Objectives and Selection Criteria


The Fall Semester Abroad Program was adopted by the faculty in 1985 and reviewed and extended in 1990. These guidelines are based on this legislation, a program review undertaken in 2000, and insights gained by the Off-Campus Study Committee’s experience with the program over time.

The Committee on Off-Campus Study encourages applications for fall semester abroad programs from all members of the faculty, regardless of disciplinary affiliations. The original faculty legislation envisioned programs which would meet the following objectives.


  1. “To combine academic learning with a cross-cultural learning experience and to enrich a Bates undergraduate education by offering a unique study opportunity not available in the U.S.A.”
  2. “To make significant improvement in language proficiency through intensive language instruction.”
  3. “To give Bates students early in their undergraduate career (first year students or sophomores) the opportunity to study and to work in a foreign country and thus to develop an awareness of and a sensitivity to a different culture.” These goals are achieved through programs which include A) language study; B) an interdisciplinary course in the target culture, and C) a thematic course. While language study is an integral part of these programs, language instruction has typically been undertaken by native speakers in the host country, leaving Bates faculty free to offer the interdisciplinary and thematic courses.

Additional criteria

In considering Fall Semester Abroad proposals, the committee will consider: 

  • The proposed program’s contribution to language instruction and other fields and disciplines taught at the college. Preference is given to  programs that support languages taught on campus, including Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. These programs contribute significantly to the instruction of the languages taught at Bates by providing visibility, accelerating learning, and enhancing enrollment. [A maximum of one Asian and one European language program will be approved in a given year.] While preference is given to programs featuring languages taught on campus the Committee will consider programs that provide opportunities in other language settings.
  • The faculty members’ qualifications for leading the program at the particular site location, as well as interest in and commitment to the program’s objectives. Faculty leaders should have significant experience in the host culture and, ideally, in leading an off-campus program with students, such as a Short Term unit. The Committee will look for connections between previous work, research, or teaching related to the history and culture of the location.
  • The cultural and geographic diversity provided by the balance of programs offered recently and in a given year. It is our intention that multiple offerings represent the college’s ongoing commitment to diversity. There is a maximum of two programs per fall with an enrollment requirement of 20-25 students per program.
  • The merits of repeating programs with proven track records versus the desirability of keeping the program open to new proposals. The Committee recognizes the value of continuity as well as the advantage to maintaining flexibility in the program, to allow for changes in curriculum, political climate, and student interest.
  • When the second faculty member is not identified in the original proposal, all faculty are invited to apply for the second position by the Director of the Center for Global Education. If more than one individual applies, the explanation that accompanied the faculty legislation for the program specifies that this second individual is selected by a committee consisting of the Director of the Center for Global Education, the Dean of the Faculty, the chair of the Off-Campus Study Committee and, if available, the most recent director of an FSA in that country.
  • Services and risk mitigation is a matter of importance for any off-campus study experience. Proposals should include strong on-the-ground services and support, generally a contracted third party, and should consider all worst case scenarios in advance. Faculty are not expected to handle all aspects of the study abroad experience and should include a partnership with a local institution or study abroad provider.


Faculty salary & replacement policy:

The Bates Faculty receive their regular Bates salary and benefits for the fall semester. Replacement faculty are appointed to assume the FSA faculty’s teaching commitments, unless the Department or Program agrees to an alternative arrangement with the Dean of the Faculty.