Apr 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Off-Campus Study


Off-Campus Study programs exist in most regions of the world. You will find information on a very wide range of featured programs at https://travel.global.grinnell.edu.

Featured Programs

The programs featured on the Off-Campus Study portal have been carefully selected and are believed to represent some of the best opportunities available today in off-campus study. From among the broad academic and geographical diversity of options, most students should be able to identify a program well suited to their academic goals.

Types of Programs

Most programs offer you the opportunity to enhance your major, concentration, or other area of academic interest while broadening your liberal arts education by learning about another area of the world. In some programs, the courses offered are linked by a common theme, such as women’s studies, environmental studies, or global development studies. In others, coursework may be closely connected to a particular major such as biology or economics. Programs may be organized and operated by American educational institutions, universities abroad, or a combination of both in a cooperative arrangement. Formats vary from traditional classroom-based instruction to fieldwork, independent study, and internship.

Program Competitiveness

It is important to note that off-campus study programs vary considerably in competitiveness. While some programs are highly competitive, accepting only students with higher G.P.A.s and specific course preparation, others may have more relaxed criteria for admission. Specific prerequisites and G.P.A. requirements are normally set out in the program information materials. Campus Program Advisers are also able to advise you regarding your eligibility for a particular program. Normally, Grinnell students apply to only one off-campus study program. Denial of admission to Grinnell students is rare because of the screening that takes place during the on-campus approval process.

Yearlong Programs

Approval to attend yearlong programs is limited and is granted by the Off-Campus Study Board on a competitive basis to students demonstrating exceptional academic achievement, strong written rationale, and support for their plans from their major department.

Assessing the Importance of Off-Campus Study

You may already have a good idea about where and what you would like to study off campus. However, if you are just beginning to explore the possibilities, you should reflect seriously on what you are planning to do. Personally, at this point in your life and education, you are likely to be at the optimal point in your capacity to learn by living and studying in a new and challenging environment. Since off-campus study may hold valuable personal, academic, and professional benefits, the careful choice of an appropriate program may well be one of the most important decisions you make during your college career.

Core Rationale for Off-Campus Study

Grinnell requires that you select a program compatible with your academic goals, which you will clearly set out in a four-year course-plan and written rationale for off-campus study. It is up to you to define your goals in consultation with your academic adviser. Since your choice of program must be linked to your academic objectives, you should begin by thinking about why you want to study off campus, i.e., your core rationale. Most students choose to link their off-campus study to their major or concentration while others may wish to use the experience to enhance their understanding of other subjects studied on campus.

Additional Objectives for Off-Campus Study

In addition to the core rationale described above, your choice of program may be partly determined by additional academic objectives you want to achieve. For example, you may wish to broaden your liberal arts education by studying a language or taking courses not offered at Grinnell. You may also have broader educational goals connected to the experience of living in another culture. The possibility of community service, fieldwork, or an internship might be an important consideration. Additional objectives such as these are important to consider along with your core rationale and will help in selecting a program that is right for you.

Campus Program Advisers

A Program Adviser is assigned to every off-campus study program featured by Grinnell College. These advisers are familiar with the programs they represent and can provide you with detailed program information as well as answering any questions you may have.

Peer Advisers

The Institute for Global Engagement and Office of Off-Campus Study hire several Global Envoy peer advisers to provide general advice and mentoring for prospective and outbound students. In addition, every semester, large numbers of Grinnell students return from studying off campus. Talking with other students who have already studied on a program of interest to you is essential to making an intelligent decision about off-campus study.

International Students

Grinnell College is fortunate to have a diverse student body from many parts of the world. International students may be able to provide you with valuable insights and information to help you in making a decision about where to study off campus. The International Students Office will provide names of students from specified countries or regions.


Susie Duke, Director; Danielle Lussier Political Science (2022 visiting faculty); Gemma Sala, Political Science (2022 visiting faculty)

Grinnell-in-London (GIL) connects the rigorous academic experience at Grinnell to the historical, cultural, political context of the United Kingdom through a cohort-based immersive semester living in and exploring London and the surrounding region. Each year, two Grinnell faculty lead the program. GIL partners with the Institute for Study Abroad-Butler (IFSA) at their London Centre for student services, activities, and elective courses. Students are required to take the core cultural course (CCC), which is team-taught by Grinnell faculty and cross-listed. The CCC includes field trips prior to the start of the term at sites around the UK as well as community engagement throughout the semester. Students may then choose to take either one or both individually taught courses offered by Grinnell faculty. To complete the course load, GIL students may choose from a wide variety of IFSA electives that are taught by local London faculty. Click here for IFSA electives. 


SST/HUM 195 Global and Local Cultures in the UK (required course) 4 credits

In this interdisciplinary course, students will examine the ways in which global and local dynamics intertwine in the United Kingdom, considering historical legacies, social and political processes and artistic, media and literary expressions. This course will explore London’s multicultural character and compare it to parallel processes within the country and in the international arena from multiple perspectives. Regular field trips in London and the UK will form the core of the course. Prerequisite: None. LUSSIER/SALA

POL/SST 295 How United is the Kingdom? Identities, Secession and Globalization in Britain 4 credits

Many countries in Europe face secessionist movements that threaten their territorial integrity. Nowhere are these trends more apparent than in the U.K., where support for independence in Scotland, for Irish reunification and for Brexit are increasingly dominant. What explains the heightened mobilization of these nationalisms? And what sense do they make in a growing global context? This course explores the interplay between national identities and the dynamics of globalization in the UK. Prerequisite: POL-101 if course taken as POL-295.  SALA

SST/POL 295 Democracy and Inequality 4 credits

For more than 25 centuries, the idea of democracy has been discussed, debated, and differentially understood. The modern ideal of democracy, modeled on the virtues of civil liberties and self-governance, sits in tension with the reality that political resources are distributed unequally across individuals and countries. We will explore these themes through an interdisciplinary approach centered on active engagement in London: home to the world’s oldest 
democracy, a former imperial center, and global gateway. Prerequisite: None. LUSSIER