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Policies for May Terms

Student Eligibility to Apply for an Off-Campus May Term

Earlham students in good standing with the College are eligible to apply.

Students who are on a Medical Leave of Absence from the College and who are interested in an off-campus study program should have a healthy and academically successful semester after the MLOA and prior to application and/or approval for off-campus study.

The Application Process

Students must complete the application available in the CGE. Applications are due in the Center for Global Education by 5:00 on the application deadline. Deadlines are posted in the CGE, in Around the Heart, and on the CGE website. Students may only apply for one May Term at a time.

Selection Criteria for Off-Campus May Term

Each off-campus May Term is different and each has its own set of criteria. The following criteria for selection will be important:

  • Carefully prepared application.
  • Appropriateness of the May Term for the student.
  • Personal qualities and contributions to the May Term.
  • Special competencies and requirements (such as language skills or course pre-requisites).
  • Demonstrated emotional stability and maturity, indicating the ability to lead a stable, responsible and healthy lifestyle. The Center for Global Education may therefore consult with the relevant college personnel for advice concerning, but not limited to, recent and serious medical or emotional problems, recent and serious violations of acceptable community behavior such as substance abuse, threats of physical harm, damage or destruction of property, sexual assault. Students on Disciplinary Probation are not eligible to participate.
  • Satisfactory academic Status.
  • Off-Campus May Term Program Limitations and Priority Factors. If there are more students than there are spaces in the off-campus May Term, some students may not be able to participate. Factors such as quality of overall application and seniority / ability to participate at a later date / previous participation in a Program may be considered.
  • Accounting. Students must be in good standing with the Accounting Office. 
  • Late Applications. Students who submit applications after the published deadline should include a written explanation of why their application is late. Late applications may or may not be accepted by the individual Off Campus May Term Leaders.

Student Selection Process

The Faculty Leader reads the folders, interviews the students, and makes the final decisions regarding selection. The Faculty Leader will inform the students who are not accepted.

Student Acceptance

The Director of the CGE will send a letter informing students of their acceptance. The CGE will work with the Registrar to enroll the students in the off-campus May Term. Individuals should not enroll themselves in off-campus May Terms.

May Term Cost and Billing

Students will be billed in December for the full spring semester/May Term costs. Every student enrolled in a May Term course is charged a non-refundable May Term enrollment fee. Students enrolled in off-campus May Term are also charged an additional fee. If a student is enrolled for 18 or fewer hours during the Spring Semester, including May Term hours, there is no additional tuition charge. If a student registers for more than 18 hours for Spring semester and May Term courses combined, a May Term tuition fee is charged to the student’s account.


Participation in the Off-Campus May Term is voluntary. Students agree to participate in and cooperate with Earlham College, the Faculty Leader, and the group in all aspects of the May Term.

Failure to meet and maintain the conditions described in the "Selection Criteria" above may result in a student being disenrolled from a program.

Student Withdrawal

Students who withdraw from the May Term should notify the CGE immediately in writing. The CGE will notify the necessary offices on campus. Students who withdraw from a May Term course after January 15 will be charged a $385.00 cancellation fee and will be required to compensate the College for all expenses committed on their behalf. After May 1, there will be no refunds. Students who are dismissed from the May Term for disciplinary or academic reasons are not eligible for any refunds.


All students on an Earlham Off-Campus May Term are required to have a personal health insurance policy that covers them when they are outside of the United States. Earlham provides students on Earlham off-campus programs with the International Student ID card sponsored by STA Travel, which provides supplementary travel insurance coverage when traveling outside the United States. Additionally, all Earlham faculty and students are covered by Travel Guard Assistance Services provided by AIG. This coverage includes worldwide travel assistance, medical assistance, and safety and security assistance.

Dismissal from the May Term

The Faculty Leader, in consultation with Earlham College staff, has the authority to establish expectations necessary for the operation of the May Term. Should the Faculty Leader decide that a student must be terminated from the Program, that decision will be final. Expectations include: active participation in the orientation, satisfactory academic work, ability to meet the financial obligations of the May Term, willingness to be a responsible and cooperative group member, conformity to May Term rules and expectations, upholding laws and regulations of the area, good health that promotes effective participation, disclosure of material information requested by the May Term, and appropriate conduct in the host community or host family. Conduct that is potentially dangerous to the student or to others, such as the use or possession of illegal drugs or excessive alcohol consumption, may result in termination from the May Term. Serious physical or mental health issues that hinder the student’s ability to participate successfully in the May Term may also result in termination. Students who are dismissed from a May Term or who leave the May Term early will receive no credit for the semester.

The Center for Global Education and the Faculty Leader will work together to coordinate a student’s return trip and to coordinate information on the Earlham campus.

Risks and Responsibilities

Participation in the off-campus May Term involves risks not found in study at the College. These may include, but are not limited to, risk involved in traveling to and within and returning from the May Term site; political, legal, social and economic conditions; different standards of design, safety and maintenance of buildings, public places and conveyances; local medical and weather conditions. Students assume responsibility for their actions and well being at all times: prior to the May Term, during the May Term, during any independent periods, and following the May Term. It is the responsibility of the student to consult with the United States Consulate and other appropriate agencies and authorities regarding the advisability of travel to other areas in the region if traveling overseas. Students accept these risks and responsibilities.

Arrival and Departure from Program Site

Students are required to arrive at the May Term site by the date specified. Students are expected to complete the May Term and remain at the May Term site until the specified departure date.

Courses, Academic Credit and Grades

All off-campus May Term courses are worth three semester hours of credit. Grades will be included in the Earlham transcript and will be calculated into the grade point average. Students must complete the entire off-campus May Term in order to receive any academic credit.

Student Conduct and Health

Students are required to obey the conduct requirements of the individual May Term. Students are required to be in good physical, mental and emotional health to complete the May Term.

Breakage, Damage, and Loss of Items

Students who are responsible for breakage or damage in the living situations or in the classroom setting will be charged for the cost of repair or replacement. Students who lose host family or other keys pertaining to the Program will be charged for replacement and other associated costs.

Program Evaluation

Students are expected to complete a written off-campus May Term evaluation before leaving the May Term.

Program Changes

Earlham reserves the right to terminate or alter an off-campus May Term at any time and for any reason, without prior notice. Every attempt will be made to keep students apprised of these changes as they arise.

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