Off-Campus Studies Programs

76% 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. 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, 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 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 2017-18

Irish Studies in Ireland, summer term

Faculty Directors: Pierre Hecker, Juliane Shibata

Students will experience both rural and urban living in various parts of Ireland, including Dublin, Belfast, Galway, and County Mayo. Through frequent excursions and site visits, students will encounter Ireland’s extraordinary geography, history, and art. Theatergoing, exploring the country on foot, and meeting with local writers, artists, storytellers, and performers will all be important elements of the program.

Ireland Program courses

Art Now: Global Contemporary Art and The Mega Exhibitions, summer term

Faculty Director: Ross Elfline

Students will have the opportunity to learn about some of the most significant art being produced today by visiting three important exhibitions of contemporary art: the Venice Biennale, Documenta (in Kassel, Germany), and Skulptur Projekte Münster. By visiting both Italy and Germany, students will have an unparalleled chance to survey the art world’s cutting-edge.

Art Now Program courses

German and European Studies in Berlin, fall term

Faculty Director: Sigi Leonhard and David Tompkins

Berlin is one of the most fascinating places in Europe, both for its history and for its status as a cultural metropolis. Like no other German city, it bears the scars of recent German history and carries the promises and challenges of a united Germany and a united Europe. It has a vibrant art scene, global startups, a rich and progressive music culture, and countless culinary options. Come discover why Berlin’s former mayor declared, "Berlin is poor but sexy."

Berlin Program courses

Spanish Studies in Madrid, fall term

Faculty Director: Humberto Huergo

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, history, politics, and art. All credits count towards the Spanish major and the Minor in Spanish. In addition to their coursework, students are allowed to audit a course of their choice.

Madrid courses

Agricultural Sustainability in the U.S. and China, winter break

Faculty Director: David Hougen-Eitzman

Explore the possibilities of a sustainable agriculture in the both the United States and China by meeting and talking to American organic farmers in fall term, followed by a visit to Asia over winter break to meet their counterparts in China. We will learn about characteristics that farmers in these two countries share, as well as the unique problems posed by a rapidly industrializing and land-poor country such as China.

Agricultural Sustainability courses

Microeconomic Development in Bangladesh, winter break

Faculty Director: Faress Bhuiyan

The Bangladesh trip and its coursework examines and evaluates a modern understanding of economic development as it relates to--among other things --poverty alleviation, microfinance, rural-urban migration, population control, mutual insurance, social businesses, and women’s rights.

Bangladesh Program courses

Studio Art: The New York Program, winter break

Faculty Director: Dan Bruggeman

New York City remains the hub of artistic creation and a source of energy for artists from all over the world. Carleton's New York City program will allow students to explore the city’s artistic venues and visit working artists in their studios to gain an understanding of the daily pursuit of their profession.

New York Program courses

Architectural Studies in Europe: Britain, France, Italy and Spain, winter term

Faculty Director: Baird Jarman

Four countries, ten weeks, more than 100 architectural sites, and over 1,000 years of architectural history. This program’s three courses offer very different approaches to architectural studies: one surveys European architectural history, one examines how architectural landmarks are organized and operated, and one teaches architectural drawing skills.

Architectural Studies courses   

Geology in New Zealand, winter term

Faculty Directors: Clint Cowan and Sarah Titus

New Zealand is an amazing place to study Geology. Plate tectonic processes are active and happen in real time. The country also has a rich Gondwanan heritage. This program will travel throughout the North and South Islands while visiting a range of settings - from mountains and glaciers to terraced coastal plains and sea cliffs.

New Zealand courses

Sport and Globalization in London and Seville, winter term

Faculty Director: Bob Carlson

What role does sport — and specifically soccer — 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 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 courses

(Beyond) Nationalism and Xenophobia in Central and Eastern Europe, spring term

Faculty Director: Mihaela Czobor-Lupp

This program will explore the socio-cultural and political factors that contribute to nationalism and xenophobia in Romania, as well as in the larger area of Eastern and Central Europe. Questions that will frame our inquiries include: What is nationalism? What are its specific forms in Eastern and Central Europe? What role can civil society play in the formation of European and cosmopolitan sensibilities? How can cultural representations increase a sense of solidarity with strangers and foreigners?

Central and Eastern Studies courses

English Literature and Theater in London, spring term

Faculty Director: Elizabeth McKinsey

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 of the nineteenth century.

London courses

French and Francophone Studies in Paris, spring term

Faculty Director: Cathy Yandell

Spend the spring studying in a diverse and dynamic city, rich in historical and contemporary culture. Choose among classes on French Culture, Islam in France, and Art History. Live with a Parisian family and travel to Morocco. In the process, learn to view yourself and the world from a different perspective.

French program courses

Japanese Linguistics and Culture in Kyoto, Japan, 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, the current state of LGBTQ, and Japanese baseball.

Linguistics program courses

Language and Culture in Global Russia, spring term

Faculty Director: Diane Nemec Ignashev

Participants in the program will work to improve their language skills, as well as engage in a program of cultural immersion focused on Russian culture as a juncture for traditions both indigenous and borrowed. Issues to be explored through readings and travel include: early Russian cultural formation; the development of national identity; Russia’s emergence as world power, and current debate over Russian national identity.

Moscow program courses


Global Engagement Program: Arts Apprenticeship in Cameroon, 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 Cameroon

Global Engagement Program: Buddhist Studies in Bodh Gaya 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

Global Engagement Program: Globalization and Sustainable 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

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.

Women's and Gender Studies Program

Carleton Global Engagement Program: Language and Culture in Global Russia, spring semester

Faculty Director: Diane Nemec Ignashev

Over the course of a semester, students immerse themselves in a country striving to redefine and reestablish itself culturally and economically. Students leave with a new perspective not only of Russia, but also of themselves and their “Americanness.” The program is based in Moscow, with program trips to St. Petersburg and the Lake Baikal region, on the border with Mongolia.

Global Russia courses


Carleton Co-Sponsored Programs 2017-18

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 Social Transformation,  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
  • 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 seven 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 Amsterdam: Sciences Global Health, Interdisciplinary Studies at VU Amsterdam, fall semester
  • 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: Social Entrepreneurship and Development, 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: Adeeb Khalid
  • 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: Jessica Leiman
  • 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