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Off-Campus Study

Program Participation

Program Cancellation

Certain Lake Forest programs may have a required minimum number of students before the program will run.  In most cases, that number is 10 students.  Program sponsors such as ISEP, ACM, and others may have their own program minimums.

Lake Forest receives daily updates on health and safety concerns around the world.  Should a country seem unsafe or have a travel warning issued by the United States Department of State, President Schutt will review the program to determine if a student will be allowed to participate.

Generally speaking, students will be allowed to participate in a country that has a Level 1 or Level 2 advisory level from the US Department of State.  (Countries may have different levels by region, province or state, and this will be taken into consideration.)  Countries with a Level 3 advisory (Reconsider Travel) will require approval from President Schutt.  Students may not travel on Lake Forest sponsored or approved programs, whether for credit or non-credit, to countries with a Level 4 advisory (Do Not Travel).  The Director of Off-Campus Programs, the Dean of the Faculty, the Dean of Students, and the President may review these standards for individual programs based on information from trusted safety experts and sources.

If a program must be cancelled before departure due to failure to meet minimum enrollment or concerns over safety issues abroad, Off-Campus Programs will work with a student to find a suitable alternative.  

Students should work with their own program provider, if not Lake Forest faculty-led, to determine the cancellation policy to understand what happens if a program is cancelled before a program begins or during a program.  Students may want to work with an insurance provider to help with travel costs, and Lake Forest will assist students in obtaining credit, when possible.

Pre-Departure Orientation

All Lake Forest students participating in an off-campus program must participate in the mandatory pre-departure orientations.  One session is done online, and can be completed at any time before the start of finals.  The other session is in-person, taking place once per semester.  Failure to participate in orientations makes a student ineligible to participate in an off-campus program.

Limits on Off-Campus Terms

Students may participate for credit in a total of two semester-long programs chosen from our list of 200+ programs in 70 countries, but should keep this information in mind:

  • The Lake Forest In the Loop Program is not included in this limitation. Students may go on two semester-long off-campus programs and still remain eligible to participate in one term in Lake Forest In the Loop. Alternately, the student may participate in two semesters in the Loop and one semester on a different approved program. The total amount of programs completed is not to exceed three semesters, with no more than two semesters in a single program.
  • One of the two non-Loop semesters MUST be an Exchange program.
  • If a student has a truly compelling reason to study off campus for a third semester in a program other than Lake Forest College In the Loop, the student may petition the Academic Appeals Board (AAB) for permission. The student’s advisor(s) must approve of this plan in order to move the application to the AAB. The College does not favor such petitions, however, and the AAB will very rarely approve one. More information is available from the Director of Off-Campus Programs.
Outside Programs

Students that wish to participate in a program not on our approved list, must appeal to the Off-Campus Programs Committee during the Stage 2 application.  These applications will only be reviewed if allowed by the overall College budget, and the budget of Off-Campus Programs. This is not guaranteed to happen each year, and it is not anticipated that the budget for the 2018-2019 academic year will allow for outside applications.

To lodge an appeal, students must currently be in good judicial standing, and meet the current eligibility requirements set by Lake Forest College.

The appeal must show that the outside program is fundamentally different than those offered in the current portfolio (i.e. not in a current country/city that is already represented, or offer a completely different type of coursework than currently represented among the entire portfolio), and must outline:

  • Strong academic justification for choosing an outside program versus an existing Lake Forest-approved program
  • Academic rigor and quality of the program
  • Appropriateness of the student’s plan to his/her overall academic plan/major
  • Strength of student’s preparation at Lake Forest College
  • Level of cultural immersion or integration in the host country, and, where applicable, linguistic immersion

If reviewed by Off-Campus programs, the application may be approved, if the Committee would consider adding this program to the approved list.  Further approval from the College’s Curricular Policy Committee may be required, depending on the program sponsor. If added, the student would pay their normal Lake Forest tuition + a program fee, and financial aid would be transferable to the new program.  If denied, the student would not be able to transfer their aid or bring credits back for that particular program.

Behavior on Off-Campus Programs

Students are held to the Lake Forest Student Code of Conduct, as well as any conduct codes of their host program, while off-campus. Students that break rules on their program will face a conduct hearing, either while abroad or upon their return to Lake Forest.

Ineligibility to Participate in Off-Campus Programs

Students may be declared ineligible in the application process to participate in a study abroad program based on recommendations of their academic advisor or the Dean of Students Offices. Most often, if this occurs, it happens during the application process in either Stage 1 or Stage 2.

Students should note that all approvals to participate in an off-campus program are conditional on the basis that a student must remain in good academic and judicial standing.  Should a student go on academic or disciplinary probation at any time before or during their off-campus program, or if the Dean of Students Office believes that the student should no longer participate, any approval will be rescinded.

Students declared ineligible to participate in an off-campus program will be removed from the roster.  Students will be responsible to their program host(s) for any withdrawal fees, and may lose non-refundable deposits, airfare costs, or other cancellation costs.  The College will not refund or reimburse students for these or other costs.  

Participation in a program without approval from the Director of Off-Campus Programs, or while ineligible to study off-campus, will mean that any credits earned on the program will not transfer to Lake Forest, and financial aid will not be applicable to the program.  

Credits earned while ineligible for off-campus programs will not be posted to the transcript once a student returns to good standing.  However, once in good standing, that student may choose to apply for an off-campus program to take place in a future term.

Academic Workload

Students must remain full-time students while participating in an off-campus semester program, which is the equivalent of 3 Lake Forest credits, up to 4.5 Lake Forest credits.  Falling below 3 credits will mean that the student is not eligible to receive aid.  Taking more than 4.5 credits will result in additional overload fees.

Students should note that they may be taking more or fewer courses than they do on Lake Forest’s main campus.  This can mean as few as 2 “tutorials” at Oxford, or as many as 10+ short courses in Japan.

See the Registrar or Director of Off-Campus Programs to determine the equivalent number of credits for your programs of interest.  

Course Approvals

All students must get their courses approved before departing on an off-campus program.  These must be turned into Off-Campus Programs before the last day of the semester prior to the term abroad.

A student’s academic advisor must approve all courses so that they can ensure that a student will stay on track to graduate on-time.  Advisors may approve courses to count for graduation or general education credit.

A department or program chair must sign off on all courses that are to count for a major or minor.

Requesting Accommodations

Students accepted to study away programs who are requesting accommodations must be registered with either the Student Center for Health and Wellness or Disability Services on Lake Forest’s campus.