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Study Abroad

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can study abroad?

Students often study abroad in France. Any student, regardless of major, may be eligible to study abroad. It’s not just for language majors or minors anymore.

Where can I study?

It is possible to study in an increasing number of countries around the world, with more options being added every year. In the past few years, Carthage students have studied in Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Spain, and the UK, among others.

How will I study?

There are a number of different formats for your study abroad experience, ranging from direct enrollment at a foreign university, to enrollment in a language program, to enrollment in a Carthage-sponsored program. A number of our students also participate in programs offered by other U.S. universities or international study program providers (see the “Preferred Program” list available in the Study Abroad Office or from the Director of Education Abroad).

What can I study?

Nearly all academic disciplines and interests may be studied during your time abroad. Internship opportunities are also available in some locations. Some students choose to combine the academic and internship options into one experience. A number of Carthage students choose to fulfill distribution (general education) and/or major or minor requirements while abroad. (These must be approved prior to departure.)

When can I study abroad?

The best time to study abroad is usually during the junior year, as the student will likely have declared a major, begun the associated coursework, and completed many of his or her distribution requirements. Upon completion of the study abroad experience, the student returns to campus to finish the major with a new perspective and a broader understanding of the world around us, ready to tie the undergraduate education together in a meaningful way. In some instances, a well-prepared, highly motivated sophomore may participate in the international education experience, and occasionally, a senior may choose to study abroad as well.

Do I have to be fluent in another language?

Yes or no. It’s worthwhile to keep in mind the importance of knowing the language of the country in which you will study. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively will affect the academic, social, professional, and personal integration into the host culture.

Yes — If your plan is to enroll directly in a foreign university, you must know the language of the host country well enough to follow lectures, complete assigned readings and research, and take written and/or oral examinations; thus you must be highly proficient in the appropriate language. Typically, a minimum of two years of college level study is required for programs conducted in the language of the country. (You should, however, verify the requirements of your particular program prior to applying.)

No — Your ability to enroll in many programs is not determined by demonstrable proficiency in the language of the host country. Nevertheless, you should be prepared and willing to learn the language while you are there (usually through intensive language courses and your daily contact with the people around you).

For how long should I study?

Many factors contribute to the answer to this question, such as your academic goals, the ability to integrate your study abroad with your chosen academic program of study here at Carthage, etc. The majority of students find that a full year abroad is more beneficial academically, socially, professionally, and personally than is a shorter period. The depth of your experience and learning is intensified by longer stays, so please do consider carefully the advantages of a full year experience.

If I’m not able to go for a full year or semester program, are there short-term opportunities available?

Carthage offers a variety of J-Term courses that incorporate or are based on an overseas experience. These courses provide a wonderful introduction to international education, and have frequently served as the catalyst for student’s subsequent pursuit of longer programs abroad. Additionally, there are a number of summer programs available for academic credit.

Where will I live while abroad?

Student housing options vary by program (dorms or residences, apartments, homestay, etc.), though our students are strongly encouraged to live with a host family, if the option is available.

Can I get credit for my classes taken while abroad?

Yes, credit is usually awarded, provided that you have carefully planned your program of study and have obtained approval of the courses in which you will enroll while abroad PRIOR to departure. The transfer of credit is dependent upon the approval of the Registrar’s office, in conjunction with the Study Abroad office and all appropriate departments. The actual number of credits will vary by program and the number of classes taken abroad. You should review your credits with the Director of Education Abroad, your major advisor, and the Registrar’s Office before you leave for your overseas experience, but many students apply courses taken abroad to their Carthage requirements.

Will it delay my graduation?

Not if you plan ahead. Most students are able to use their study abroad courses to fulfill some of their distribution requirements and/or some requirements for their major and/or minor.

Can I take my financial aid with me abroad?

An excellent question. Each student’s financial situation is different. Typically, most sources of federal aid can be applied toward the study abroad experience, but each student should meet with a Financial Aid advisor to discuss his or her particular situation. Additionally, many study abroad programs offer “internal” scholarships for which the students may also apply. A list of additional “external” scholarships is available from the Director of Education Abroad, as well.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $22,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …