Off-Campus Study Programs

68% of Carleton students participate in at least one 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 term programs, 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. In addition, the Carleton Global Engagement programs are open to both Carleton and non-Carleton students.

Students expecting credit for participation in an off-campus program, whether in the United States or abroad, during the academic year or the summer, must 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 terms, 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 term programs and break programs, students can choose a Carleton Global Engagement program. These programs enroll students from institutions nationwide.

  • Carleton summer program participants must 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 hundreds of non-Carleton programs. Students who plan to participate in non-Carleton programs must complete the 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. Summer non-Carleton off-campus study programs do not receive financial aid.

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 2021-22

Cross-Cultural Psychology in Prague, fall term

Faculty Director: Ken Abrams

Students will live and study in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic and one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Since the Velvet Revolution in 1989, which brought an end to 44 years of communism, Prague has been at the forefront of the sweeping social, cultural, and economic transformations of Central Europe. To help experience the culture and history of the region firsthand, students will participate in discussions, cultural events, and walking tours, as well as excursions to historic sites and towns both within and outside the Czech Republic.

Cross-Cultural Psychology in Prague Courses

Spanish Studies in Madrid, fall term

Faculty Director: Palmar Alvarez-Blanco

This advanced Spanish language program is based at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), one of Spain’s top academic institutions.  Courses include Urban Studies, Political Sciences, and Art History, as well as an intense grammar review.  All 20 credits count towards the Spanish major or minor.  In addition to their coursework, students are allowed to audit a course of their choice.

Spanish Studies in Madrid Program courses

Global Engagement Program: Buddhist Studies in Bodh Gaya, India, fall term

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 a 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 in Bodh Gaya Program Courses

Global Engagement Program: Women's and Gender Studies in Europe, fall term

Faculty Director: Iveta Jusová

Since 1984, the Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe (WGSE) program has offered students a unique opportunity to explore feminist and queer theory in practice across Western and East Central Europe. Interaction with academics, politicians, activists, and homestay hosts in Utrecht, Berlin, Prague and Krakow encourages comparative approaches to independent research projects.

Women's & Gender Studies in Europe Program Courses

Making Public History in Boston and D.C., winter break

Faculty Director: Serena Zabin

This program will give students an opportunity to learn about and work in some of the country’s finest history museums. A week in D.C. will allow students to visit world-class history museums that serve enormous and diverse audiences. During the second week, students will work with the smaller museums and historical societies to develop exhibits that showcase underrepresented voices in early American and American Revolutionary History.

Making Public History in Boston and D.C. Program Courses

Society, History, and Popular Culture in Senegal, winter break

Faculty Director: Chérif Keïta

Senegal served as the gate through which millions of Africans were forcibly transported to the New World and the base of West African colonial occupation by France and its European rivals. Today, it is a regional center of culture and cosmopolitanism. Spend two weeks in the land of Teranga (hospitality), encountering Senegal’s rich history and contemporary culture.

Society, History, and Popular Culture in Senegal Program Courses

Globalization and Local Responses in India, winter term

Faculty Directors: Meera Sehgal and Brendan LaRocque

India is a place of immense contrasts and diversities, being home to a wide array of languages, cultures, religions, and communities. Amid this diversity, the impact of globalization on the country’s 1.3 billion people is a topic of intense debate. This OCS program will explore the responses of several distinct communities to the pressures and opportunities generated in India’s globalizing economy. With a focus on the intersections of tourism, politics, development, sustainability, and gender relations, we will see how individuals and groups navigate social structures and institutions as they work to make a decent living. Questions that will frame our enquiries include: What is globalization and how does it impact different regions and groups of India?  What are the major paradigms of economic and social development that currently dominant in India? How do these play out on the local level? What roles do the government and NGOs play in Indian communities today? What are the forces of modernity and tradition in India and how do they affect different strata of society?

Globalization and Local Responses in India Program Courses

Architectural Studies in Europe

Faculty Director: Baird Jarman

Spanning three countries, ten weeks, over 100 architectural site visits, and over 2,000 years of history, this program features four courses offering different approaches to architectural studies. One 6-credit course surveys European architectural history, two 3-credit courses investigate urban planning and architectural heritage issues, and another 6-credit course teaches observational drawing focused on architecture.

Architectural Studies in Europe Program Courses

Sport and Globalization in London and Seville

Faculty Director: Bob Carlson

What role does sport play in a society? Given their deep sporting history and current success on the world stage, London (Great Britain) and Seville (Spain) provide rich and unique opportunities to investigate how sport and society intersect, as well as how globalization impacts each. The program will critically examine sport and sporting culture in both countries.

Sport and Globalization Program Courses

Politics and Public Policy in Washington, D.C.

Faculty Directors: Greg Marfleet and Aaron Swoboda

Washington D.C. is a rich environment for learning beyond the classroom. In addition to the major institutions of national government, the city is an international capital that is home to over 150 foreign embassies and is the headquarters of hundreds of research think tanks, lobbying and advocacy groups.

Politics and Public Policy in Washington, D.C. Program Courses

Wilderness Studies at the Grand Canyon, spring break

Faculty Director: George Vrtis

Wilderness has captured the heart, mind, and sweat of the American people since the nation’s founding. This two-term seminar and off-campus study program will explore how and why these relationships have unfolded and the importance they hold for thinking about the past, present, and future of Americans’ relationship with wild country.  

Wilderness Studies at the Grand Canyon Program Courses

French and Francophone Studies in Paris, spring term

Faculty Director: Scott Carpenter

A location with a particularly rich cultural history, Paris is today a diverse and dynamic city influenced by many distinct traditions. The program will explore key aspects of the historical, cultural, and artistic foundations of Paris, through both study and experiential learning in the city. The role of France’s colonial legacy in contemporary Paris will also be explored, culminating in a trip to Morocco, one of the most significant sources of French immigration.

French and Francophone Studies in Paris Program Courses

Living London: Literature, Theater, Art, and the City

Faculty Directors: Pierre Hecker and Juliane Shibata

Literature, theater, and the arts flourish in London. The city has an incomparably rich artistic and cultural past and present and is arguably the world’s pre-eminent city for theater. The goal of the London program is to immerse Carleton students in this milieu, exploring London’s diverse theater scene and studying its literature, art, architecture, and history, with a focus on the English Renaissance and its cultural legacies.

Living London Program Courses

History, Culture, and Commerce: Africa and Arabia

Faculty Director: John Thabiti Willis

Explore archeological and heritage sites in Zanzibar and Oman that form an important contact zone in the Indian Ocean World. The program offers a unique view of the rich and living legacies of cultural and commercial exchange between Africa and Arabia in the past and present.

History, Culture, and Commerce: Africa and Arabia Program Courses

Linguistics and Culture in Japan Program, spring term

Faculty Director: Michael Flynn

In addition to two courses in linguistics, the program will take advantage of its location in Kyoto, the capital of Japan and the heart of its cultural life until 1868. While there, students will explore many aspects of Japanese history and culture, including religion (Shinto and Buddhism), literature of the Heian Period, Kabuki theater, the bombing of Hiroshima, and Japanese baseball.

Linguistics and Culture in Japan Program Courses

Moscow and Beyond: Russian Language and Cultural Studies, spring term

Faculty Directors: Brian Johnson and Diane Nemec Ignashev

Though its implications have been debated for centuries, Russia's geographic span of the Eurasian continent has contributed to the formation of a rich blend of cultural influences unique in the modern world. Visitors to "Russia" who speak "Russian" quickly discover that both terms share plural meanings: from Lipetsk to Ulan-Ude, from Petrozavodsk to Krasnodar, people(s) of different heritages who call themselves Russian both share a common sense of national identity and take pride in regional and ethnic difference within the nation.

Moscow and Beyond Program Courses

Carleton Consortia Programs 2021-22

For specialized areas of study, Carleton has partnered with other colleges to operate 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, spring semester, academic year
Students with a 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: Creativity, Belonging and Transformation, fall and spring semesters
  •  Media and Movements: Storytelling for Justice, fall and spring semesters
  •  Environmental Justice: Power, Place, Regeneration, fall and spring semesters
  •  Inequality in America: Policy, Community, and the Politics of Empowerment, fall and spring semester
  •  Race in America: The Twin Cities Rise Up, summer only
  •  Ecuador - Community Internships in Latin America (CILA), fall and spring semester
  •  Italy - Sustainable Agriculture, Food, and Justice, fall semester only
  •  New Zealand - Culture and the Environment: A Shared Future,  spring semester
  •  Northern Ireland - Conflict, Peace and Transition, fall and spring semester
  •  Norway – The New Norway: Globalization, National Identity, and the Politics of Belonging, fall semester only (on hiatus for fall 2021)
  •  Ecuador January Term – Social and Political Transformation J-term only

Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM)

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

  •  ACM Field Museum Semester: Research in Natural History, fall semester only
  •  ACM Newberry Seminar: Research in the Humanities, fall semester
  •  ACM Oak Ridge Science Semester, fall and spring semesters

Great Lakes Colleges Association and Associated Colleges of the Midwest

  •  Japan Study at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, fall and spring semesters, academic year

Exchange program 2021-22

  • Carleton maintains an institutional exchange with the National University of Singapore. Students take one class in the University Honors Program and choose from courses across the curriculum. fall and spring semesters