Kate Howard '16

Study Abroad and Study Away

The opportunity to study away—whether for a term or an entire year—is available to all students. It can be a wonderful way to expand upon students' work at Bennington and to broaden or specialize their interests and area of concentration in a new and exciting environment.

Our students have studied across the globe in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and Central and South America. Bennington has relationships with several study away programs and allows students to research and propose study away through new programs. We also offer exchanges with several international and domestic colleges and universities, further expanding students' study away opportunities.

Study Abroad and Study Away

Students in good academic and disciplinary standing are eligible and encouraged to study away for a term or a year at any time from their fourth through their seventh terms. Students who are interested in studying at another school should begin planning approximately a year in advance, and discuss the idea with their Plan committees. The Plan committee will evaluate programs of study and advise how the courses offered may be coordinated with the students' plan of study at Bennington.

Students must consult with the director of study away and complete the Application to Study Away in order to obtain final approval. Students may choose to apply for consortium status from the Financial Aid Office. Our Financial Aid Office would then facilitate the transfer of allowable aid to the other school. After the program is completed, an official transcript must be sent directly to the Provost and Dean's Office and official granting of transfer credit will then be determined. A Study Away Administrative Fee (SAAF) is charged. Email us for additional information or to schedule an appointment.

Getting Started With Study Away

Students in good academic and disciplinary standing are eligible and encouraged to study away for a term or a year at any time from their fourth through their seventh terms. Students who are interested in studying at another school should begin planning approximately a year in advance and should follow the steps below to get started.

Step 1: Connect with the Financial Aid Office. Students who are interested in studying away should make an appointment with the Financial Aid Office to better understand what aid will be available to them should they decide to study away via exchange, an education abroad provider, or through direct enrollment.

Step 2: Connect with Your Faculty Advisor. If you haven’t already, discuss your study away ideas (where, what, when, why...) with your faculty advisor. Your faculty advisor will also determine whether or not you will need a Plan meeting the term preceding your proposed study away. Check out the “Study Away and the Plan” section on this page for additional information.

Step 3: Choose a Path. Students currently study away through one of three channels:

  1. Education abroad provider. This is the most common channel through which our students study. Education abroad providers facilitate the study abroad process by assisting students with their application process, placement in housing, course enrollment, and with their Visa applications. They also offer in-country support once you’re away. In addition, some education abroad providers operate experiential, field-based programs for students.

  2. Direct enrollment in another college or university. Many institutions both domestically and abroad have visiting student or study abroad programs that allow you to apply for a term or year. This option tends to be a bit less expensive than studying away through an education abroad provider, but the supports (from Visa, housing, and registration assistance to mental health resources) vary widely by country and institution, so this option isn’t utilized as heavily by our students.

  3. Exchange agreements. We have both international exchanges and exchanges with domestic schools. This channel tends to be the most financially affordable option for students who receive a large amount of Bennington aid. Please see the “International Exchanges” and the “Domestic Exchanges” sections of this webpage for additional information and specific schools.

Step 4: Begin Your Research and Choose a Program. In consultation with your faculty advisor, review your options. Bennington students are not limited to a preselected list of programs and universities. Instead, you are encouraged to research and pursue a course of study that will best complement the work of your Plan. Below is a select list of programs and schools attended by previous Bennington students to help you begin your research, but you are welcome to seek out and propose alternative programs as they are relevant to your work. New programs must be approved by the director of learning beyond Bennington and the registrar to ensure the transfer of credit.

Education Abroad Providers & Direct Enrollment:
Accademia dell'Arte (Drama & Music, Italy)
Academic Programs Abroad (APA) (France)
Academic Programs International (API) (Multiple Locations)
AIFS Study Abroad (Multiple Locations)
Arava Institute (Israel)
Bard College Berlin (Germany)
Boston University Study Abroad (Multiple Locations)
Burren College of Art (Visual Art, Ireland)
CET (Multiple Locations)
CIS Abroad (Multiple Locations)
DIS (Denmark and Sweden)
CIEE (Multiple Locations)
CUPA (France)
IES (Multiple Locations)
IFSA-Butler (Multiple Locations)
International Studies Abroad (ISA) (Multiple Locations)
LAMDA (Drama, England)
London Dramatic Academy (Drama, England)
MENTE (Argentina)
Paris College of Art (France)
Prague Film School (Film, Czech Republic)
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) (Drama, England)
School for Field Studies (SFS) (Field-Based, Multiple Locations)
School for International Training (SIT) (Field-Based, Multiple Locations)
University of the Arts London (UAL) (England)
University College Cork (Ireland)
Universities Study Abroad Consortium (USAC) (Multiple Locations)

Exchange Opportunities:
AVIC Exchange (Vermont, United States, Multiple Schools)
Bath Spa University (England)
CIEL Exchange (United States, Multiple Schools)
Kansai Gaidai University (Japan)
Toi Whakaari (New Zealand, Lighting Design & Stage Management Only)
University of East Anglia (England)

Step 5: Complete & Submit Your Application. Choose the application below that corresponds to your chosen path. Completed applications should be submitted to the director of learning beyond Bennington. Deadlines for each application are listed on the individual applications.  

AVIC Exchange Application
Bath Spa University Exchange Application
Bennington Study Away Application
CIEL Exchange Application (Coming Soon)
Kansai Gaidai Exchange Application
Toi Whakaari Exchange Application (Coming Soon)
University of East Anglia Exchange Application

Still have questions? Email the director of learning beyond Bennington to schedule a time to speak.

Study Away and the Plan

Students must be approved to study away in a Plan meeting. This may happen in the 3rd term for those hoping to study away in the 4th or 5th terms. If students have been approved to study away at an initial Plan Proposal meeting, there is no need for an additional Plan meeting unless their faculty advisor feels that such a meeting would be beneficial. If students intend to study away in the 6th term, approval for study away will happen in the 5th term through an early Plan Progress and Advanced Work meeting. For students planning to study away in the 7th term, approval will happen in the 6th term through the regularly scheduled Plan Progress and Advanced Work meeting. The Plan Progress and Advanced Work meeting will be the final Plan meeting unless the faculty advisor feels that a meeting following the term away would be beneficial.

International Exchanges

The College currently has international changes in place with the following institutions:

Students who study away on exchange are able to use their institutional aid to cover tuition (and in some cases room and board) at their host institution. Each exchange operates differently. Bennington students interested in studying away on exchange should complete the Study Away Intake Form and email us for an appointment.

Institutions interested in establishing an exchange with Bennington College should email the director of learning beyond Bennington to explore a potential partnership.

Domestic Exchanges

CIEL Exchange

Bennington College is a member of the Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning (CIEL). This membership offers Bennington students the opportunity to study for a term at one of 12 other member colleges and universities around the U.S. For more information about specific CIEL opportunities, please email us for an appointment.

AVIC Exchange

The AVIC Semester Exchange Program provides Bennington Students the opportunity to study away for a term at any of the 14 partner institutions in Vermont. There are a limited number of exchange opportunities at each host institution; applicants will be selected for participation based on the connection of the proposed course of study to the work of the student's plan and the overall quality of their written application materials. Learn more about the AVIC Exchange here or get started on your AVIC Exchange Application.

Museum Fellows Term

Integrating learning across several interwoven contexts, the Museum Fellows Program spans the college’s seven-week Field Work Term and the spring term. It is an immersive educational opportunity in which students gain professional work experience at a major cultural institution; visit exhibitions and study multiple aspects of the art world with Bennington faculty; and meet artists, curators, and other arts and culture leaders. Museum partners over the first three years have included the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Brooklyn Museum, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Jewish Museum, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Interested students should email Liz White or visit the Museum Fellows Term page for more information. 

Funding Study Away

There are resources available to help students fund their study away experiences. Many study away providers offer their own grants and scholarships for students who study through their programs, and students who intend to complete work in Public Action are eligible to apply for the College's Public Action Grant. Visit the Grants and Fellowships Advising page for additional information and resources or email the director of grants and fellowships, Noelle Murphy, to schedule an appointment.

Visiting Students

The Visiting Student Program at Bennington College is an opportunity for students to supplement the undergraduate programs at their home institutions by studying at Bennington for up to two terms. The program is open to students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree-seeking program at another college/university, either within the United States or abroad.

Interested students should complete the Visiting Student Application and have their home institution complete the Home School Nomination Form. All forms should be submitted to the director of learning beyond Bennington.

Varney Glassman '16

GABORONE, BOTSWANA
"Travel and studying abroad affords us the opportunity to stand outside ourselves and our usual circumstances, which in turn allows us to better understand ourselves and our place in the world." —Varney Glassman '16

Hannah Alongi '16

ISTANBUL, TURKEY
"This city has made me face the reality of war and my own role in it as an American. It is rich in character and beauty but there is no way to shield your eyes from the severity of the situation." —Hannah Alongi '16

Beatrice Ugolini '16

BEIJING, CHINA
"Traveling makes us see what tiny place we occupy in the world; it strips us of all the triviality we fill our lives with, and shows us what really matters." —Beatrice Ugolini '16

Brendan McPherson '16

PARIS, FRANCE
"Studying in Paris was an unforgettable experience. By design, the city gives you the impression of being at the center of the universe. It's quite the feeling." —Brendan McPherson '16

Farah Mohammad '16

ISTANBUL, TURKEY (PHOTO TAKEN IN HASANKEYF, TURKEY)
"Even in that moment I knew I was living exactly the life I wanted." —Farah Mohammad '16

Kate Howard '16

BONAIRE, CARIBBEAN NETHERLANDS
"At Bennington, I research sea urchins. In Bonaire, I got to research sea urchins in the field while developing my skills as a scientist and learning about a new place. So whatever you study at Bennington, if you want to study abroad, I promise, there is a program out there for you." —Kate Howard '16

Kyle Gordon '17

OSAKA, JAPAN (PHOTO TAKEN IN NARA, JAPAN)
"Life, culture, and society in America make up just one tiny sliver of a massive whole. Being human means pursuing experiences that show you the rest of the pie, taking steps towards that ultimate realization. Living in Japan has truly expanded my palate and shown me what can be." —Kyle Gordon '17

Ayesha Raees '17

BATH, ENGLAND (PHOTO TAKEN IN WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND)
"My study abroad experience was able to give me insight of how my studies, skills, and knowledge will function and prosper after my time at Bennington." —Ayesha Raees '17

Malia Guyer-Stevens '16

PRISHTINA, KOSOVO
"Through study abroad with SIT, I was able to better understand my Bennington education, as well as myself, in the context of other education systems and the world." —Malia Guyer-Stevens '16