Pomona College offers 68 programs in 37 countries for its own students. Approximately half of Pomona College students participate in an off-campus study program before graduating. To ensure equal access, the College charges the same fees for a semester or year off-campus as for a semester or year spent on campus and extends financial aid allowances to cover the time away.
To begin the process, students should attend an international and domestic programs info session. Then, students will be able to make an advising appointment with an International and Domestic Programs Office (IDPO) advisor to discuss program options. The IDPO maintains a resource library with program information and keeps feedback forms by former participants for each program. You may stop by the office to browse a collection of general travel literature and other resources that may be useful as you prepare for your time away from campus.
Note: Pomona College may be obliged to alter or eliminate programs described without prior notice. Dates, courses, and costs, both for on-campus services and for programs off-campus, may change without prior notification.
Guiding Philosophy and Principles for International and Domestic Programs
Approved by the International and Domestic Programs Committee on December 8, 2021.
Pomona College has long embraced the philosophy that the cultural awareness fostered through international study is part of a liberal arts education. In 1971 the faculty passed the following resolution (updated by the International and Domestic Programs Committee in 2021):
The College believes that the opportunity to study off-campus in the U.S. or abroad may benefit each student's academic program and enrich the life of the College community. Through international and domestic programs, the College seeks to maximize the benefits of living temporarily in a different culture and environment; to extend the curriculum of the College beyond the Claremont campus; to generate both intellectual and personal sensitivity to the variations of life, culture, and scholarship in the world; and thus to prepare students to collaboratively address complex challenges.
In support of the College’s institutional learning goals, the specific learning objectives of our academic departments and programs, and the Strategic Vision, the International and Domestic Programs Committee has outlined the following principles to guide the work of the International and Domestic Programs Office. These principles draw on the past findings of various committees, working groups, and task forces that have examined and envisioned Pomona College’s international programming. The principles highlight the values that we wish to center in the development of and support for international and domestic programs at the College.
Mission and Values
Curriculum and Learning
Studying off-campus enhances Pomona’s liberal arts curriculum and provides new vantage points on local and global issues. Incorporating regional and global perspectives in a liberal arts education is of prime importance in preparing students to address complex challenges in a globalized world.
- By extending student learning beyond our campus, we will foster education in and about different languages, cultures, histories, identities, systems, and societies.
- Such education will facilitate knowledge construction, self-awareness and reflection, understanding and empathy, historical perspective, critical thinking, and cultural and linguistic appreciation.
Access and Inclusion
International and Domestic Programs position students to contribute to scholarly and professional work with enhanced viewpoints and deeper understanding of themselves, others, and local and global issues. It is essential to our work to ensure that all students, including those historically underrepresented in off-campus study programming, have access and support to flourish in off-campus study programs.
- We are committed to reducing or eliminating barriers to international and domestic programs so that as many students as possible have the opportunity to participate, regardless of class, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexuality, national identity, ability, or financial circumstances.
- In establishing and maintaining program partnerships, we prioritize partnerships that support the diversity of curricular and co-curricular offerings at the College to ensure that students from all majors can participate.
- We will work with program partners to create healthy environments in which individuals feel welcomed, respected, valued, supported, and fully able to achieve and contribute.
Culture and Community
Opportunities for engagement with local people and communities are an integral part of the program experience.
- Programs should provide a solid and safe home base, embedded in local communities, institutions, or environments, from which students build their learning and explore.
- Programs should deepen student engagement through experiential learning opportunities with local communities and issues, such as community-based learning, internships, research, and volunteering.
- Programs should facilitate active reflection and opportunities to build self-awareness, empathy, and intercultural agility.
Language study is a critical part of learning about and engaging with other cultures. By making efforts to learn the local language, students demonstrate respect for the local people and culture, develop deeper understanding of and relationships with the host community, and exercise humility and curiosity in entering a new environment.
- Where possible through prior experience or the Claremont Colleges’ curricula, students should prepare for international programs by developing proficiency in the host country’s language.
- Where applicable, international programs will prioritize students’ increased proficiency in the host country’s language through academic coursework, experiential learning opportunities, and engagement with the local community.
Social and Civic Responsibility
International and Domestic Program experiences play a unique role in developing student awareness of local and global issues and of their own positionality.
- Programming will promote awareness of and reflection on responsible engagement with local and global issues impacting individuals, communities, societies, and the planet.
- Through these experiences, students will consider more deeply their past, present, and future roles in these spaces and processes.
- Programs should seek reciprocal benefit to both students and local communities.