Although applications for next year's off-campus programs are due in February, some departments are still accepting students to fill free spaces on programs that have faced problems with enrollment.
The French language study abroad program in Lyon this fall was canceled due to low enrollment, and a number of Spring term programs are accepting late applications to fill openings that resulted from lack of interest, according to Joyce Kenison of the Off-Campus Programs Office.
The Spanish language study abroad program in Puebla, the French LSA in Lyon, the French LSA-plus in Toulouse, the music FSP in London and the German LSA in Berlin all have open spaces long after their application deadlines.
"Decisions to accept late applications lie with the department," Kenison said. "They have wait lists, so students must contact the department for an okay to submit late applications."
With most trips requiring applications at least six months in advance, applying for a language study abroad or foreign study program demands much planning. Students ordinarily face a Feb. 1 deadline for trips scheduled for the following year, while summer trips have a deadline of Jan. 10.
Once the applications have been submitted, departments make the final decision as to which students will go on their programs. Even when students have gone through the process and been accepted to the program of their choice, however, there is still a chance they may be unable to attend.
Zack Styskal '08 withdrew from his French FSP after he faced complications fitting the program into his Dartmouth Plan. He is now planning to attend the Spanish FSP in Madrid next fall.
"I am a Spanish major, so I would like to study in Spain during the fall and work there during the winter while improving my Spanish," Styskal said.
Styskal cited interacting with other Dartmouth students, improving his Spanish and being able to take Winter term off to work in Spain as the main benefits of his new program choice.
Despite being unable to attend the French FSP to which he initially applied, Styskal said he had a positive experience with the whole process.
"The applications were relatively straightforward, and the office was always helpful when I needed questions answered," Styskal said.
Andrea Palmer '08 agreed, saying the application process was relatively easy even if the deadlines could be hard to meet.
"It was annoying how early I had to complete the application," she said. "If you want to go on a trip in the spring, you have to do the application 15 months ahead."
With all the complexities of Dartmouth's unique schedule, planning so far in advance can be a challenge.
Palmer will be attending the linguistics program in New Zealand this winter, a choice she said would allow her to get hands-on experience with linguistics while avoiding the bitter New England weather.
Departments are holding open houses to drum up interest in their off-campus program offerings later in October.