Semester Away Overview

Semester & Academic Year Away Basics

While Colorado College's innovative Block Plan provides opportunities for students to enroll in a single course that travels to other parts of the world, sometimes a more immersive, longer-duration, multi-subject semester or year abroad is more aligned with student interests and academic goals.  This is why CC, in addition to its Block Away offerings also maintains a pre-approved pool of over 120 different half-semester, full semester, and full academic year opportunities.  This pool includes CC faculty-led half-semester and semester programs as well as university exchanges and direct enrollments which allow students to spend a semester immersed in the life of a renown global university; single-subject immersive semesters in fields such as Computer Science, Mathematics, Environmental Sciences, or language immersion; and multi-subject semester programs designed specifically for students at U.S. colleges and universities. 


Students who opt to join a semester or year abroad program will pay standard CC tuition for their time away, and all billing for other semester away charges (lodging, for example) will be billed through CC. This allows the college to provide financial aid just as it would for an on-campus semester, ensuring that a semester away is offered at a cost comparable to a semester on campus, reducing the financial barrier for students to participate in both semester and year abroad opportunities.  


For any CC-led program, courses are part of the Colorado College curriculum and are enrolled directly through CC, while for partner-sponsored programs, credit is treated as transfer credit and the Global Education Office maintains a course transfer database, making it easy for students to select courses and know the CC equivalencies before they depart.  Students can sign up for courses on our partner programs and know in advance that the credit is transferable and applicable to their CC degree.  

CC-Sponsored Semesters & Half-Semesters

Colorado College regularly offers seven different semester or half-semester programs, each with its own academic focus. These include:

  • TREE Semester (Teaching & Research in Environmental Education):  A 4-block program in rural Colorado offered each fall.  Blocks 1-4.
  • CC in Latin America: A Spanish & Portuguese language immersion program with 2 blocks in Brazil and 2 in Mexico, offered each fall.  Students may opt for Blocks 1-4 or a 2-block sequence in Blocks 1-2 (Brazil) or 3-4 (Mexico) only. 
  • CC in Berlin: A German language immersion program in partnership with the Humboldt-Institut in Berlin, offered each fall.  Students may opt for Blocks 1-4 or a 2-block sequence in Blocks 1-2 or 3-4. 
  • CC in France: A French language immersion program in partnership with the Institute Touraine in Tours, France, offered each Spring.  Students may opt for Blocks 5-8 or a 2-block sequence in Blocks 5-6 or 7-8. 
  • CC Chinese in Asia: A half-semester 2-block program in Chinese Language & Culture.  Locations can vary each year, with study possible in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Singapore.  Offered each spring.  Students enroll for Blocks 7-8. 
  • CC Russian in Bishkek: A half-semester 2-block program in Russian Language & Eurasian Cultures, in partnership with the American University of Central Asia, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.  Offered each spring.  Students enroll for Blocks 7-8. 
  • CC in Italy: A half-semester program offering either language immersion (IT203-204) or Italian History, Art & Culture (HY200 + IT320).  Program includes study in Florence, Rome, Arezzo, and Sorento.  Offered each spring.  Students enroll for Blocks 7-8. 

Partner-Sponsored Semester & Year Away

In addition to the CC Faculty-led semester programs, the Global Education team maintains a pre-approved list of 120+ partner-sponsored semester and year away programs.  These come in various shapes and sizes.



Students fully immerse themselves into a new campus, such as our exchanges in Canada, France, Finland, and Germany, or university programs such as our year abroad at the London School of Economics or semester programs at Kansai Gandai (Japan) or Hebrew University (Israel). 



There are also a range of topic-specific programs, such as the Mathematics in Budapest program, the ISDSI International Sustainability & Development Studies Institute in Thailand, or the Aquincum Institute program for Computer Science. 



Finally, there are many programs designed specifically for the enrollment of students from U.S. colleges. These programs often offer courses across many disciplines, opportunities to study with a mix of U.S.-based and local faculty, and customized excursion and field opportunities.  Examples of this final type of semester away include the programs offered by IFSA-Butler, IES Abroad, College Year in Athens, or the School for Field Studies. 


Whatever the model, wherever the location, these programs are thoroughly vetted by Colorado College for academic rigor and quality of student care.  Courses are pre-approved for transfer back to Colorado College, so that students know that their coursework abroad will move them towards their degree from CC.  


As with all semester programs, students work with the Global Education staff and their advisors to ensure that they are prepared for departure, that the courses selected are good choices for their academic goals, and that the timing of their experience does not disrupt their 4-year graduation plan.  We are happy to assist students with their interest in any of the semester and year away programs. 


Finally, if a student feels that a program not in our pre-approved pool is the best option for them, Global Education has a petition process which allows students to request access to a new program and for that program to be treated just as we would one of the programs in our pool, financially, for aid, and for credit transfer.  


Planning Your Semester Away


The process of selecting a semester or year off-campus program is different for every student, depending on academic goals, major and minor, language ability, and other considerations. Here are things to do to help you decide which program below is a good fit:

  • Usually the best place to start is to meet first with your academic advisor (in your major or possible major) to determine what your academic goals will be for your semester or year off-campus. Some students are looking to fulfill a certain major requirement or two, or really perfect their language proficiency, or challenge themselves to think differently about social justice or community learning, or do an internship or research project...the list goes on and on. Once you know more about what you specifically are looking for academically, the easier it will be to find a program that fits.
  • Discuss also with your advisor when it might make the most sense to go. Students typically study off-campus any time from Spring semester of sophomore year through Fall semester of senior year, depending on courses they should be here on campus to take. Think creatively.
  • On the most second Fridays of each block there is a "Planning Your Off-Campus Study" lunchtime workshop in Tutt Library 238 at 12:15pm, in conjunction with the Sophomore Jump program, but open to all. This is a great opportunity to start the process and get all your questions answered.
  • Look at the advising guides available for many academic majors and areas of interest.
  • Check with your department/major handbook to see if there is a section about off-campus study or any recommended programs that they really like. Please also see our departmental listing of credit transfer policies from study abroad.
  • Spend a good chunk of time browsing through the approved programs list below, to get a sense of what is even out there, and the different models and opportunities that you might have through off-campus study that you may have never even imagined existed.

Once you have talked with your academic advisor and have a sense of your academic goals, if you have additional questions, you may also email question and/or schedule an appointment with the Assistant Director of Global Education, Heather Powell Browne.

COVID-19 & Semesters Away

Please see the most recent updates on "Returning to Study Abroad" on our COVID-19 Updates page, and check with your program provider about any cancellations and modifications due to COVID. Also, check CC's institutional policies on COVID-19.

We continue to regularly monitor and communicate with each of our partner programs and CC faculty on the plans to offer and support semester and year-long study abroad program options, in conjunction with U.S. State Department and CDC travel restrictions and guidance. Students may apply to study abroad, agreeing to work closely with us as current global health conditions change. It is beneficial to apply early, as we will be in close communication with all study abroad applicants as we have more information, on a program-by-program basis. Any questions about study abroad semester planning and COVID-19 contingencies or deferrals can be directed to Heather Powell Browne.
Report an issue - Last updated: 09/29/2022