January Interim Off-Campus Study Policies

Please read these policies carefully as you consider your off-campus study options.

Academic Policies

Student Eligibility

  • Applicants for off-campus study should be in good academic standing at Gustavus. A minimum GPA of 2.75 is required for participation in off-campus study. Some programs require an even higher standard.
  • Students of any class year may participate in a January Interim off-campus study course. 
  • Students on academic or disciplinary probation are not allowed to participate in off-campus study programs. If a student is on probation at the time of application, the student may receive a conditional acceptance. However, a student who is not removed from probation before their program begins will not be accepted into the program. Students will be responsible for unrecoverable fees incurred at that time.
  • A student's Gustavus billing account must be paid in full for the fall semester by the due date of August 31st (8/31) in order to participate in the upcoming January Interim travel course. Arrangements to make payments on the account should be discussed with Sara Orth, the Director of Student Accounts in the Finance Office.
  • Gustavus students on off-campus programs cannot offer housing accommodations, meals or participation in classes and/or field trips to non-participants without the approval of the Program Supervisor. Any costs connected to these visits will be borne by the visitor(s).
  • Non-Gustavus students may apply for a Gustavus January Interim Off-Campus course as an approved Interim exchange student from a cooperating 4-1-4 college. It is up to the student to contact the Interim exchange office on his/her home campus to determine eligibility for Interim exchange.
  • Gustavus has consortiums and agreements for exchange of students during off-campus January study with Hamline University, UMAIE and HECUA.

Academic Prerequisites

  • Some off-campus study courses have a prerequisite. Students who are enrolled in a course that is a prerequisite for off-campus study must satisfactorily complete that prerequisite in order to participate in the off-campus study. If the student does not satisfactorily complete the required prerequisite course, he/she is responsible for all cancellation penalties related to the program.

Credit and Grades

  • January Interim courses normally may not count for liberal arts area requirements and only count for major/minor credit if approved by the Curriculum Committee. Consult with CICE for more information.
  • No January Interim course (even if pre-approved for liberal arts or a departmental major) can count toward the 32 regular semester courses required for graduation.
  • In order to receive credit for a course, the students will be registered for the January Interim as described below. Off campus courses must be taken for credit. It is not possible for undergraduates to audit a course.


Finance and Cancellation Policies

Program Fees and Billing

  • Program fees listed in the January Interim Off Campus Course Booklet are charged in addition to regular Gustavus Adolphus College tuition. The fees listed are estimates and include round-trip transportation from Minneapolis (except where indicated), prorating of instructor's expenses, normally breakfast and one other meal per day, transportation for required study trips, entrance fees and tickets for scheduled group events, and accommodations, most often based on two and three persons sharing a room. Private bathrooms are rarely provided.
  • A non-refundable $70 application fee and $500 deposit fee are required with the application to the Center for International and Cultural Education (CICE). The $500 deposit fee will be applied to the program costs. Students are billed $1,000 in June and the balance of January Interim fees are due in October. Billings are sent from the Center for International and Cultural Education in June, and from the Student Accounts office in October.
  • Application fees and program deposits cannot be covered by financial aid awards; they must be paid directly to the College by the participant.
  • Make all payments for Gustavus faculty-led courses (but not UMAIE, Hamline, or HECUA) by check to Gustavus Adolphus College, or pay via credit card. UMAIE, HECUA and Hamline direct deposit costs must be paid by cash or check payable to the said institution.

Cancellation and Refunds

  • Gustavus students who withdraw from both the program and the College are subject to the above fees plus the non-refundable college fees.
  • The estimated course cost range is based on minimum and maximum number of students who may be accepted into the course (the max/min numbers are determined by faculty instructors based on the course content, destination, and planned course activities). Course costs are the most accurate estimates possible. However, since these fees are based on the best information available at the time course information is posted each year, these costs are subject to change due to a variety of factors including currency exchange rates, fuel surcharges, added airline taxes, and final number of students enrolled in the course. Cost estimates are provided in March, and final costs are published in late fall. Students will not have an option to cancel their participation in the course due to an adjustment in cost.
  • If a student is not accepted to the program, the $500 deposit will be credited to the student account.
  • If a student decides not to participate in the January Interim program to which they have been accepted, the $500 deposit will not be refunded. At any time following the June deadline $1000 deposit, students who decide not to participate in the January program will be responsible for all unrecoverable payments made on their behalf. It is important that students understand that once they submit an application for a January Interim course they are making financial commitments. We recommend that PRIOR to submitting the application students speak to the faculty member leading the course for which they are applying in order to be as knowledgeable as possible about the course itinerary and requirements. This policy also applies to cancellation due to medical issues.
  • If a course is cancelled by CICE due to underenrollment prior to the June deadline for receiving the $1000 deposit, students may apply the $500 deposit toward the cost of another Gustavus, UMAIE, HECUA, or Hamline course which is still accepting applicants, or they may choose to have their $500 program deposit refunded.
  • Should an unavoidable event such as epidemic, civil unrest, threat of terrorist activity, or other unforeseen occurrence result in the cancellation of an entire session of a Gustavus program before commencement of the program, all recoverable costs paid by Gustavus on behalf of the student prior to that time will be refunded. Students will always forfeit their application fees but any program deposits paid to Gustavus will be refunded. The College ensures a good faith effort to reimburse students in the event the College cancels a program, but cannot guarantee 100% reimbursement. This policy also applies to cancellation related to medical pandemics such as influenza.
  • Should an unavoidable event such as epidemic, civil unrest, threat of terrorist activity, or other unforeseen occurrence result in removal of students from the program site after the program has commenced, every effort will be made to ensure program continuity at a safe location. This policy also applies to circumstances that may arise because of pandemics such as influenza.
  • Should a State Department Travel Warning be issued for a country after students have been accepted into the program in that country and before they leave the U.S., and the College decides to cancel the program, all recoverable costs paid by Gustavus on behalf of the student prior to that time will be refunded. Students will always forfeit their application fees but any program deposits paid to Gustavus will be refunded. The College ensures a good faith effort to reimburse students in the event the College cancels a program, but cannot guarantee 100% reimbursement.
  • We strongly encourage students or their families to purchase travel cancellation insurance. Our office works very hard to recover expenses that have already been paid on behalf of the student, but we cannot guarantee our providers will reimburse us. We do not endorse any particular travel insurance coverage, but quote comparisons can be found at www.insuremytrip.com. Make sure to review closely what your cancellation insurance includes and what it does not include. Primarily you must purchase cancellation insurance immediately after acceptance into the course for the insurance to be effective.

Financial Aid

  • There is no additional grant assistance available for these courses. If a student has already borrowed the maximum Federal Direct Stafford Loan ($3,500 for a sophomore and $5,500 for a junior or senior), then no additional loan funding from that source is available. Students interested in additional loan options should first review Section IX of the Financial Aid Policy Handbook. Please contact the Gustavus Financial Assistance office for more information or with any questions about financial aid.


Health and Safety Policies

Medical Insurance

Students are required to maintain their U.S. based health insurance for the duration of their time abroad. In addition:

  • EIIA: All Gustavus students and accompanying faculty members are covered under Gustavus Adolphus College insurance administered by Educational and Institutional Insurance Administrators (EIIA). This insurance provides secondary coverage for international emergencies and accidents as well as other benefits. Some exclusions apply. Pre-existing conditions are covered up to $3000 with a $500 deductible.
  • Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI): Students and accompanying faculty members on Gustavus-run semester or short-term international programs, and other semester and year-long students who choose to add this coverage, are covered under Gustavus Adolphus College insurance with CISI. This insurance serves as primary health insurance in the host country and will provide medical benefits for injury and sickness and includes coverage for pre-existing conditions and prescription drugs.
  • Information on insurance coverage is provided to students prior to departure, and is covered in parent mailings sent prior to student departure. If you have further questions, please contact CICE.

Health Concerns and Medical Withdrawal

  • It is to a student's advantage to provide information about current or past medical problems of which the Instructor or program site administrator should be aware. In cases of illness of a student, the Program Supervisor will consult with local medical authorities regarding hospitalization and treatment. In emergency situations, the Program Supervisor will authorize surgery, but in non-emergency situations will only order surgery upon receipt of parental authority. If, in the judgment of local medical staff, serious illness warrants return to the student's home, the Program Supervisor will make the necessary arrangements for such return and advance funds for return travel if needed.
  • Students who must withdraw from the program for medical reasons will receive a refund of all recoverable funds. The student must provide a doctor's statement verifying that the student is medically unable to participate in the program.
  • Students or their families may wish to purchase travel cancellation insurance. Our office works very hard to recover expenses that have already been paid on behalf of the student, but we cannot guarantee our providers will reimburse us. We do not endorse any particular travel insurance coverage, but quote comparisons can be found at insuremytrip.com. For more on travel insurance and the best policy for the trip go to Travel Insurance Review, Inc.
  • Certain inoculations will be recommended for particular January Interim courses. Specific information on inoculations and where and when to obtain them will be provided and discussed when accepted in the program. It is the responsibility of the student to consider these critical recommendations.

State Department Travel Warnings

January Interim courses are not held in a country or area considered to be unsafe by the U.S. Department of State. Should such a Public Announcement or Travel Warning advising individuals to defer travel to the region come into effect prior to the beginning of a program, the Center for International and Cultural Education will work with students to make alternative plans. In cases where such a Public Announcement or Travel Warning is issued while a program is in progress, every effort will be made to ensure program continuity in a safe place. If that is not possible, the CICE may decide to cancel an off-campus program based on the advice of the U.S. Department of State.

Risk Management

Any off-campus program may involve risk. It is the responsibility of students and providers to take whatever steps are necessary to minimize those risks. Every effort is made to protect the health and safety of students on off-campus studies programs but Gustavus Adolphus College, the Center for International and Cultural Education, or members of the Gustavus faculty or administrative staff cannot guarantee a risk-free environment or accept responsibility for accidents or illnesses on a study abroad program. When an emergency arises, the CICE staff follows an Emergency Management Plan that is quite comprehensive. Students can help avoid emergencies by observing the following guidelines:

  • Operation of Motor Vehicles. It is strongly recommended that students do not operate a motor vehicle in another country. Traffic laws and regulations differ from those in the U.S. In some countries, an international driver's license is required. If an accident occurs, you may find yourself responsible for all damages and costs. You must therefore assume responsibility for your own safety.
  • Independent Travel. Many students make arrangements to remain on site and/or travel rather than return directly to the U.S. at the end of a program. (See below for limitations on flight deviations.) Gustavus responsibility for students on off-campus programs ends at the time the group flight departs to return to the U.S. or at the scheduled end of an international or domestic program. Students assume full responsibility at that time.

For good advice about how to keep yourself safe, and more information in general about Gustavus' approach to safety, read one of the following:

Gustavus Alcohol and Drug Policy

Visitors in countries abroad are particularly vulnerable when it concerns violations —intentional or unintentional —of local rules and regulations concerning alcohol and, in particular, drugs. The process of law and punishment is far more arbitrary than within the United States and more often than not may lead to prolonged imprisonment under substandard conditions. Consequently, it is of utmost importance for the welfare of the individual that extreme caution and prudence be applied when it concerns these matters. In the United States, all federal and state laws govern the use of illegal drugs and alcohol.

The use, purchase, or sale of illegal drugs (hallucinogens, narcotics, stimulants, or depressants) is a critical issue. Any student who uses, buys, or sells illegal drugs will be expelled from the program and immediately returned to their home at his/her own expense. One violation will be cause for removal from the program. Separation from the program will result in loss of academic credit. The cost of legal advice, fines, and return travel must be borne by the violator. Providing alcohol to persons under the legal drinking age is illegal and against Gustavus policy. Transporting quantities of alcohol to program sites with the intent of sharing the alcohol with members of the group is considered to be irresponsible use of alcohol.


Application, Registration, and Travel Information

Dates and Deadlines

The dates for each individual course are included in the course descriptions in the January Interim course materials available on StudioAbroad. Please note that for some courses the entire January Interim is spent on the off-campus study-travel experience while for others there is both an on-campus and an off-campus portion.

Gustavus Faculty-led application deadline: April 1

UMAIE and HECUA application deadline: September 20

J-Term Internships, Career Explorations, Independent Study, and J-Term Exchange Programs deadline: October 15.

In the event a course is filled or cancelled due to low enrollment, students are notified and a credit for the deposit is made to your student account.


Orientation for every course is mandatory and is completed online. Students will receive information via their StudioAbroad account about how to access the orientation. Additional individual orientation sessions for each course will be conducted by the faculty member(s) leading the course during the fall term.

Flight Deviations and Baggage Restrictions

Please note that there will be a strict policy on deviations for any departure from the group ticket on airlines. It will be your responsibility to contact the Center for International and Cultural Education regarding any requested deviation from the group flight schedules prior to May 15. The cost for deviations, if permitted, will be the additional responsibility of the participant. Please note that deviation policies are governed by the airlines, not by the Center for International and Cultural Education. Some course flight schedules will not allow any deviations.

Airlines may impose a maximum restriction of one checked bag per ticketed passenger for both domestic and international programs. Any additional baggage charges are the responsibility of the student.

Do not purchase tickets to return to an alternate destination (i.e.home, family vacation) from Minneapolis after a January term abroad until CICE has actual e-tickets in hand in early December. Contact CICE for these dates and times in early December. Dates and times of arrival to Minneapolis frequently change. Gustavus is not responsible for time and date changes, nor costs which may affect a ticket that is purchased for/by your student to return to a destination from a January Interim course.

Required Documents


  • Participants must be in possession of a valid United States passport. NOTE: Students should check the expiration date on their passport. In order to meet the entry requirements of most countries, the passport needs to be valid through July 31, or six months past the time of the course.
  • Application for a passport is filed by appearing in person at the nearest county courthouse or in a federal building where such is available.
  • Two passport pictures and a certified copy of the birth certificate must be presented at the time of application. Passport pictures can be taken at the Dining Services office on the upper level of the Jackson Campus Center. A certified copy of the birth certificate may be obtained by writing to the clerk of court in the county of birth. Passports will reach applicants approximately six weeks after the date of application.
  • NOTE: Students who are not U.S. citizens should notify the Center for International and Cultural Education as soon as they are accepted to a program so that office staff can check to see if additional documentation will be needed for crossing borders.


Certain countries require an entry visa. Participants will be advised by the Center for International and Cultural Education regarding visa application and picture requirements.


Student Responsibilities

When students accept a place on a Gustavus approved program, they agree to support the policies and procedures set down to help ensure the success of the program. Students have a responsibility to make off-campus learning the best possible personal and academic experience.

Students are expected to:

  • Conduct themselves in a responsible and mature manner at all times. This includes being sensitive to cultural dress, norms and behavior in the sites visited. The Faculty Director on Gustavus led programs will inform students of the appropriate attire, norms and behavior in each site, and it is the responsibility of each student to adhere to these requirements.
  • Cooperate with schedules for travel, movement at airports, and other areas concerning travel logistics.
  • Attend all classes and other scheduled activities.
  • Observe College policies, including those related to drugs and alcohol. Violations may result in disciplinary action during off-campus study or upon return to campus.
  • Be responsible for all information contained in CICE materials, especially where fees and program details are concerned.
  • Attend all orientation meetings and/or appointments (unless considerable distance prevents them from doing so).
  • Pay all fees and personal expenses incurred while studying abroad.
  • Arrange for and complete all academic work within the allotted time abroad.
  • Respect the reasonable wishes of their hosts when living in a private home.
  • Obey laws, police regulations, and practices of the host country. Diplomatic representatives and U.S. laws will be able to offer little or no help to a student arrested and/or convicted of drug-related or other crimes.

Should it be decided that a student must be separated from the program because of violation of rules, disruptive behavior, or conduct which could bring the program disrepute, that decision will be final. If a student is terminated from the program by Gustavus Adolphus College prior to departure as a result of disciplinary or behavioral problems, fees will be assessed as necessary and will vary depending on the program and date of termination. If a student is terminated from the program after the program has begun, no refunds will be made and no credit will be awarded to students who are terminated from the program as a result of disciplinary or behavioral problems. If Gustavus Adolphus College is forced to cancel the program, all recoverable costs paid by Gustavus on behalf of the student prior to that time will be refunded. Students will always forfeit their application fees. The College ensures a good faith effort to reimburse students in the event the College cancels a program, but cannot guarantee 100% reimbursement.

Questions? Contact Roger Adkins