Campus Spotlight: Colby College

Would you like to study at a prestigious New England college, but dread the thought of those long winters? At some schools, January offers a chance to continue your studies in a decidedly more temperate environment. Sound interesting? Then check out Colby College and its special January programs.

Oceanography student

Escape Those Maine Winters

Colby College is situated on a beautiful campus taking up most of Mayflower Hill in central Maine. Yet on those cold days in January, there are more than a few empty classrooms and dormitories. This is when students take part in what is known as a Jan Plan, or January Program. The Jan Plan usually consists of an internship or intensive 4-week course that often counts for credit towards graduation. It's an opportunity to escape the snow and complete experiential learning that might be invaluable after graduation.

While Colby offers Jan Plan programs in everything from furniture making to chamber music, some recent students have taken advantage of the opportunity to head out to sea. Colby has a partnership with the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. Through this partnership, students can spend January sailing the Pacific, exploring the Amazon River or studying off the Atlantic Coast. While at sea, Colby students conduct hands-on oceanographic research, working alongside experienced scientists. This field work can help them learn more about environmental science, whether it's a possible career or just something they're curious about.

Welcome to Maine

Back on Campus

Diverse learning opportunities at Colby aren't limited to January. This private, liberal arts college offers 54 majors to its nearly 2,000 students. While you might expect a college that's nestled deep in the rural state of Maine to have a narrow focus, that's not the case. Colby was one of the nation's first colleges to be given the Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. This award recognizes the strong International Studies department at Colby, as well as the international component that is present in half of the school's majors.

In addition to its international focus, Colby has been a pioneer in the field of integrated studies. Since 1997, the school has offered an Integrated Studies semester, in which students study deeply on a single subject across multiple disciples. For example, the South Africa Cluster examines that country through the fields of geology, anthropology and literature. The Great Depression Cluster focuses on a specific era in history, including coursework in history, film and photography.

Colby College exemplifies the liberal arts tradition. As a student there, you can explore the world in a multitude of ways. Perhaps best of all, you're not bound by the limitations of an isolated location, even in January.

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