Global Education Opportunities

In the expandable sections below, you will find answers to a number of frequently asked questions about studying abroad as a student in the Politics Department.

Should I study abroad?

The Politics Department generally encourages students to study abroad to broaden their experience and gain new perspectives on their studies here at Bates. Many students have found study abroad to be a transformative experience.

It is very important, though, that your academic studies away from Bates be an integral part of your overall academic course of study toward your degree, that it build in some way on courses and material studied thus far at Bates, and that it inform your educational choices in some way upon your return.

Pursuing educational opportunities beyond Bates is not for everyone. For those who want an extended experience abroad, but may not be interested in academic pursuits, there are also some programs that offer employment and internship opportunities abroad. While you may not receive credit for such programs, they often offer students a more intense and enriching cultural experience than some study abroad programs. Research them carefully.

How do I decide which program is right for me?

The  Center for Glabal Education   Provides resources to help you select the optimal program for your goals. A first step, the, would be to connect with that Center for more information. You should also speak to your academic advisor in the Politics Department for general advice.

In general, you should choose a program that offers educational opportunities (either academic or experiential) that are important to you, but that you cannot find at Bates. All things being equal, you should choose a program that would allow you to learn or improve your skills in another language. Alternatively, you may seek a program that offers subject matter in Politics that is not offered at Bates. Importantly, your reason for picking a particular program may not be confined to your interest in politics: a student with a longstanding interest in renaissance art might find a semester in Italy interesting. It is useful even in these cases, however, that you take at least some coursework prior to your study abroad that would help you understand better what you experience abroad.

Should I go for a year or for a semester?

The experience of studying abroad for a year is very different from that of studying one semester. If you seriously want to improve your language capabilities, if you really want to know the country you are visiting, you should consider seriously studying abroad the entire year. Of course, there are costs in terms of your coursework here at Bates, so please plan accordingly.

How many courses taken abroad can I count towards the Politics major?

Subject to departmental approval, students may receive credit for a maximum of two relevant off-campus courses. No Courses taken abroad can be applied to credits needed to complete a student’s major-focus area.

Can the courses I take abroad count for my major focus area?


Can a course taken abroad count as my 300-level seminar?


Can Politics courses taken in Bates Fall Semester Abroad( FSA) programs count toward the major?

These courses count just as if they were taken at Bates. Students who participate in a Bates FSA Program with a faculty member from the Politics Department generally receive one 200-level credit in the focus area designated by the faculty member.

How do I apply for study abroad?

You apply through the Center for Global Education  located in Roger Williams Hall. The staff at the center will give you necessary forms and point you to important resources.

You must declare your major before the applications will be accepted.

As part of this process, therefore, you must consult both with your adviser and with the department chair so that your major declaration is completed prior to application for study beyond Bates.

We recommend that prior to pursuing nay investigation of study beyond Bates that you speak with your advisor in Politics so you have a better idea of how to research opportunities.

How do I get approval for credit for my courses?

You receive final approval only after you return. Before you go, however, you should consult with the department chair in order to ensure that the courses you plan to take will, in fact, receive credit within the major.

When you return to campus from your study beyond Bates, you will need to complete a set of forms so that your credits apply to your degree, your politics major, as well as any other majors, minors, or GEC’s that you may pursue. All forms can be found here: Global Education applying credits

What if I really want an experience abroad, but it doesn’t really fit into my academic course of study?

There are several ways to have an experience abroad without sacrificing a semester’s study here at Bates. Sometimes, these other experiences may give you more insight into the life and culture of a particular place than would a study abroad program. You might consider, for example, various grants that Bates makes available to students for summer projects at home and abroad. There are also programs designed to help you find employment or an internship outside the United States.