About the Programs

Pitzer College embraces a unique set of educational objectives that encourage students from all majors to think about the world in ways that expand their understanding of other cultures while working to translate that knowledge into action that will benefit the communities they become a part of whether here or abroad. This type of learning is fostered by the Pitzer curriculum in Claremont and at our study sites around the world.

To further its educational objective of intercultural understanding, Pitzer has carefully developed its own study abroad programs and cultivated exchanges with overseas universities that support responsible exploration of the world and sustained engagement with its diverse communities. Pitzer programs employ a nationally recognized cultural immersion model integrating intensive language instruction, family stays, a core course on the host culture, and the opportunity to pursue an independent study project. The same model informs our exchange programs, which require students to navigate a different educational system, often in another language, at selected institutions abroad while bringing international students and their diversity of linguistic and cultural perspectives to the classrooms and residence halls in Claremont.

Pitzer Direct-Run Programs
Open to Pitzer and non-Pitzer Students

Interdisciplinary Core Course
The core course in Pitzer programs includes a series of lectures given by the host university’s faculty and specialists from governmental and non-governmental organizations that are connected to the more experiential program components of family stays, fieldwork and study trips to provide a high degree of cultural
immersion and cross-cultural learning.

The Fieldbook
The Fieldbook recognizes that writing is one of the deepest and most precise records of experience and an activity that both generates and reflects learning. Demanding of your time and intellect, the Fieldbook asks you to integrate the theoretical and experiential components of the program through a series of writing assignments.

Content and Design
Pitzer programs are designed to create comprehensive, semester-long experiences rather than an assemblage of unrelated courses set in foreign locales. The program components are intentionally designed to provide the tools to help you engage the culture both academically and on a personal level.

Intensive Language Study
The Pitzer language faculty use an interactive approach to language teaching that focuses on facilitating communication with people of your host community.

Directed Independent Study Projects
Pitzer programs provide an opportunity for you to conduct a directed independent study project. Most programs can provide opportunities to complete a project to meet major requirements in any of the academic majors at Pitzer.

Community Learning Projects
Pitzer is committed to developing strong relationships with its host communities. On some programs, this results in ongoing community service opportunities that are a component of the core course.

Family Stays
Central to the success of Pitzer programs is an extended stay with one or more host families. More than any other aspect of a Pitzer program, family stays help you understand the host culture and the issues important to their community and
country.

Limited Number of Participants
To best support your learning and minimize the impact of our group’s presence on host communities, we limit the number of students in our programs to a level appropriate for each program site, generally from 12 to 20. Sites with rural components often have more restricted enrollments than sites in urban centers.

Health and Safety
Helping you stay healthy and safe while abroad is a priority for Pitzer. We ask you to pay careful attention to health and safety guidelines in pre-departure materials and during orientation sessions.

Disabilities or Special Needs
Pitzer College is committed to supporting students with disabilities whenever possible. We strongly encourage students with disabilities or special needs to meet with a member of the Office of Study Abroad staff to discuss their specific requirements.  All students are required to complete the Declaration of Disability or Special Needs in their acceptance packet. The ability of Pitzer College, the exchange host institution, or the program sponsor to offer reasonable accommodations during study abroad will vary from program to program and is addressed on a case by case basis.

Pitzer Direct-Run Programs Enhance Scholarship Eligibility
Pitzer’s cultural immersion programs make students strong candidates for Fulbright Fellowships and other prestigious national awards like the Watson and Rotary Scholarships. The majority of Pitzer students winning such fellowships completed a Pitzer study abroad program.

Pitzer Exchanges
Open to Pitzer Students only with the exception of Italy

A strong commitment to cultural immersion guides all of Pitzer’s study abroad options including our exchange programs overseas and in the US. A key goal of an exchange program is to allow a Pitzer student to take part in the academic life of another culture while an international student becomes part of the Pitzer campus community. If you choose to participate on one of the exchange programs, you take classes at the host university or its language institute and live in housing that is typical for local students.

Exchange Program Content and Design
The offerings of each exchange program will vary by location, and you are advised to research the programs you are considering carefully. Provided you meet language requirements, you will choose from regular university courses but are typically limited to one or two fields of study within a semester.

Language Requirements
Most exchange programs require that you already have a high intermediate to advanced skill level in the host country language (2 to 4 semesters of college level instruction). Some exchanges provide a brief refresher language course at the beginning of the term or have weekly language tutoring support. In most cases, you will be enrolled in regular courses offered by the host university, taught in the host country language.

Directed Independent Study Projects
Exchange participants are highly encouraged to conduct a directed independent study project, with a particular focus of learning about the host culture. You must arrange the project in advance through the Office of Study Abroad and International Programs and work with a Claremont Colleges faculty member who is willing to help you develop your project, guide you while overseas and evaluate your work.

Reflective Writing
Students on exchanges are strongly encouraged to keep a fieldbook. Since writing is one of the deepest and most precise records of experience and an activity that both generates and reflects learning, Study Abroad advisers can provide you with suggestions on ways to incorporate reflective writing into your exchange experience.

Housing Arrangements
Each exchange program offers different housing options. Wherever possible, Pitzer College requires you to live with a local family or in a dormitory with students from the host culture. Having daily contact with members of the host culture is a crucial factor in developing more meaningful personal relationships. Living with native speakers of the host language also accelerates your mastering foreign language skills and provides beneficial insights into the host culture.

Health and Safety
Helping you stay healthy and safe while abroad is a priority for Pitzer. We ask you to pay careful attention to health and safety guidelines in pre-departure materials and during orientation sessions.

Disabilities or Special Needs
Pitzer College is committed to supporting students with disabilities whenever possible. We strongly encourage students with disabilities or special needs to meet with a member of the Office of Study Abroad staff to discuss their specific requirements.  All students are required to complete the Declaration of Disability or Special Needs in their acceptance packet. The ability of Pitzer College, the exchange host institution, or the program sponsor to offer reasonable accommodations during study abroad will vary from program to program and is addressed on a case by case basis.

Pitzer College has programs open to Pitzer and non-Pitzer students, and international and domestic exchange programs.

Study Abroad map