door to the world

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to study at a domestic institution this summer—can OCS help with that?

In the case of summer study, OCS is better suited for international experiences and we only process “Applications for the Transfer of Credit” for students going abroad. You’ll want to talk with your professors about finding a domestic institution and you’ll turn in the application form on April 1 to the Registrar’s office.

I want to study abroad this summer—can OCS help with that?

Yes, but our advising for summer study is different than for semester/year study because we work with many fewer summer students and don’t have a summer Options List. If a student is unsure where they would like to study off-campus, OCS can provide some advising on some options that may be available to them in order to earn credit transfer. However, if a student brings identifies a program on which they would like to participate, it is the student that is responsible to ensure that criteria is met to ensure credit transfer. Our office is happy to meet with you and talk ahead of the April 1 deadline! (Please be aware of OCS’s busy times for semester/year students before the November 1 and February 21 deadlines—if you make an appointment then we may ask you to reschedule until after those deadlines pass.)

How do finances work for summer study?

Families must pay for summer programs (and related costs like flights) themselves. There is no financial aid through Bowdoin for summer study, unless you are a Faculty Scholar in which case you may have some funds for a non-credit bearing experience. There are some national scholarships like the Boren and Gilman that can fund summer study (often there’s a preference for STEM students whose requirements limit opportunities for semester/year study), and some programs have summer scholarships. It is your responsibility to research and apply for these opportunities.

How many credits can I earn from summer study?

Earning credit abroad requires that students ensure that the program on which they are participating is an accredited institution or program that can issue credit and all coursework must receive a grade. How much credit you can earn varies depending on how many credits the program issues but you can only earn 1 credit max per class and sometimes less (see the credit conversion chart on the “Application for Transfer of Credit” form). The Registrar’s office can help you calculate how many credits you can anticipate from your summer program.

Will I need a passport or visa for a summer study?

It depends. Domestic programs do not require these from US citizens, but they may require it of non-US citizens. Check with the program/university if you have questions. All international programs will require a passport for entry to that country, but it depends on the country, length of stay, and your citizenship if a visa is required. Check with the program/university if you have questions about this.

Can I do a summer program with an internship?

You may attend a summer program that has an internship, but just as with semester/year students Bowdoin cannot grant credit for that internship. If there are classes taken as well as the internship you may be able to get credit for these. 


Can I do a summer language program to increase my language level at Bowdoin or at another study abroad program?

Yes you can and depending on the language department at Bowdoin you may be able to get major/minor credit, or you may be able to test into a higher level. Please check with faculty in your language department to learn more. You may also want to be aware of the Critical Language Scholarship and domestic language institutions like Middlebury, Beloit, and the Five Colleges.

Do you know about any summer sports programs abroad?

This really isn’t in OCS’s purview—try talking to your coach to find such a program. If there is an academic component to it (that’s in a liberal arts subject area—remember Bowdoin doesn’t grant credit for Phys. Ed. or Sports Management type classes) then come by OCS and we’ll try to help determine if it’s credit-worthy.