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

  • The proposed program’s contribution to language instruction at the College and to other disciplines. Past programs have contributed significantly to the instruction of the “less commonly taught languages” at Bates (Chinese, German, Japanese, and Russian) by providing visibility, opportunities for accelerated learning, and enhance enrollments on campus. These languages have a preference when competing proposals are submitted with a maximum of one Asian and one European language in a given year. This preference, however, is not absolute since the Committee wants to preserve opportunities for programs in other language settings. to other disciplines will necessarily be tentative in the proposals that do not designate the second Bates faculty participant.
  • The faculty members’ qualifications for leading the program, as well as interest in and commitment to the program’s objectives. The faculty leaders should have experience in the host culture and, ideally, in leading an off-campus program with students, such as a Short Term unit. The Committee is interested in the professional/ research benefits which might accrue to the faculty leader and others involved. In the 1990 review of the program, one of the benefits that emerged was the expansion of faculty teaching and research interests into new areas.
  • The cultural and geographic diversity of programs in those years when multiple programs are proposed, and their balance with programs offered in prior years. It is our intention that multiple offerings represent the college’s ongoing commitment to multi-cultural diversity. There is a maximum of two programs per fall with an enrollment goal 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, whether need or not. Proposals should include strong on the ground services and support, generally from a contracted third party, and should consider all worst case scenarios in advance. It would not be expected that these factors could be handled by faculty leaders, 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.