door to the world

Resources for Programs

First of all, OCS would like to extend a sincere thank you for all of the work our domestic and international partners do in support of the visiting Bowdoin students you host.

This page is designed for the programs and universities who work with visiting Bowdoin students to understand Bowdoin’s process, policies, and values in sending our students to study with you. If you have a question that is not answered on this page, by all means contact us by phone (x3473) or email ( and we’ll be happy to help!

Off-campus study at Bowdoin

Each year approximately 50% of the junior class, or about 250-300 students, participate in off-campus study for a semester or year, plus a smaller number of students who study abroad in the summer. Bowdoin values off-campus study and supports student participants in a variety of ways, including allowing financial aid to be transferred, transferring back credit, and creating opportunities for international experiences to live on. Bowdoin does not have a limit/quota of students allowed to study-away.

Our process
Students may choose to study away from Bowdoin for a semester or year from an approved options list (more about our list below) and in exceptional cases may petition to attend a program off the list. Students submit two applications: a registration of intent to study away in November (typically of their sophomore year), and an OCS “full” application in late February. By this February date, students should have talked with us and their academic advisor, chosen one program (rarely student will apply to a back up), and have declared their major. Here is a summary of that process. Bowdoin does not have a limit/quota of students allowed to study-away.

Our advising
Our advising is based on helping students find the right “fit” academically and personally. We meet most students in person at least once, but often more, during the whole process. We encourage to be proactive and get in touch with prospective programs/universities to ask questions and clarify information. We almost exclusively rely on program/university websites for up to date information about admissions, class offerings, calendar, and costs. We no longer keep print brochures in our office for student or staff reference, so there is no need to send them.

Our approved options list
Our list is managed by our office. Our list will change as needed to reflect the needs and feedback of our students and academic departments, however it largely stays the same year to year. Students may, however, petition to participate in a program/university not on the list and if the academic rationale is compelling approval will be considered. If you represent an institution not currently on our list we are still happy to learn about your program, but it cannot be added to our list automatically.

Academics and finances
Here is more information about our academic policies and how our students pay for off campus study.

Visiting Bowdoin
We welcome your visits year-round, but out biggest representative event for the year is the first Wednesday in October for our Fair. Representatives from the institutions on our list will be invited in the July proceeding the fair. If you should have been invited and didn’t receive an invitation, please let us know. Fair information will be distributed to attendees at least a week ahead of the fair. Contact us at any point if you have any questions.