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Academic Preparation

Planning Study Abroad: Academic Preparation

With proper planning, any student, no matter their major, should be able to participate in a study abroad experience. Some study abroad programs require a certain level of language proficiency or pre-requisites in major subjects. Most Swarthmore departmental websites include information about study abroad. Some factors to consider are the timing of study abroad in light of the sequencing of courses at Swarthmore, required courses for the major, and the twenty-course rule. Students should discuss their interest in pursuing study abroad in their meetings with their academic advisor and later with their major advisor(s).

Premedical students should not take any of their required pre-med coursework abroad. For more information about scheduling required courses to free up a semester to make study abroad possible, consult the Guide to Premedical Studies on Swarthmore's Premedical website.

Both pre-med and pre-law students should think of study abroad as an opportunity to immerse themselves in another country, and learn about the people, the culture, and the language. Gigi Simeone, Health Sciences/Pre-law Advisor is available to chat if you have questions or concerns.

With early and careful planning it’s possible to do an honors program along with one semester abroad during the junior or senior year, but it must be planned out in advance. It is sometimes possible to do an honors preparation based on work done abroad, but this can only be done with the approval of the sponsoring Swarthmore department, and the specifics must be worked out in advance. The chair of your actual or prospective major department will be the main advisor for this.