Kate Howard '16

Study Abroad and Study Away

Studying Away from Bennington

The opportunity to study away—whether for a summer, a term or an entire year—is available to all students and strongly encouraged. 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.

GSA logo red

Our students have studied across the globe in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and Central and South America. Bennington allows students to pursue study away through a variety of routes, including domestic and international exchange programs, programs offered by partner and affiliate providers, direct enrollment into other accredited colleges or universities, and even the ability to research and propose a new program. Bennington is a proud member of the Institute of International Education's Generation Study Abroad initiative and committed to working with each student to help make study away accessible.   

You can learn more below about how study away works here at Bennington, and where to begin researching programs that may be right for you!

Questions? Contact the Study Away Counselor.

Understanding Study Away

There's a lot to unpack in order to fully develop your knowledge of your Study Away and make an informed decision. The sections below can help you to understand the rules, restrictions, and structures that frame the Study Away experience for students. If you prefer, you can also watch a video summary of this information.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible to study away, students must meet certain key criteria:

  • you must be in Good Academic Standing, and cannot be on "warning" or "probation"; 
  • you must be in Good Disciplinary Standing, and must not be the subject of any ongoing disciplinary or Title IX investigations; 
  • you must have a fully approved Plan; 
  • you must be between your 4th Term and 8th Term at Bennington. 

Options

Eligible Bennington students can choose to Study Away for a short-term or summer experience, a single academic term, or a full academic year. Each route comes with different timelines, approval requirements, and administrative costs; knowing more can support you to choose the route that best meets your needs!

  • Single Academic Term or Full Academic Year
    • Students should expect to begin the study away process approximately one year before their intended term away. 
    • Students must receive approval from the Provost's Office, which determines their eligibility and confirms that all requirements have been met. 
    • Students must receive approval from their Plan Committee, which determines the academic validity of the chosen Study Away route, and the ways in which it contributes to the student's learning at Bennington. 
    • Students must receive approval/acceptance by their chosen program or university/college. 
    • Students will be required to pay a Study Away Administrative Fee (SAAF) of $600 for every term they are away. (Please note that this fee does not apply to students on Exchange Programs.) 
  • Short-Term or Summer
    • Students should expect to begin the study away process approximately six months before their intended term away. 
    • Students must receive approval from the Provost's Office, which determines their eligibility and confirms that all requirements have been met. 
    • Students must receive approval/acceptance by their chosen program or university/college.
    • Students are not required to receive the approval of their Plan Committee, as they will not lose any formal term-time studies at Bennington. They are strongly encouraged, however, to connect with Faculty Advisors and other professors about their Study Away plans. 
    • Students will be required to pay a Study Away Administrative Fee (SAAF) of $250 for every short-term or summer study away. 

The Study Away Process

When approaching your study away process, it can be challenging to know where to begin! Work through these five stages in order to ensure that you are setting yourself up for success with your study away. If you prefer, you can also watch a video summary of this information.

Study Away Process Chart

Study Away and the Plan

As with all other aspects of your study here at Bennington, it's important that your Study Away ideas are fully integrated into your wider Plan, and help to further the academic goals and aspirations you have identified through your Plan process. 

As you conduct your Study Away research and determine the program that is the best fit for you, remember to work closely with your Faculty Advisor and other professors, and to constantly revisit both the five Bennington Capacities and your own Plan. 

For students intending to Study Away for one or more academic terms, your proposal will require the formal approval of your Plan Committee, to confirm both that your ideas are grounded in the work of your Plan and that your time away from Bennington will not negatively affect your ability to complete the work of your Plan and fulfill your graduation requirements. 

To learn more about how the Plan Committee approval process works, and to help prepare for your own Plan Committee review, you can watch this short video!

The Study Away Info Series

Not sure about the difference between "direct enrollment" and an "exchange"? No idea what a "consortium agreement" is? Want to know about how study away credits are applied to your Bennington degree? Our series of short videos can help you to understand the key terminology used in study away, and explain fundamental processes that you may need to participate in as a study away student. 

Study Away Routes

There are three different "routes" you can pursue to study away from Bennington: exchanges, program providers, or direct enrollment. Knowing more can help you select the route that best meets your needs!

Study Away Logistics

There's a lot to wrap your head around when preparing for your study away experience! Understanding how different stages of the process will work can help you to feel more in control of your study away options, and more ready for the work you'll need to do.

Finding a Study Away Program

If you're ready to start exploring programs, this is a great place to begin! With links to existing exchange partners, as well as some of Bennington's partner and affiliate program providers and direct enrollment options, this page will support you in identifying a way to study away that gives you the experience you're looking for, the academics you need, and a price that is feasible. Remember that if you need support in researching programs, you can always connect with the Study Away Counselor!

International Exchange Programs

International Exchange Programs provide you with the opportunity to enroll directly in the classes of another college or university abroad, while continuing to make your tuition payments directly to Bennington. You can learn more about International Exchange Programs and how they work by watching this short video

Remember that: 

  • Because International Exchange Programs are based on a reciprocal relationship between Bennington and another institution, they may not be available in every term of study. 
  • Students are not permitted to apply directly to International Exchange Programs. You must first apply to, and by nominated by, the Study Away Counselor in order to complete an application to study on an International Exchange Program. 

Bennington currently offers five International Exchange Programs in four countries: 

Bath Spa University - Bath, UK

  • Classes are available in a range of subjects drawn from the arts, humanities, and STEM. There is a particular focus on creativity and engagement with new ways of learning. 
  • All classes are taught in English. English is also the primary language for student-facing support and will be used widely, if not exclusively, in the community. 
  • Tuition continues to be paid to Bennington, accommodation and living costs must be paid privately by the student (university housing is not available). 

Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Arts de Paris-Cergy - Paris, France

  • Classes are available in performing and studio arts, as well as art history, museum studies, and the wider humanities. 
  • There is no formal language requirement, however a level of B2 or better in French is encouraged. All classes are taught in French. French is also the primary language for student-facing support and will be used widely, if not exclusively, in the community. 
  • Tuition continues to be paid to Bennington, accommodation and living costs must be paid privately by the student (university housing is not available). 

Kansai Gaidai University - Osaka, Japan

  • Classes are available in Japanese language and in a range of subjects drawn from the humanities, but offering a unique cultural lens (e.g. "Gender and Sexuality in Japan," or "20th Century Asian History through Film"). 
  • Students must receive "sign off" from the Japanese Language team at Bennington. A mix of classes taught in Japanese and English are available. Japanese is the primary language for student-facing support and will be used widely, if not exclusively, in the community. 
  • Tuition and accommodation continue to be paid to Bennington, and students have a choice of university housing options. Living costs must be paid privately by the student. 

Leuphana University - Lüneberg, Germany

  • Classes are available across a range of subjects within the social sciences (e.g. political science, economics, psychology, and cultural studies). There is a strong focus on Sustainability across all programs, as well as specializations in Sustainability Studies. 
  • Students must achieve a level of B1 or better in German to enroll in German-language classes. A mix of classes taught in German and English are available. German is the primary language for student-facing support and will be used widely, if not exclusively, in the community. 
  • Tuition continues to be paid to Bennington, accommodation and living costs must be paid privately by the student (university housing is not guaranteed, but may be available). 

University of East Anglia - Norwich, UK

  • Classes are available in a range of subjects drawn from the arts, humanities, and STEM. There is particularly high availability of science and computing classes. 
  • All classes are taught in English. English is also the primary language for student-facing support and will be used widely, if not exclusively, in the community. 
  • Tuition continues to be paid to Bennington, accommodation and living costs must be paid privately by the student (university housing is guaranteed to those students who wish to use it). 

Domestic Exchange Programs

Domestic Exchange Programs provide you with the opportunity to enroll directly in the classes of another college or university in the United States (or sometimes Canada), while continuing to make your tuition payments directly to Bennington. You can learn more about Domestic Exchange Programs and how they work by watching this short video

Remember that: 

  • Because Domestic Exchange Programs are based on a reciprocal relationship between Bennington and another institution, or sometimes a wider network of institutions, they may not be available in every term of study. 
  • Students are not permitted to apply directly to Domestic Exchange Programs. You must first apply to, and be nominated by, the Study Away Counselor in order to complete an application to study on a Domestic Exchange Program. 
  • Students on any Domestic Exchange Program will continue to pay tuition directly to Bennington, but will pay accommodation (and, where required, meal plan costs) directly to their chosen host institution. 

Bennington currently offers Domestic Exchange Programs through two exchange networks and one individual program: 

AVIC Network - Association of Vermont Independent Colleges

CalArts School of Art - Valencia, California

  • Studying at the CalArts School of Art is a great way to access specific or niche studio arts. Learn from a wide range of faculty and take classes in a larger environment, while enjoying 24/7 access to studio and making space. 

CIEL Network - Consortium of Innovative Environments in Learning 

Program Providers

Program Providers offer a range of different experiences, which run the gamut from direct enrollment into a local college or university to a fully curated field research experience. Bennington College has relationships with a large number of study away Program Providers, each of whom offers a unique mix of academic areas of focus and personal interests in locations around the world! You can learn more about Program Providers and how they work by watching this short video

Direct Enrollment

While there are too many direct enrollment options for us to ever capture them all, you can get started with some key programs Bennington students have enjoyed in previous terms! You can learn more about Direct Enrollment and how it works by watching this short video

  • Accademia dell'Arte
    • Located in Arezzo, Italy
    • Academic focus on Physical Theater, Dance, Design & Scenography, or Music
    • Ask the Study Away Counselor about Bennington-specific discounts and financial support!
  • Augsburg University
    • Locations in Central America, Southern Africa, and the UK
    • A range of areas of academic focus, with particular emphasis on social movements and peace and conflict studies
    • Financial support available
  • Bard College Abroad
  • Burren College of Art
    • Located in Ballyvaughan, Ireland
    • Academic focus on Studio Arts 
    • Some financial support may be available - speak to Burren directly to learn more
  • East 15 Acting School, University of Essex
    • Located in London or Southend, England
    • Academic focus on Acting, with a significant professional/experiential element in all classes
    • Financial support from East 15 is not available
  • LAMDA
    • Located in London, England
    • Academic focus on Acting
    • Financial support from LAMDA is not available
  • Middlebury Abroad
    • Multiple locations worldwide
    • A range of areas of academic focus, with a particular emphasis on language acquisition, and Middlebury's famous "language pledge"!
    • Financial support from Middlebury is not available
  • Paris College of Art
    • Located in Paris, France
    • A range of areas of academic focus within the arts, including design, fashion, fine/studio arts, and photography
    • Some financial support may be available - speak with PCA directly to learn more
  • Prague Film School
    • Located in Prague, Czech Republic
    • Academic focus on Filmmaking, Documentary Filmmaking, or Acting for Film
    • Some financial support may be available - speak to PFS directly to learn more
  • University of the Arts, London (UAL)
  • University College Cork

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. 

Options After Graduation

We know that for many students, taking time away during your studies doesn't feel like a viable option. While they are not as common as undergraduate study away programs, the past few years have seen an increase in opportunities that are targeted at recent graduates who would like to take time for a travel/study/internship/work experience. When exploring your options for programs such as this, try sticking to search terms like "gap year" or "post baccalaureate," as search terms related to "post graduate" are more likely to turn up graduate-level study programs!

  • Critical Language Scholarship - open only to US citizens and permanent residents, the CLS provides a fully-funded opportunity to study a language deemed of vital importance to the US State Department. Applicants must be an enrolled student at the time of their application submission, but can participate in the program the summer following graduation. 
  • Peace Corps - open only to US citizens, the Peace Corps offer successful applicants the opportunity to engage in meaningful work in a range of locations around the world. If you'd like to learn more about options with the Peace Corps, don't hesitate to reach out to the Study Away Counselor to connect with our own Peace Corps representative!
  • Semester at Sea - while SaS is primarily targeted at undergraduate students, they have limited opportunities for post-baccalaureate students, and will consider applications on a case-by-case basis. 
  • The Teaching Assistant Program in France - For students with a strong knowledge of French, this program supports applicants to spend up to 7 months living and working in France, while teaching English to students across a range of ages. As a bonus, TAPIF alumni are eligible for a range of scholarships for graduate study!

If you don't see a program that interests you, we also encourage you to search for more targeted or bespoke opportunities. One of our favorite search sites, GO Overseas, is a great place to begin!

Funding Study Away 

Once you have an idea of what you would like to study during your time away, or where you would like to go, you'll likely have a third question: how will I fund my study away? Have a look below to see options for accessing grants and scholarships through Bennington, using a Consortium Agreement to transfer some of the funding you receive to the program of your choice, or applying for external grants and scholarships. If you would like to learn more about study away funding, you can also watch this short video.

Remember that many program providers and direct enrollment hosts also offer their own scholarships, grants, and financial aid. Check the links under various programs above for more details! You're also always welcome to connect with the Study Away Counselor to talk more about your options. 

Bennington-Specific Funding

There may be some funding you can receive directly from Bennington, or through your association with Bennington, to pursue Study Away. Always check with your chosen program or host to determine whether they have specific funds available for Bennington students!

You are also encouraged to explore: 

  • The Public Action Grant
    • Up to $1,500 
    • Application deadlines: 9:00 AM (EST) on October 17 for Spring term or April 10 for Fall term
    • Awards are given to eligible students who have a significant focus on the advancement of public action 
  • Consortium on Forced Migration
    • Funding may be available for students whose academic work involves a focus on migration studies or related issues
    • Contact the Study Away Counselor for more information 

Consortium Agreements

If you make use of certain US Federal or State funds or private grants and scholarships to pay for your education, you may be able to transfer those funds to your chosen program or host institution for Study Away! Funds such as Pell Grants, Parent's PLUS Loans, State Grants, and Private Loans can likely travel with you to a wide range of programs, and help significantly offset the cost of your study.

You can learn more about your own transferable funds by contacting the Financial Aid Office

Once you're ready to complete your Consortium Agreement, you can do so here.

  • Remember that there are sections to be completed by the student, the Financial Aid Office, the Study Away Counselor, and your chosen program - make sure to leave sufficient time to complete everything!

Grants and Scholarships

There are so many privately and publicly funded scholarships and grants out there, it's impossible for us to list all of them! Much like researching the Study Away program that is right for you, finding scholarships is a detailed and personal search that each student must make for themselves. We hope the information below can get you started on the right path, however. Remember that you can also always connect with the Study Away Counselor to learn more.

In addition to these specific pages, don't forget to consider your own network and the network your chosen program opens up to you! For example, if you are studying away in Germany, have a look for funding provided to incoming international students by the German government. If you hold citizenship of a country besides the US, check to see what, if any, funding that country's government may offer to students studying overseas. If you carry a specific identity or personal characteristic, have a look at organizations that represent or support people with that identity to see what funding might be available for study. Remember, if you don't ask, you'll never know!

Ready to Apply? 

When you're ready to pursue an application, please feel free to use the links below: 

Visiting Students

If you would like to study away at Bennington for a term or full academic year, please feel free to explore the links below to learn more! You are also always welcome to contact the Study Away Counselor for more information. 

Visiting Students - Academics at Bennington

Discover all there is to know about Academics at Bennington, and explore the course offerings from the subject areas that interest you! As a visiting student, you'll be free to choose classes from across the curriculum, and to create your version of a full-time course load of between 12 and 18 credits. We are happy to support you through Assisted Registration, to ensure you are able to access the classes that most interest you, and will pair you with a temporary Faculty Advisor who will work with you to ensure that your class selection best meets your academic needs. 

Visiting Students - Student Life at Bennington

Check out our Life at Bennington pages to learn all about what it would be like to live, study, and work in Bennington for a term or academic year. You can watch virtual tours of student housing, submit a family recipe to our dining staff, research on-campus clubs and organizations, or learn about things to do in our local Vermont neighborhood!

Visiting Students - Costs at Bennington

Please check our Financial Aid pages for the most up to date tuition, accommodation, and fees information.

Note that fees and costs listed are for the full academic year. Students wishing to enroll for a single term of study would be expected to pay 50% of tuition, accommodation, and board. 

Visiting Students - Application to Bennington

Visiting student applications can be completed here, and should be submitted to the Study Away Counselor

Applications for the Fall term must be received by 1st October. Applications for the Spring term must be received by 15th March.