Study Abroad Academic Advising

Study abroad/away is a vital element of a liberal arts education which is available to all students regardless of financial background. The Buckman Center for International Education works collaboratively with faculty to support this aspect of students’ Rhodes education. Currently 60% of Rhodes students study abroad at least once before they graduate from Rhodes. That is an admirable percentage and careful collaboration with faculty advisers has been a crucial part of that success.

Role of the Academic Adviser

As the first point of contact for all students, Academic Advisers are critical for Rhodes’ efforts to inform students about academic opportunities abroad or away. Although summer study abroad/away continues to be the most popular way to study off-campus, we project a large increase in students wishing to study abroad for a semester due to our relatively new policy allowing for the portability of financial aid. Studying off-campus for a semester now costs roughly the same as staying here, making semester study abroad financially feasible for every student. However, study abroad for a semester often takes careful planning from the very beginning of a student’s academic career. The staff at the Buckman Center for International Education therefore hope that advisors will explore the possibility of study abroad with all advisees within their first semester. You may also put interested students in contact with the Buckman Center by email:

The role of the academic adviser in facilitating study abroad is rather straightforward. We hope that they will:

  • Encourage Rhodes students of all majors to study abroad
  • Explain the various study abroad options to students
  • Plan a 4-year academic schedule with all advisees which accommodates a semester of study abroad
  • Refer students to the Buckman Center for detailed information

     Please Note:

  • Every major accepts credit from study abroad though each department chair determines how many courses students may take for the major credit.
  • Foundations credits CAN be earned on study abroad, though F7 and F10 are hard to find outside of our own faculty led summer programs.  
  • Students may need to schedule course sequences in majors/minors during their first two years for optimal flexibility in studying abroad during a later semester. 
  • Students may want to complete their F7 and F10 early in their academic career for the same reason.
  • Financial aid is portable for semester-long Rhodes and affiliated programs, including exchanges.  
  • The minimum GPA for study abroad approval is 2.5; programs set their own GPA requirements, which could be higher than 2.5. Also, students must be in good academic and social standing.
  • Students choosing to study on a non-affiliated and non-Rhodes program will need to take a study abroad leave of absence (unless they are granted a petition* to study on the non-affiliated program). 

        *Each semester Rhodes sets aside $20,000 for petitionable programs. Awards are based on academic fit and excellence of the program. Petitions are extremely                   competitive and are due on October 1 for Spring and February 15 for Fall Programs

Scholarship Information

Every year, the Buckman Center awards around $400,000 in merit-and need-based scholarships for study abroad for summer, semester, and year-long programs. Information about scholarships may be found on our site: Deadlines are listed on our site’s main page.

Types of Semester- and Year-long Programs 
Students may study on over 400 specific semester programs represented in four categories: Bilateral International Exchange Programs, ISEP International Exchange Programs, ACS Collaborative Programs, and Affiliated Programs. Rhodes institutional aid and federal/state aid are portable for these programs. Each category is described in detail below.  

1.    Bilateral International Exchange Programs:
Students pay tuition to Rhodes and receive tuition on the program; students pay the host university for room/board. Exchanges can occur in any discipline and can range in length from one semester to one academic year. In most cases, exchange students are matriculated directly into the host institution and pursue courses with host country students. Studying in non-US classrooms with foreign institutional and academic support systems can be extremely challenging. Exchange programs therefore typically require a great deal of independence and maturity. However, due to our longstanding relationships with our direct exchanges, these programs can usually offer more support than ISEP exchange programs. Credit earned on exchange programs is treated as transfer credit. 

2.    ISEP International Exchange Programs:
Rhodes students have access to more than 200 colleges and universities located throughout the world via ISEP. However, ISEP asks each student to rank order their preferred study abroad destination and it is common for students not to receive an offer from their first-choice destination. This can be frustrating for students and requires extra advising from you and from us as students will often need to figure our courses at multiple institutions. We therefore recommend students apply to our bilateral exchanges rather than our ISEP exchanges in countries where we have both. With ISEP, students pay tuition, room, and board to Rhodes and receive tuition, room, and board on the program. Exchanges can occur in any discipline and can range in length from one semester to one academic year. In most cases, exchange students are matriculated directly into the host institution and pursue courses with host country students. Studying in non-US classrooms with foreign institutional and academic support systems can be extremely challenging. Exchange programs therefore typically require a great deal of independence and maturity. Credit earned on ISEP programs is treated as transfer credit. 

3.    Rhodes/Centre/Sewanee Collaborative Programs. These programs are offered jointly by Sewanee, Centre College, and Rhodes. They are the ONLY semester programs that a student may attend and then choose a second affiliated semester-long study abroad/away using portable aid. These are also the only semester programs where credit earned is Rhodes credit.

a. The New York City Internship Program: This pre-professional program leverages our strong alumni community and internship opportunities in NYC with two academic courses on the history of the people of New York and the theatre industry on and off Broadway. It provides a full semester of credit (16 credits), broken down into an 8-hour academic internship and two 4-hour courses. Students pay tuition and room to Rhodes and receive tuition and room on the program. 

b. Global Ghana: A semester in Accra, Ghana is offered each fall. Students begin their semester with a two-week academic module at Rhodes and then spend the fall semester taking courses on topics such as Africana studies, globalization/development, civil rights amid the African diaspora, Ghanian music, and history in western Africa. Internships will be available at area NGOs, schools, and medical clinics. The program leader will be a member of the Rhodes/Centre/Sewanee faculty. Students pay tuition, room, and partial board to Rhodes and receive tuition, room, and partial board on the program.

c.Global Environmental Challenges: A semester in Cuenca, Ecuador is offered each fall, starting Fall 2023 (pending final approvals). Students will study topics related to “Global Environmental Challenges,” taking courses on topics such as environmental studies, environmental science, and Spanish. Apart from the Spanish language course, courses will be taught in English. The course will include a three-week module in Environmental Studies or Environmental Science at research stations in the Galapagos and the Amazon river basin. The program leader will be a member of the Rhodes/Centre/Sewanee faculty. Students pay tuition, room, and board to Rhodes and receive tuition, room, and board on the program. 

4.    Rhodes College “Affiliated Programs”: These programs are third party provider partnerships established and maintained by the Buckman Center. Our providers work with universities and international organizations all over the world and offer more student and academic support services than exchange programs. Students participating on a semester or year-long Affiliated Program pay tuition, room, and board (in some cases, partial or no board) to Rhodes and receive tuition, room and board (or partial or no board) to the Affiliated Program. Credit earned on Affiliated Programs is treated as transfer credit. Students may study off-campus on one Affiliated Program for either a semester or a full year (provided the program is a year-long program). 

Types of Summer Programs: 

* Note: No institutional aid is portable for summer programs, though there is certain federal/state aid for which students may be eligible. Additionally, the Buckman Center offers approximately $250,000 annually in need-based scholarships specifically for summer programs. All students with a current FAFSA on file are considered for financial aid.

1. Rhodes Programs: 

Every summer, Rhodes offers a variety of faculty-led programs (sometimes referred to as “Maymesters,” though they can take place at any point in the summer) which vary year to year. Students may apply for these through the Buckman Center’s website. Credit earned on these programs is Rhodes credit. The following are examples of faculty-led Summer Programs from Summer 2023 and in recent summers and the faculty leaders, in case you would like to talk with them about their programs:

Archeology at Ames Plantation- a domestic program in Tennessee (Jeanne Lopiparo)

Arts and Language Across Spain (Bruce Jackson and Catherine Sundt)

Belgium Maymester(Denis Khantimirov)

Buddhism in Thai Society (Brooke Schedneck)

Caesarea City and Port Exploration Project (Israel): (Kenny Morrell)

Environmental Field Study in Namibia (Michael Collins)

Global Health and Mental Health in Thailand (Elin Ovrebo)

Summer School in London (Vanessa Rogers)

Spanish Language Immersion in Ecuador (Eric Henager)

Summer Study in Europe, Greece (Nikos Zahariadis)

Togo Maymester (Abou-Bakar Mamah)

South Africa Maymester (Kelly Weeks and Matt Weeks)

Art and Art History, Archaeological Fieldwork in Greece (Miriam Clinton)

2. Affiliated Programs: 

Students may study abroad in the summer with our Affiliated Partners (See Affiliated Partner description above). Credit earned on these programs is transfer credit.

Application Deadlines:  

For study abroad in the Spring:

•    October 1 for Bilateral Exchanges and ISEP programs
•    October 15 for all other programs
•    October 15 for Buckman Fellowship applications

For study abroad in the Summer: 

•    February 15 for all programs (though sometimes our own summer programs have earlier deadlines, which are reported on our website:
Resources for Students:

Search for programs, make advising appointment, and find policies on our website. We offer drop-in sessions, where students can learn the basics of studying abroad, on Wednesdays at 3pm in the Buckman Center office.

Let’s Get It Right:

Even in 2023, five common misconceptions persist. Please help us disseminate this correct information:

YES - Foundations credit can be awarded for study abroad. 
Foundation credits are commonly awarded for international study. With the prior approval of the Registrar and the Director of International Programs, F11 and up to two other Foundation credits can be credited for the appropriate coursework in a full semester program. For a summer program, F11 and up to one other Foundation credit is possible. For an academic year program, F11 and up to three additional Foundation credits are possible.

YES - Courses taken abroad on non-Rhodes programs come back with letter grades, NOT as Pass/Fail.
Coursework taken on non-Rhodes programs appears on the student’s transcripts as earned grades, such as TA, TB+, TC-, etc. (T for “transfer”). These grades are not computed in the student’s GPA. Credits earned abroad with a grade of C- or higher counts toward the 128 hours required for graduation even if the grades do not. Courses must be passed with C- or higher to transfer to Rhodes. Study abroad transfer credit is NOT classified as “pass/fail.”

YES - Pre-Med majors can study abroad. 
Students working toward admission to medical schools DO study abroad every semester and summer. A semester-long study abroad experience requires careful planning, choice of program, and consultation with the Pre-Health Care Advisors, in advance, but it is possible. Pre-med students, regardless of major, can always take a summer course.

YES - Study Abroad is affordable for all Rhodes students. 
Since Rhodes financial aid is portable for Exchange Programs, Rhodes/Centre/Sewanee Collaborative Programs, and Affiliated Programs, students pay the same amount (or close to) what they would normally pay for a semester or academic year at Rhodes. There is also aid available to students with demonstrated need for summer and semester-long programs to offset the cost of international airfare, passports, immunizations, visas, and other normal expenses for study abroad. Even without financial assistance, a Maymester’s cost may compare favorably with the tuition for an equivalent amount of credit earned on campus at Rhodes during the summer. 

YES - Students who do not consult with the Buckman Center prior to their program may be negatively impacted by a lack of transfer credit, lack of Foundation credit approval, unexpected consular issues, and plenty of other concerns.  
All students who study abroad should consult with the Buckman Center and apply for programs through our office. Unless they are Rhodes courses offered by Rhodes professors with a Rhodes course number, any major-and/or minor-area courses taken abroad must be approved by a student’s Department Chair BEFORE THEY GO for the courses to transfer back. Students are contacted by our International Education Advisor to discuss their specific course approval process.  Elective credits generally transfer back, if they are comparable in terms of content and quality to a course in the curriculum at Rhodes (or are consistent with the liberal arts and sciences curriculum and of a quality comparable to that expected of courses at Rhodes).
How to Reach Us:

The Buckman Center is located in Burrow Hall, lower level. (901) 843-3403

•    Director of International Programs, Erin Hills, Ph.D: 119 Burrow Hall,

•    Associate Director of International Programs, Elin Ovrebo, Ph.D.: 139 Burrow Hall,  

•    International Education Advisor: Rachel Gasser, 137 Burrow Hall,

Our site:

Our site: