Frequently Asked Questions

You asked… we answered!

What if I missed Alma College’s deadline to register for off-campus study but still want to apply?

The deadlines are set to ensure adequate time to complete the OCS Registration, the program provider’s application process, and not be declined admittance because the program is full.  If you wish to initiate an application after a posted deadline, please contact Off-Campus Study staff.

How do I know if an off-campus study course fulfills a graduation requirement?

Talk with your adviser about your decision to study off-campus to find out the courses you need for graduation. Once you have completed the Registration for Off-Campus Study and are approved to complete the program application, you will work with faculty to approve courses in advance for academic credit.  Full instructions are outlined in the off-campus study enrollment process.  Depending on the program, courses may have been approved for standing approval for Alma College credit in advance.  Those that haven’t received standing approval must have course descriptions and/or syllabus submitted to the department chair for review, prior to departure for the program.

Who can I talk to that has already attended the program?  

Contact a Student Ambassador!  Off-Campus Study can provide the names of student ambassadors if you send an email to with your name and program of interest.   

Will financial aid go with me on an approved off-campus program?

Alma College financial aid can be applied to off-campus programs when study abroad is required for your degree program (World Languages and Cultures - language major). For all majors, external financial aid (e.g. federal loans, Pell grants, and external scholarships) can be applied to off-campus programs. When you start an off-campus study application, you will get an individual cost estimate that includes an estimate from Financial Aid outlining any aid that will be applicable to your program of choice.

Can I attend a non-Alma program and get Alma College financial aid, academic credit and/or internship credit?

Alma College academic credit and/or internship credit, and in some cases financial aid, is available to students attending Alma College approved programs. The programs that have been evaluated by multiple faculty members and used successfully by students for many years are available at this link:  Approved Programs Overview. Participation in Alma approved programs include an orientation, pre-and post departure support, and Alma’s international health and travel insurance.

It is important for students who consider studying on a non-Alma approved program to discuss off-campus study options with several staff on campus including their Academic Advisor, Off-Campus Study staff, the Registrar, and the Director of Financial Aid.  Students who opt to study fall or winter term on a non-Alma approved program will likely to required to withdraw from Alma for the term and be formally admitted back to campus.  For students who choose to study summer term on a non-Alma approved program, it’s reasonable to expect academic credit may not transfer back to Alma. 

What are the requirements of a language major studying off-campus?

It is mandatory that students speak with their World Languages and Cultures faculty members and department chair on campus before committing to a program.  The off-campus study requirements for a language major may include the following, and are subject to change.

  •  Successful completion of a minimum of three language courses
  •  A research paper written in the language covering a topic agreed upon in advance by World Languages and Cultures
  •  Enrollment in intensive language exam preparation to sit for and pass while abroad

According to the most recent academic catalog, language majors must enroll in a minimum of 12 language credits on an approved semester program.  A maximum of 16 credits in language studies per term will count towards a language major/minor.