Off-Campus Study

Off-Campus Study (OCS) is a great opportunity for all Gender, Women’s, & Sexuality Studies (GWSS) students. Spending a semester studying off campus is something every Grinnell student should consider, and if you are pursuing a GWSS major you can easily combine your OCS experience with your GWSS four-year plan..

Things to Consider When Choosing an OCS Program

Language: Do you speak a language other than English? You can immerse yourself in that language while studying abroad, which can be an invaluable experience. While not all OCS language-immersive programs offer GWSS-related courses, you can still apply the theories and methods learned in your GWSS courses at Grinnell to those programs. GWSS-related courses can be found on many of the English-language programs in other countries.

Location: Is there a particular part of the world where you would like to live for a semester? There are Grinnell-sponsored OCS programs all over the world for you to choose from. Many of the programs with the strongest GWSS curricula are in northern Europe, but there are GWSS-themed programs in India, Argentina, New Zealand, and many other locations.

Curriculum and Diversifying Your Coursework: Do you want the majority of your OCS courses to focus on GWSS? Or do you want only one or two courses in GWSS? Are there GWSS topics that aren’t currently offered at Grinnell that you would be interested in taking on an OCS program?

Internship and Research Opportunities: Do you want the opportunity to complete an internship or an advanced research project in a GWSS-related field while on an OCS program?

Types of OCS Programs

Primary Focus in GWSS: These are programs where the majority of your coursework is focused on gender, women’s, and sexuality studies, as well as feminist and queer theories. Such programs include: IES-Amsterdam and the Antioch College Comparative Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe program, which travels to multiple sites in Europe.

Significant Course Opportunities in GWSS: These are programs that always offer at least one course in gender, women’s, and sexuality studies—and sometimes more. Such programs include: DIS-Copenhagen and IES-Amsterdam. See the OCS website for more options.

Additional Programs: Many other OCS programs include opportunities for GWSS-related coursework, internships, and/or research. In many cases, the courses may be offered through the university where the program is located. Such programs include, but not are limited to: IES-Santiago, IES-Rabat, IES-Cape Town, and SITA (South India Term Abroad Program). Both Grinnell-in-Washington and Grinnell-in-London offer internships that may be located in GWSS-related organizations.

How Do OCS Credits Count Toward the GWSS Major?

GWSS-related courses taken while on an OCS program may count toward the GWSS major; courses are approved after the student returns from OCS. If you are taking a course that you think should count toward your GWSS major, you should be sure to keep a copy of the syllabus and, if possible, send an electronic copy to your GWSS adviser to keep in your file. Upon returning to Grinnell, you will work with your adviser to have the course approved for GWSS credit. The GWSS program has some OCS syllabi for courses that have been approved in the past; please contact your adviser if you are interested in learning more about a particular program’s courses.

OCS courses can be used to meet the general credit requirements and to fulfill the four thematic rubrics of the major curriculum. However, OCS courses cannot be used to fulfill either of the major’s two required 300-level courses, both of which must be completed at Grinnell.

For additional information about OCS programs in GWSS, please contact Professor Lakesia Johnson or Professor Carolyn Herbst Lewis. General information and a full list of OCS programs at Grinnell can be found via the OCS website.


Unpaid Internships

Grinnell students can do unpaid internships in a variety of settings around the state of Iowa and around the world. Internship work can be done during the semester or during the summer and can involve varying amounts of time. Course credit may be available if the student has a faculty supervisor and combines internship work with related reading and writing.

GWS students in the recent past have done unpaid internships at Domestic Violence Alternatives in Marshalltown, at the women's prison in Mitchellville, at the Iowa State Historical Society in Iowa City, and at the Jeanne Burkle Women's Center in Grinnell. Students studying overseas have also done unpaid internships related to: domestic violence in Australia, women's health in Zimbabwe, childcare in Krasnador, Russia, and women's collectives in Costa Rica.

Paid Internships

The Louise Noun Women's Studies Program Committee offers two paid grants every summer to students pursuing internships that focus on women and/or LGBTQ communities and that offer students first-hand experience working for feminist, queer, and anti-racist organizations.

For more information regarding Noun Awards, please contact Carolyn Herbst Lewis at (641) 269-9522.

Awards, Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships

Boren Scholarships

Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin American, and the Middle East.

Boren Scholarship 

Boren Scholarship Application

Fulbright Grants

In general, there are two types of Fulbright grants:

Additionally, Fulbright offers several specialized grants, including Travel-Only Grants (which are usually given to graduate students, and only for Germany. Fulbright/mtvU Awards, Critical Language Enhancement Awards, Fulbright Business Grants (Finland), Fulbright Journalism Grants , and Country-Specific Awards to Australia (CSIRO), Ireland (Irish Language), Italy (Slow Foods and Deaf Studies), Mexico (Graduate Degree and Public Policy); and the Netherlands (Water Management).

Fulbright information

Fulbright Application

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

Gates Cambridge Scholarships are highly competitive full-cost awards for full-time graduate study and research in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.

Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Gates Cambridge Application

Gilman Scholarship

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad.

Gilman Scholarship

Gilman Scholarship Application

Marshall Scholarships

Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to forty Scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at an UK institution in any field of study.

Marshall Scholarship 

Marshall Scholarship Application

Mitchell Scholarship

The Mitchell Scholarship Program, named to honor former US Senator George Mitchell's pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, is designed to introduce and connect generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service.

Up to twelve Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually for one year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Mitchell Scholarship 

Rhodes Scholarships

Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest international educational fellowships, were initiated after the death of Cecil Rhodes in 1902, and bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford.

Rhodes Scholarship

Rhodes Scholarship Application

Activities and Organizations


The Student Educational Policy Committee, or SEPC, is a student-faculty liaison group which provides faculty with student input on professors, candidates, curriculum, and other departmental issues. It also organizes social events within the department.