International Programs & Study Abroad
As a corollary to its mission to prepare women to be active, responsible members of a world community, Sweet Briar encourages qualified students to spend all or part of the junior year in study abroad. The College sponsors and directs the Sweet Briar Junior Year in France and Junior Year in Spain programs and has special relationships with universities in Italy, Germany, Japan, and Scotland. Some Sweet Briar financial aid may be used by students to pursue studies in these programs. Students interested in participation in other programs may apply for special study abroad scholarships. These scholarship opportunities are limited and competitive. The College also approves other programs for credit under the sponsorship of accredited four-year domestic colleges, universities, or other educational organizations, or by direct admission to accredited foreign institutions, including internships abroad. General foreign study information is available from the Director of International Students and Study Abroad, who works to match each student to a program that fits her academic and career goals.
In general, to qualify for approved study abroad in the junior year, a student should have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average by the end of her sophomore year. She must also have shown strength in her major area of study. Her proposed program should include at least one course in her major or in related fields.
Although study abroad is in keeping with the liberal-arts tradition, in some fields of specialization other options may be preferable. For this reason and in order to plan her program of study carefully in advance, a student wishing to spend all or part of the junior year abroad should confer with the Director of International Students and Study Abroad, as well as an academic advisor in her intended major at an early date, preferably in her first year, but no later than November 30 of her sophomore year.
Each student wishing to study abroad, whether for an entire year or for a single term, must submit a dossier of supporting materials and forms to the Director of International Students and Study Abroad. The dossier and forms must be completed no later than December 15 of her sophomore year.
Students who participate in a study abroad program must still pass three writing intensive courses in addition to the first-year writing requirement as required by the General Education Program.
In all cases, the approval of the College must be sought in advance if credit toward the Sweet Briar degree is to be granted. In exceptional cases, modifications to the guidelines described above may be requested from the International Studies Advisory Committee.
Junior Year in France
Sweet Briar’s Junior Year in France offers a program of foreign study in Tours and Paris for an academic year or a term to well prepared students who are especially interested in the language, history, and culture of France or who desire to specialize in such subjects as art, history, international affairs, or political science. Students from more than 35 colleges and universities across the nation study in this distinguished program each year.
A candidate is expected to have at least two years of high-school French and two full years of college-level French, including an introductory literature course, by June of the sophomore year. The candidate should be studying French during that year. A course in European or French history is also recommended. Minimum requirements include a 3.0 grade point average in French and a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Recommendations from the Department of Languages and Cultures and her major advisor are needed before she can be recommended to the program by the Office of the Dean. Detailed information is available in the Sweet Briar Junior Year in France Office.
Junior Year in Spain
The Sweet Briar Junior Year in Spain is an intercollegiate, coeducational study abroad program. For an academic year or a term, students can enroll in two types of courses at the University of Seville: regular university courses in a wide range of fields and special courses for foreign students. Both are taught in Spanish by University of Seville faculty, in the areas of language, literature, history, art history, economics, geography, and Latin-American studies.
A candidate is expected to have at least two years of high-school Spanish and two full years of college-level Spanish, including an introductory literature course. These requirements should be met by June of the sophomore year; study of Spanish during that year is highly recommended. A course in European or Spanish history is also recommended. Minimum requirements include a 3.0 grade point average in Spanish with a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Recommendations from the Department of Languages and Cultures and the major advisor are needed before the candidate can be recommended by the Office of the Dean. Detailed information is available in the Sweet Briar Junior Year in Spain Office.
Other Semester/Academic Year Programs
Study in Scotland
Since the early 1930s, Sweet Briar has had a special relationship with St. Andrews University in Scotland. Up to 10 students each year are recommended to the faculties of St. Andrews for admission as visiting students for the junior year. Candidates for study at St. Andrews must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA and will be considered on the basis of their fields of study and academic records, as well as their capacity for independent work and their maturity. Application information and forms are available from the Director of International Students and Study Abroad.
Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts, Japan
The Japanese Studies Program at Doshisha Women’s College was started in 1992. This fall semester program offers both Japanese language courses, and courses in Japanese culture conducted in English. Prior knowledge of Japanese is not required. All students stay with Japanese families whose daughters attend the college. The campus is located midway between Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka, and provides students with easy access to these major cultural centers. For more information and application, contact the Director of International Students and Study Abroad.
Intercollegiate Center of Classical Studies
The Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (ICCS), established in 1965 by representatives of 10 American colleges and universities, provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to study Greek and Latin literature, ancient history, and archaeology and ancient art in Rome.
The Rome Center operates two terms each academic year, one from early September to mid-December, the other from late January to the end of May. Each term allows about 15 weeks of instruction and provides one full term’s academic credit. For more information and an application, contact the Classics, Religion, and Philosophy Department and the Director of International Students and Study Abroad.
Wake Forest/SASASAAS Program in China-Beijing
The Wake Forest/SASASAAS in China Program is a one-semester (Fall) program in Chinese language, culture, and current affairs designed exclusively for students who attend schools that are members of the Southern Atlantic States Association for Asian and African Studies. This program is different from most study abroad programs in China in that students do not need a background in the language. Except for the language courses (Beginning to Advanced), all other courses are taught in English.
Middlebury Program in Florence
Middlebury College’s Italian Program in Florence will accept Sweet Briar students recommended by the Department of Languages and Cultures and the Director of International Students and Study Abroad. Classes are taught only in Italian, and students take courses in literature, art, and history. This program requires a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and the completion of first and second year Italian. Several other programs are available for Sweet Briar students in other cities of Italy.
Virginia Summer Program at Oxford
Sweet Briar is one of six Virginia colleges that sends a select group of students to St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford, England, for summer study. The program follows the English system, combining lectures and weekly tutorials conducted by British dons. The literature, history, and society of late 16th- and early 17th-century England are the central themes of both lectures and tutorials. The program is designed for rising seniors and juniors, though exceptionally qualified rising sophomores may be considered. All applicants are strongly urged to take background courses in English history and literature before applying. Applications are due February 15. Information may be obtained from the Director of International Students and Study Abroad or the Department of English.
German Summer Program in Münster
Sweet Briar, in conjunction with Vassar College and the College of William and Mary, conducts an intensive seven-week summer program of travel and study in Germany. The program entails a five-day informal trip through Germany, a five-week home-stay with a German host family, and a five-day excursion to Berlin. While in Münster, students take courses in German conversation, literature, grammar, and culture. Students who successfully complete the program receive six semester hours of credit. Minimum requirements are the completion of GRMN 101 and GRMN 102 or the equivalent, and the recommendation of the instructor. For more information, consult the Department of Languages and Cultures.
The American School of Classical Studies Summer Program at Athens
The School offers annual six-week summer sessions, usually two to twenty students each, from late June to early August. These sessions are designed for those who wish to become acquainted with Greece and its antiquities and to improve their understanding of the relationship between the country (its monuments, landscape, and climate) and its history, literature, and culture.
Each session is divided between the study of sites, monuments, and museums in Athens and trips to places chosen by the Director of the session in Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Macedonia, Northwest Greece, and the islands. Participants are required to deliver oral reports on assigned monuments or other topics.
The Sweet Briar International Theatre Tour
The Sweet Briar International Theatre Tour is offered every other summer. This class, which carries three hours of credit, travels to international destinations where students attend a wide variety of theatrical experiences. The class carries a fee, which includes room, board, travel, and theatre admissions.
Other Study Abroad Programs
Sweet Briar also offers students a number of opportunities for study abroad throughout the world including, but not limited to, Australia, Austria, Bermuda, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Guam, Holland, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Korea, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Panama, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, Trinidad, and Tobago. Students should meet with the Director of International Students and Study Abroad for further information.
Students may earn Sweet Briar academic credit for participating in an internship abroad, provided they have faculty supervision and approval. For fall or spring semester internships, students are eligible for a proportionate amount of their Sweet Briar merit scholarships, if they are billed by Sweet Briar for the internship credits. Please contact the Director of International Students and Study Abroad or the Financial Aid Office to learn more about this option.
Off-Campus Study in the United States
Seven-College Exchange Consortium
Sweet Briar participates with six other colleges (Hampden-Sydney College, Hollins University, Mary Baldwin College, Randolph-Macon College, Randolph College, and Washington and Lee University) in a program that allows students, usually juniors, to spend a term or an academic year at one of the other colleges. The primary purpose of this consortium is to pool resources, thereby making it possible to expand and extend the offerings of the individual colleges. Information is available from the Office of the Dean.
A student at Sweet Briar may take a course at Lynchburg College or Randolph College in the spring or fall semester, provided the course is not currently available at Sweet Briar. No tuition will be charged in addition to that already paid to Sweet Briar, but the student must pay any extra fees or charges. Grades earned at these colleges are accepted in transfer. The Tri-College Consortium program is not available for courses offered in terms other than fall or spring.
American University Washington Term
An upper-class student may spend a term in one of several American University programs in the areas of public law, American politics, journalism, international and environmental development, or economic, foreign, or domestic policy determination. Applications should be made by the middle of the term prior to the Washington Term to the Department of Government.
Subject to the stipulations set by the faculty, up to 18 credit hours toward the Sweet Briar degree may be obtained in summer study in accredited American colleges and universities, in approved summer programs abroad, and for internships and independent study projects. All such work must have prior approval from the academic department and the Registrar's Office. Information may be obtained from the Registrar’s Office.