Selecting a Program

In general, students are expected to select curriculum abroad that will complement studies undertaken on campus, in relation to work in the major field planned for the senior year.

Occasionally, a student will spend a semester overseas on a program unrelated to her major, but which gives her the opportunity to explore another dimension of her interests. 

Wellesley College students are encouraged to first consider enrolling in a Wellesley-sponsored or Wellesley-affiliated study abroad program. These programs have been designed by Wellesley faculty with the particular needs of our students in mind. The Wellesley programs provide extensive pre-departure assistance, easy credit transfer and seamless portability of financial aid. 

Students who are seeking a more independent immersion experience should consider direct enrollment in one of the Wellesley Exchange Programs. The exchanges are reciprocal, with students -- and sometimes faculty -- going to and coming from the partner university, enabling our students to develop long-term relationships with some the local degree students and to serve as Wellesley ambassadors abroad.

In addition, Wellesley students may select from among more than 150 programs or host universities located in every world region and offering courses in every subject offered at Wellesley.

When researching programs students should consider:

  • their academic goals and requirements, 
  • their language preparation, 
  • the level of on-site support they will need, 
  • whether they would prefer to enroll in courses with local students or courses designed for US study abroad students, 
  • whether it is important to be in a major metropolitan area or in an area where there are not many Americans. 

Because there are so many options, most students need some help identifying programs that will be a good fit and will need to do a good deal of research and soul-searching. As a starting point, students are encouraged to:

  • Log in to our Study Abroad app in MyWellesley (linked here) to try out the "Explore Programs" search feature, and fill out the study abroad interest form for suggestions from OIS staff about programs that might be a good fit for you.
  • Follow up with an in-person, skype or phone meeting with OIS Staff. Advising hours are posted on the OIS calendar.

In addition, the OIS offers information sessions and panel discussions throughout the fall semester as well as the annual study abroad fair, all opportunities to get first-hand information from program representatives and alumnae. Check the calendar for dates and times.