Process and Application

Williams Study Away Basics

  • Familiarize yourself with this website. It is informative, thorough, and instructional. Answers to your questions are covered here.
  • Study Away programs and courses: Liberal Arts only, no business or marketing programs or courses are accepted for Williams credit.  There are no exceptions.
  • Attend one of the two “General Information Sessions” held in the Fall. Meetings are announced in the Campus Daily Messages, WSO announcements, and notices are sent to sophomore email. Attendance at ONE of these meetings is MANDATORY.
  • Stop by the International Education and Study Away Office and read and research the program literature provided. The evaluations from students who have studied away in years previous to those evaluations that are available on this website are also available for you to read. This is a critical step when choosing where you want to study.
  • Talk with students who have studied abroad in the country or program in which you are interested. A list of students who have recently returned from abroad.
  • Once you have an idea of where you wish to go, meet with the Director of International Education and Study Away  by January 1 to discuss your plans. Walk-in hours are posted on the website or call for an appointment if these hours are not convenient for you.
  • Submit the Study Away Questionnaire prior to you meeting with the Director.
  • If a program is not listed in PeopleSoft, please email with the name of the program and country. It is possible that it is on our inactive list.
  • If the program is not approved and you wish to study there, complete a “New Program Approval” form. When you have decided on a program or programs, complete the Study Away Petition on PeopleSoft.
  • Download your selected program application(s) or fill them out online. Check deadlines carefully and submit all materials well before the deadline.
  • Discuss your plans with your study abroad advisor, usually the Chair, of your major department. He/she can approve your plan for credit in the major on PeopleSoft at anytime before or after the March 1st deadline.
  • Submit a Study Away Petition in PeopleSoft along with your Study Away Essay (official request to Committee on Academic Standing (CAS) to study away in your junior year) by the March 1 deadline  (instructions)
    • The petition must be submitted by the March 1 deadline if you wish to study away in the FALL, FULL YEAR, OR SPRING of the following year.
    • NO study away petitions will be accepted after the deadline.
    • Do your research! You may apply to more than one program simultaneously, however, you must list your first choice initially on your petition.
    • NOTE: You will need to submit two petitions only if you plan to study away for a full year on two different programs, one for each semester. All instructions apply to both petitions submitted.
  • You must confirm your intent to study on the program you have been accepted to via email to  and include the name of the program, country, and exact dates of the program.
    • The program designated on the study away petition may be changed only once after submission. (Meet with the Director of International Education and Study Away to discuss new plans. Your petition will be amended at the time you confirm your acceptance with the International Education and Study Away Office. Your email must include new program, dates of program, new intended courses, and new Study Away essay.)
  • Complete the mandatory Pre-Departure Webinar and quiz held in the spring semester if you plan to study away for the upcoming fall semester or full year away.  Complete the mandatory Pre-Departure Webinar and quiz held in the fall if you plan to study away in the spring semester.
  • Students are responsible for requesting their transcripts to be sent to the International Education and Study Away office once they complete their program. The program transcript of grades will not be processed for Williams credit until the program evaluation is received.

Applying to Study Away Programs

  • Applications can be downloaded or you may apply directly online.
  • Most applications require one or more of the following:
    • Essay. Programs usually wish to assess your motivations for study abroad and will ask for a short essay. This also serves as an example of your writing ability.
    • Letters of recommendation. These should be written by professors who know you and your academic abilities. Ask a faculty member who knows your work best, even if the professor is outside your major. Be sure to give the form to the professor at least 10 days before you wish it to be submitted. The recommendation can be mailed directly to the program or university, or you can ask for it in a signed and sealed envelope to enclose with your application. Always request to have recommendations from your professors completed on a specific date so there can be no confusion.
    • Director’s Approval. Many programs require the signature and assurance from the Director that you are in good academic standing and will receive transfer credit upon successful completion of the program. The Approval From needs to be downloaded and printed from your online application for the Director to sign, and my be simply dropped off in the International Education and Study Away Office; you need not make an appointment to have this form signed. However, the Director will not sign this form if you have not met with her about your study away plans. In this case, you may schedule a meeting with her and bring the form with you. Since hundreds of students submit applications to study abroad in a year, it is imperative that you submit your approval forms to the Director several weeks before the deadline. Do not wait until a few days or even a week before the application is due. It is to your advantage to submit the application to the program as early as possible. Many programs fill their quotas early and acceptance is on a rolling basis.
    • Transcripts. You must order an official copy of your transcript(s) from the Registrar’s Office. You may have your transcript sent directly to the program or you can pick it up and enclose it with your application. Transcript requests require a signature so e-mail is not acceptable. Allow a few days for the processing of your transcript request.
    • Medical Report. This form can be completed at the Health Center. Be sure to discuss with the folks at the Health Center any physical or medical/psychological problems which might interfere with your ability to take full advantage of your foreign study experience.
  • Application Deadlines: The deadlines vary from program to program. Basically deadlines for fall or full-year programs are from December l to mid-April; for spring programs from October l to mid-November. Be sure to check deadline dates carefully. Many programs have rolling admissions rather than a specific deadline, so the general rule is: submit your application as soon as you know which program(s) you want to apply to. You must assume responsibility for checking on the application deadline and on the status of your completed application.

Inquiries regarding Study Away at Williams should be directed to