As a corollary to its mission to prepare women to be active, responsible members of a world community, Sweet Briar encourages qualified students to spend all or part of the junior year in study abroad. The College sponsors and directs the Sweet Briar JYF in Paris and JYS in Seville programs and has special relationships with universities in Japan, England and Scotland. Some Sweet Briar financial aid may be used by students to pursue studies in these programs. Students interested in other programs may apply for special study abroad scholarships. These scholarship opportunities are limited and competitive. The College also approves other programs for credit under the sponsorship of accredited four-year domestic colleges, universities or other educational organizations, or by direct admission to accredited foreign institutions, including internships abroad. General foreign study information is available from the director of international students and study abroad, who works to match each student to a program that fits her academic and career goals. Students must apply for their study abroad through the international students and study abroad office to be considered eligible for Sweet Briar scholarships.
Students must meet the GPA requirement of the host institution or program provider. Most institutions require a 3.0 GPA. St Andrews University in Scotland requires a 3.2 GPA. Students with a GPA below the host institution/program provider requirements, but above a 2.5, should discuss program options with the international students and study abroad director prior to completing the Sweet Briar application.
If the language of instruction at the host university is not English, students are advised to meet with faculty in the languages and cultures department to discuss their preparedness to study in the language of instruction. Students will want to check the language requirements for their selected study abroad program. Non-native English speakers studying abroad at an institution where English is the language of instruction may need to provide TOEFL scores during the application process.
Students are eligible to study abroad starting in their third semester as a Sweet Briar College student. For students without transfer credit, this is the second semester of their sophomore year. Transfer students should meet with the international students and study abroad director and their academic advisor to determine the most suitable time to study abroad. There may be some exceptions made for students whose academic program only allows them to study abroad in the first semester of their sophomore year.
Not on Probation
Study abroad applicants on disciplinary and/or academic probation must meet with the director of international students and study abroad. Approval to study when on disciplinary and/or academic probation is reviewed on a case-by-case basis and is not guaranteed. Approval will be granted by the dean of the College, the dean of student life and the director of international students and study abroad.
Students who participate in a study abroad program must still pass three writing intensive courses in addition to the first-year writing requirement as required by the General Education Program.
In all cases, the approval of the College must be sought in advance if credit toward the Sweet Briar degree is to be granted. In exceptional cases, modifications to the guidelines described above may be requested from the International Studies Advisory Committee.
Although study abroad is in keeping with the liberal arts tradition, other options may be preferable in some fields of specialization. For this reason and in order to plan her program of study carefully in advance, a student wishing to spend all or part of the junior year abroad should confer with the director of international students and study abroad, as well as an academic advisor in her intended major at an early date, preferably in her first year, but no later than Nov. 30 of her sophomore year.
Applications for fall, spring and academic-year study abroad are due the last Friday in February during the academic year prior to the year a student wishes to study abroad. For example, if a student wishes to study abroad in fall 2018 or spring 2019, a study abroad application is due the last Friday of February 2018. The once-a-year application cycle ensures adequate time for students to obtain immigration paperwork and secure housing abroad, and requires advanced planning. This will also allow students to apply for Sweet Briar scholarships, which are only offered in the spring. Late applications will be considered, but late applicants may not have access to all available scholarships.
Sweet Briar Semester/Academic Year Programs
JYF in Paris
JYF in Paris (JYF) is the oldest coeducational intercollegiate study abroad program in Paris. Created in 1923 by the University of Delaware, JYF has been administered by Sweet Briar College in Virginia since 1948.
JYF offers semester and year programs, and continues its established tradition of excellence in study abroad, providing a true immersion experience for students for the past 67 years.
All JYF classes are taught in French at one of the universities in Paris. Students are mostly housed with families and have the opportunity to participate in internships, volunteering and excursions organized by the program.
JYS in Seville
JYS in Seville (JYS), is an intensive academic immersion study abroad program sponsored by Sweet Briar College in Seville, Spain. Founded in 1983, JYS has provided students from a variety of majors the opportunity to improve their Spanish language skills, build their cultural competencies, broaden their international perspectives, and expand their knowledge and academic interests.
The program is open to men and women in any field of study in good standing at any accredited four-year institution in the United States for a semester (spring or fall) or academic year.
Semester and year students have access to a variety of courses according to their skill level, including direct enrollment in the University of Seville. They live with host families, take all classes in Spanish, participate in language exchanges, and have opportunities to volunteer and intern in a variety of fields.
Other Semester/Academic Year Programs
Japanese Studies Program at Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts
The Japanese Studies Program (JSP) at Doshisha Women’s College was started in 1992. This fall semester program offers both Japanese language courses and courses in Japanese culture conducted in English. Prior knowledge of Japanese is not required. All students stay with Japanese families whose daughters attend the college. The campus is located midway between Kyoto, Nara and Osaka, and provides students with easy access to these major cultural centers.
The University of St Andrews
Sweet Briar has had an affiliation with the University of St Andrews in Scotland since the early 1930s. Candidates for study at St Andrews will be considered on the basis of the match between their fields of study and academic records, their capacity for independent work and their maturity. Although students are advised to spend a full year at the university, St Andrews also offers single-semester study abroad programs.
Sweet Briar has an agreement with Hollins University for our students to participate in its Hollins Abroad-London program. The program is offered in both fall and spring semesters. Available courses are limited; students interested in the program should meet with the director of international students and study abroad and their academic advisor to ensure the program is appropriate for the major. This program is most suited for students in the humanities.
Virginia Program at Oxford
Each summer, a select group of Sweet Briar students travels to the University of Oxford to study the history and literature of Renaissance England, through the Virginia Program at Oxford. The six-week academic program follows the English system, combining small-group tutorials with lectures by world-class experts. The program also includes co-curricular and cultural events such as performances at Shakespeare’s Globe theater in London, a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon (the birthplace of Shakespeare) and a traditional English croquet match. Successful completion of the program earns students three credits in history and three credits in English. Students in any class year and in any major are encouraged to apply.
The Sweet Briar London Theatre Tour
The Sweet Briar London Theatre Tour is offered every other summer. This three-credit course travels to London, where students attend more than a dozen plays and tour the British Museum, the Theatre Museum in Covent Garden, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Shakespeare’s Globe, The National Gallery, and a variety of other historical and cultural institutions. The class also features tours of theaters such as the National Theatre and the Theatre Royal Haymarket, as well as weekend excursions, including one to Stratford-upon-Avon, where students see two more plays. The fee for the class includes includes room, board, travel and theater admissions.
Off-campus Study in the United States
Seven-college Exchange Consortium
Sweet Briar belongs to a consortium that includes Hampden-Sydney College, Hollins University, Mary Baldwin College, Randolph-Macon College, Randolph College and Washington and Lee University. Students, usually juniors, can spend a semester or an academic year at one of these colleges. By sharing resources, each participating college expands and extends its offerings.
A student at Sweet Briar may take a course at Lynchburg College or Randolph College in the spring or fall semester, provided the course is not currently available at Sweet Briar. No tuition will be charged in addition to what has already been paid to Sweet Briar, but the student must pay any extra fees or charges. Grades earned at these colleges are accepted in transfer. The College will assist Sweet Briar students to make travel arrangements. The Tri-college Consortium program is not available for courses offered in terms other than fall or spring.
American University Washington Term
An upperclasswoman may spend a term in one of several American University programs in the areas of public law, American politics, journalism, international and environmental development, or economic, foreign or domestic policy determination.
Subject to the stipulations set by the faculty, up to 18 credit hours toward a Sweet Briar degree may be obtained in summer study at accredited American colleges and universities, in approved summer programs abroad, and for internships and independent study projects. This work must have prior approval from the academic program and the registrar’s office.