Global Scholars Program

First Year Global Scholars Program

A cornerstone of a Wellesley education is developing a global perspective on issues of academic and personal interest. The Global Scholars program is designed for students who plan to pursue academic topics with global reach, those who want a study abroad option early in their academic careers, or those who feel they would benefit from learning and living in a more intimate cohort as they transition to college.

These programs are immersive experiences with rigourous academics focused on the local culture and contemporary issues, integrated faculty-led study trips in and around the host city or region, internships with local organizations working to make positive change in their communities, and excellent student support services with 24/7 emergency assistance.

Global Scholars will participate in a three-day orientation on the Wellesley campus and will travel together to the host country where they will be met by on-site staff at the arrival airport. Global Scholars will participate in a spring entry orientation and take part in a special ceremony hosted by President Paula Johnson to recognize their participation in this new initiative.


Information Session: Tuesday, May 25, 7:00pm ET (recording linked here)
Deadline to Apply: June 10, 2021 (application instructions below in the "Apply Now" section)

  • Local Partner: College Year Athens (long time Wellesley partner, program founded by Wellesley alum)

  • Language of Instruction: English

  • Housing & Meals: Students will live in CYA owned apartments shared with other Wellesley first year students. Apartments include 2-4 double bedrooms with shared kitchen, bath and living spaces. All are located within a short walk of the CYA study center. Lunch during the week will be provided by CYA, and students will receive a food allowance to cover the cost of groceries and the occasional meal out.
  • Academics: All students will enroll in 4 courses and should select at least one course in area 1 and one course in area 2 from the following groups:
  1. the program's core course: Solidarity, Social Movements & the Fight for Justice & Change in Greece: A Service Learning Approach (area 2) 
  2. one course from this group (ancient): Ancient Greek Art & Archaeology (area 1); Greek Myth & Religion (area 1 or 2); Sports, Games & Spectacles (area 2)
  3. one course from this group (contemporary): Contemporary Urbanism (area 2); Sociology of Dissent (area 2); Religions of the Middle East (area 2); Immigrants, Citizenship & Nationalism in Europe (area 2)
  4. one language course: Beginning Ancient GreekBeginning Modern GreekIntermediate Latin IAdvanced Latin I (area 1)
    or: one additional course from section 2 or 3, or from the CYA offering available with instructor permission​​
  • Experiential learning: The core course includes a 45 hour internship in a local organization that aims to promote social justice.
  • Excursions: In addition to regular field trips integrated into classes, students will participate in study trips with program faculty. Travel sites will include the Peloponnese, Delphi and Crete for a total of 10-12 days. Global Scholars will also have the opportunity to enroll at no additional cost in an optional 3-day field study program to Andros (September 10-12) or Metsovao, Ionnina & Meteora (October 8-10), or may instead opt to receive a travel grant to support independent travel within Greece.
  • Independent exploration: Any independent overnight travel must be approved by the local staff.
  • Program Dates: The semester in Greece runs from August 30 through December 17. The on-campus pre-departure orientation will take place August 27-29.
  • My name is Anna Hu (she/her), I'm class of 2022 and majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in English. I was lucky enough to travel to Spain and then Greece for seven weeks each this past year, and I'd love to share my experiences with you and answer any questions you may have! I'll be popping into some of the zoom sessions and will be at the on-campus orientation, but if there's anything you want to talk about in the meantime -- whether that be CYA or Wellesley related --feel free to email me ( . There's so much for to explore in Greece, so I'm looking forward to helping you find the best experience and balance for you. I also can't wait to hear about all the new favorite places you find while abroad :) Here is one of mine --the ancient Agora of Athens!

  • Hi y'all! My name is Abby Martinage (she/her or they/them both work!) and I'm an incoming sophomore at Wellesley. I'm planning to major in English with Creative Writing, and thanks to my time in Athens (shoutout to Professor Eleni Fassa's Ancient Greek Myth and Religion course!), I'm thinking about picking up a second major in Classical Civ! My first year at W and my six weeks in Greece were certainly a little different than your time will be, due to the pandemic, but I still fell absolutely in love with both places, and I'm sure you will too! I can't wait to get to know you all and support you through what I think will be an incredible experience, but for now, I'd like to share some of my favorite places with you. While you're in Athens, make sure to grab ice cream at Maraboo on Archelaou Street, watch the sunset from the top of Lycabettus Hill (or the top of the Panathenaic Stadium!), and grab coffee at the café on the steps at Plaka – it has an ADORABLE rooftop balcony!! And when you're at Wellesley, come find me and I'll take ya to Tupelo Point! See ya soon!

General Information

Academic Credit & Grading

All students will enroll in 4 courses. Each course is pre-approved to fulfill a distribution requirement at Wellesley, and many will also fulfill major or minor requirements. Students will take courses for a grade and must earn a C or better for the course to transfer to Wellsley. The transfer course will appear on the Wellesley transcript but will not factor into the Wellsley GPA. So, while the semester is not technically "shadow graded" as is the case for first year students on campus, the effect is essentially the same but students will receive a graded transcript from Wellesley's partner abroad that can be submitted to graduate or fellowship programs. 

Orientation & Travel

Global Scholars will be matched with student mentors who have studied abroad in their program location to assist with orientation and to serve as a resource throughout their time abroad and during their transition to campus in the spring. All program participants will take part in a a three-day orientation on the Wellesley College campus on August 27-29 before leaving together for Greece. Students should plan to arrive at Wellesley before 3:30pm on Thursday, August 26 (but may arrive after 3:30pm on Wednesday, August 25). The group will depart Boston together on Sunday, August 29 for arrival in Athens on Monday, August 30. Students will be met at the airport in Athens by College Year Athens staff and assisted with transfer to their accommodations. The College will purchase return flights at the end of the semester to each student's preferred airport


Health & Safety

All students must be vaccinated against Covid-19 to participate. Program participants will be covered by Wellesley's Travel Assist Program that includes a robust health and mental health insurance coverage. The program is staffed by a full team of administrative and student life staff members. A professional staff member is on call for emergencies 24/7.

Financial Information

Students will be billed Wellesley College comprehensive fee for the Fall Semester. The comprehensive fee will cover tuition, housing, meals, orientation, excursions and cultural activities, and 24/7 access to local staff for emergency assistance. All students will be covered by Wellesley's Travel Assist Program with a robust medical and mental health benefit. Financial Aid applies, so that the cost of the semester abroad should be similar to a semester on campus for students regardless of need.

Apply Now

Applications for the Fall 2021 program are now closed. For any questions about the application process or about the Global Scholars program in general, please email Director of International Study.