providing students with a unique opportunity for language immersion, cultural analysis, and personal growth. In addition to classes and excursions, students may pursue activities such as sports, dance, music lessons, etc. There will also be an opportunity to volunteer in a school in a disadvantaged neighborhood on the outskirts of Paris.

Paris courses

Gardens, Landscape and the Built Environment in Japan, spring term

Faculty Director: Kathleen Ryor

Based in Kyoto, the program is a field study of Japanese architecture and gardens, an exploration of the ways in which garden construction in Japan has been related to the built environment and how gardens express various types of meaning, whether religious, political or social. Knowledge of the Japanese language is not required, though students may elect to take a Japanese language course on site.

Japan Gardens courses

History, Religion and Urban Change in Medieval and Renaissance Rome, spring term

Faculty Directors: William North and Victoria Morse

Centered in Rome, this program will provide students with opportunities to study the people, identity, politics, urban landscape, and religion of the historically rich city, during Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and beyond. Students will experience and explore the city and environs in depth, and learn how to investigate this experiential knowledge through the examination of texts, images, sites, and landscapes. Each course will have many site visits inside and outside Rome, as well as assignments that require independent exploration.

Rome courses

Society, Culture and Language in Peru, spring term

Faculty Director: José Cerna Bazán

Based in Lima, Peru’s capital, students will observe the differing sides and the contradictions and paradoxes of modernization in the developing world. The program’s primary objective is to create conditions for the students to reflect on such reality and the cultural artifacts created by the peoples of Peru. 

Peru courses

Carleton-Antioch Global Engagement Program: Arts and Culture in West Africa, fall semester

Faculty Director: Nick Hockin

The program allows students to expand their creative faculties in the visual and performing arts in an enriching cross-cultural learning environment. Participants live and work with local artists, artisans, musicians, and dancers, study French, and explore indigenous, Christian, Islamic, colonial, and global influences on current social conditions. Artistic apprenticeships, rigorous study, group arts workshops, extended homestays, an independent project, are integrated into an exciting multi-faceted educational experience.

Arts & Culture in West Africa


AFAM 320: Cameroon Program: Traditional and Modern Perspectives on Cameroonian Cultures

This course is designed to provide students with a robust theoretical and practical grounding in anthropological fieldwork and participant observation research techniques, and a broad understanding of the multifaceted nature of historical and contemporary Cameroonian cultures. Extensive primary research opportunities, readings, and written assignments are paired with lectures, seminars, and field trips to museums, cultural centers, heritage sites, and selected cities, towns, and villages. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Arts and Culture in Cameroon or Globalization and Sustainable Development in Cameroon program. N. Hockin

ARTS 216: Cameroon Program: Aesthetic Traditions of Cameroon

This course surveys the vast array of traditional and contemporary art and artisanal forms and media of Cameroon. Disciplines covered may include music, dance, theater, puppetry, wood carving, painting, pottery, textiles, jewelry making, metallurgy, photography, radio, television, journalism, film, and architecture. Students learn through lectures, seminars, and class discussions, combined with demonstrations and hands-on workshops at the workplaces of local artists and artisans and attendance at related cultural sites and events. Students choose one secondary arts discipline and present a minor work in and about the chosen idiom. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Arts and Culture in Cameroon program. N Hockin

ARTS 310: Cameroon Program: Arts Apprenticeship/Independent Project

This course consists of two interrelated streams: the apprenticeship and the independent project. Students study and work with an established professional artist-mentor in their chosen visual or performing arts discipline. Through observation of, interaction with, and participation in the life of local artists, the apprenticeship fosters the development of one-on-one relationships between students and artists across cultural and linguistic barriers. Students create and present culminating artistic projects under the guidance of the artist-mentor and the supervision of the Program Director. The independent project is accompanied by a final paper. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Arts and Culture in Cameroon program. N Hockin

One of the following French language courses:

FREN 107: Cameroon Program: Elementary French

This course introduces the basic structures of the French language and everyday vocabulary in the context of common cultural situations. Students are exposed to all four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), with practical emphasis on oral skills. Elements introduced in classroom instruction are further explored through direct practice in authentic language environments on program sites, and individual practice and study. Students will be engaged with local language instructors and their peers in dialogues and role-playing of authentic situations, and complete basic written homework assignments in preparation for oral and written classroom activities. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Arts and Culture in Cameroon or Globalization and Sustainable Development in Cameroon program. Staff

FREN 108: Cameroon Program: Intermediate French

Building on the material covered in Elementary French, this course introduces complex sentence structures and additional vocabulary and verb tenses. The focus of the course is on all four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), with an emphasis on oral skills. Elements introduced in classroom instruction are further explored through direct practice in authentic language environments on program sites, and individual practice and study. Students will be engaged with local language instructors and their peers in dialogues and role-playing of authentic situations, and complete basic written homework assignments including the reading of short literary and cultural texts. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Arts and Culture in Cameroon or Globalization and Sustainable Development in Cameroon program and consent of instructor. Student may be asked to complete a language assessment prior to the beginning of the program. Staff

FREN 391: Cameroon Program: French Language Independent Study

This course is designed to provide students who already possess an intermediate level of French with an opportunity to further master the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students gain a basic understanding of oral and written translation through the study of original French-language works by West African authors and their English translations, as well as practicing simultaneous oral translation in monitored situations, and composing and translating interview materials. Students connect the process of language acquisition with the local authentic French language environment and culture of everyday life in Cameroon through active engagement in daily situations. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Arts and Culture in Cameroon or Globalization and Sustainable Development in Cameroon program and consent of instructor. Student may be asked to complete a language assessment prior to the beginning of the program. Staff

Carleton-Antioch Global Engagement Program: Buddhist Studies in India, fall semester

Faculty Director: Arthur McKeown

Through comparative study, the program examines each of the three major Buddhist traditions and their historical development: Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana. Students live in a Burmese Vihar, or monastery, where the highly qualified team of faculty and on-site staff provide an engaging and supportive environment. In addition, the program includes group travel to Varanasi and New Delhi, as well as a month-long Independent Study Project at the end of the semester that includes the opportunity to travel to a Buddhist community in India or neighboring countries.

Buddhist Studies India

Carleton-Antioch Global Engagement Program: Globalization and Sustainable Development Development in Cameroon, fall semester

Faculty Director: Nick Hockin

The program allows students to engage in meaningful local development projects in an enriching cross-cultural learning environment. Participants live and work with local families, study French, and explore indigenous, Christian, Islamic, colonial, and global influences on current social conditions. Apprenticeship/internships with local NGOs, rigorous study, experiential group workshops, extended homestays, and independent project are integrated into an exciting multi-faceted educational experience.

Globalization and Sustainable Development


ASST 319: Buddhist Studies in India: History of South Asian Buddhism

This course provides students with an introduction to the history of South Asian Buddhism. Using primary and secondary sources and resources available to us in Bodh Gaya, we evaluate competing perspectives on the history of Buddhism and debate significant historical and ethical questions. How did Buddhism relate to other ancient Indian religions? What was the relationship between Buddhism and ancient Indian political, social, and economic structures? How did Buddhism change during its 2000 years in India? What impact did South Asian Buddhism have on the ancient and medieval world? What is the relationship between modern Buddhism and ancient Buddhism? Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Buddhist Studies in India program. Staff

ASST 391: Buddhist Studies in India: Independent Study

Students spend three weeks of the program engaged in independent study of a topic related to Buddhist Studies, utilizing the unique resources available in India and neighboring countries. At the completion of the Independent Study period, students return to the Burmese Vihar, where their work is reviewed by their advisor and presented to the group. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Buddhist Studies in India program. A McKeown and Visiting Instructors

PHIL 318: Buddhist Studies in India:  Buddhist Philosophy

This course introduces students to major trends in Buddhist philosophy as it developed in India from the time of the Buddha until the 11th century CE. The course emphasizes the relationships between philosophical reasoning and the meditation practices encountered in the Buddhist Meditation Traditions course. With this in mind, the course is organized into three units covering the Indian philosophical foundations for the Theravāda, Zen, and Tibetan Vajrayāna traditions. While paying attention first and foremost to philosophical arguments and their evolution, we also examine the ways in which metaphysics, epistemology and ethics inform one another in each tradition. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Buddhist Studies in India program. Staff

RELG 359: Buddhist Studies in India: Buddhist Meditation Traditions

Students will complement their understanding of Buddhist thought and culture through the study and practice of traditional meditation disciplines. This course emphasizes the history, characteristics, and approach of three distinct meditation traditions within Buddhism: Vipassana, Zazen, and Dzogchen. Meditation practice and instruction is led in the morning and evening six days a week by representatives of these traditions who possess a theoretical as well as practical understanding of their discipline. Lectures and discussions led by the program director complement and contextualize the three meditation traditions being studied. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Buddhist Studies in India program. A McKeown

SOAN 322: Buddhist Studies in India: Contemporary Buddhist Culture

This course introduces students to the complexity and plurality of Buddhist traditions that have flourished in diverse societies and cultures in the modern era. This course enables students to sympathetically understand and critically investigate various Buddhist traditions and their historically and culturally specific configurations of philosophical beliefs, cultural values, everyday practices, social institutions, and personal experiences. Focusing on Buddhist traditions of South and Southeast Asia, Japan, and Tibet, we explore topics including syncretism and popular religion, monasticism, gender, economic development, social movements, political violence, and religious revival. Students expand their research skills in anthropology through field assignments in Bodh Gaya. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Buddhist Studies in India program. Staff 

Carleton-Antioch Global Engagement Program: Comparative Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe, fall semester

Faculty Director: Iveta Jusová

The program offers students a unique opportunity to explore feminist and queer theory in practice across Western and East Central Europe. Participants examine the trends and dynamics of European social, economic, and political systems as they influence contemporary gender theory, policy, and women’s identities. Students come face to face with leading theories in WGS and have the opportunity to test their knowledge while working on their independent research projects.

Comparative Women's & Gender Studies


WGST 243: WGSE Program: Situated Feminisms: Socio-Political Systems and Women’s Lives

While women’s and LGBTQ movements have flourished all over the world, they have evolved through the particular contexts in which various groups of women and sexual minorities find themselves. This course examines the impact of European colonial heritages on the lives of women in various communities, as well as the continuing legacies of WWII and the gendered dimensions of recent transformations in both Western and East Central Europe. We examine topics including trafficking, reproductive rights, sex work, immigrant/refugee issues, LGBTQ politics, violence, and globalization. Topics are addressed both comparatively and historically, stressing the ‘situated’ nature of feminist issues and responses. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe program. I Jusová

WGST 244: WGSE Program: Issues in Feminist Methodologies

This course is devoted to the questions of (1) theory: what are the contours of feminist and queer research in the social sciences and humanities? and (2) practice: how does one actually conduct feminist research? Issues arising from these two main questions include the relationship between methodology and knowledge claims in feminist research, how language and narrative shape experience, how the traditional relationship between the researcher and the examined subjects is redefined within frameworks of feminist research, and the relationship between research and activism. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe program. I Jusová

WGST 325: WGSE Program: Comparative Feminist Theories

This course frames several of the central debates in European (and US) feminist and queer theory in the context of local and global pressures on women’s and LGBTQ movements. Exploring subjectivity, interpersonal relations and community as mobile sites of knowledge and power formations, students become conversant with contemporary feminist and queer theory, particularly Continental theory, as we consider affinities and divergences among different theory models, which address some aspect of our changing understanding of knowledge construction in multiple contexts. Theoretical models are evaluated for their potential as frameworks for political interventions in Western and East Central European socio-cultural contexts. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe program. I Jusová

WGST 391: WGSE Program: Independent Field Research

Students carry out independent field research in women’s and gender studies on a topic chosen by the student in consultation with the Program Director prior to arrival in Europe. Drawing on skills developed in the feminist and queer theory and methodology seminars, students select appropriate research methods and conduct a sustained research project with a transnational, cross-cultural, and comparative focus, based on resources located and/or developed by the student in the countries visited. Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe program. I Jusová 

Carleton Co-Sponsored Programs 2016-17

For specialized areas of study, Carleton has partnered with other colleges to develop off-campus study programs. For each of these programs, Carleton representatives participate in the management, Carleton faculty often serve as instructors and directors, and Carleton students participate along with others from the member colleges and universities.

Associated Kyoto Program (AKP), in Kyoto, Japan

, fall and spring semester, academic year
Students with background in Japanese live with Kyoto families and enroll at Doshisha University in intensive language classes plus two courses each term conducted by visiting professors from AKP member colleges or Doshisha faculty.

Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA),

fall and spring semester
These 15-week programs provide the opportunity to learn from local and international faculty who integrate theory with real-life urban issues. Home stays, internships, community immersion activities, and field research are used throughout the programs, which are open to all majors.

  • Art for Social Change: Intersections of Art, Identity, and Advocacy, in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, spring semester only
  • Community Internships in Latin America (CILA), in Quito, Ecuador, fall and spring semester
  • Democracy and Social Change in Northern Ireland, fall and spring semester
  • Environmental Sustainability: Science, Public Policy, and Community Action,  in Minnesota, fall semester only
  • Inequality in America: Policy, Community, and the Politics of Empowerment, in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, fall and spring semester
  • The New Norway: Globalization, National Identity, and the Politics of Belonging, in Oslo, Norway, fall semester only
  • New Zealand Culture and the Environment: A Shared Future, fall semester only
  • Sustainable Agriculture, Food, and Justice in Italy, fall semester only

Inter-Collegiate Sri Lanka Program (ISLE)

fall semester only
This 15-week program enrolls 15-20 students from eight consortium colleges to study the culture, history, religion, political structure of Sri Lanka. In-depth studies include Buddhist thought and practice, conversational Sinhala, and an independent research project. Students live with host families in Kandy.

Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM)

The ACM programs in the United States and abroad have a resident director for each program recruited from the member colleges. Courses are conducted by the ACM director and by staff at the program site.

  • ACM Botswana:  Development in Southern Africa, spring semester, adviser: Bereket Haileab
  • ACM Brazil: Semester Exchange Program at UFJF, fall semester, spring semester, adviser: Silvia L. López
  • ACM Brazil: Culture, Community, and Language at PUC-Rio, fall semester, spring semester, adviser: Silvia L. López
  • ACM Chicago Programs: fall semester, spring semester, spring trimester, advisers: Arts: David Lefkowitz, Entrepreneurship: Nathan Grawe, Social Justice: Rich Keiser
  • ACM Costa Rica: Community Engagement in Public Health, Education, and the Environment, fall semester, adviser: José Cerna Bazán
  • ACM Costa Rica: Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences, and Humanities, spring semester, spring quarter/trimester, adviser: Mark McKone
  • ACM Florence, Italy: Arts, Humanities, and Culture, fall semester, winter quarter/trimester, adviser: Ross Elfline
  • ACM India: Culture, Traditions, and Globalization, fall semester, adviser: Kristin Bloomer
  • ACM India: Development Studies and Hindi Language, winter quarter/trimester, spring semester, adviser: Kristin Bloomer
  • ACM Japan Study, academic year, fall semester, fall semester with cultural practicum, spring semester, adviser: Noboru Tomonari
  • ACM Jordan: Middle Eastern  and Arabic Studies, fall semester, adviser: Yaron Klein
  • ACM London and Florence: Arts in Context, spring semester; winter quarter/trimester, adviser: Susan Jaret McKinstry
  • ACM Newberry Seminar: Research in the Humanities, fall semester, adviser: Victoria Morse, Kristi Wermager
  • ACM Oak Ridge Science Semester, Oak Ridge, National Laboratory, Tennessee, fall semester, adviser: Cindy Blaha
  • ACM Shanghai: Perspectives on Contemporary China, fall semester, adviser: Mark Hansell
  • ACM Tanzania: Ecology and Human Origins, fall semester, adviser: Bereket Haileab