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Application Process

Students should check their passport to confirm it is valid for at least six months after their program ends. If they need to apply for or renew a passport, they should be aware that it can take up to six weeks (or longer if there are processing delays) for U.S. citizens to receive one. Some programs also require a visa that is issued by the country where the program is based. To obtain a visa, students must first have a valid passport. They should begin the visa application process as soon as possible after acceptance to their program. Instructions regarding visa procurement are normally sent to students shortly after program acceptance.
Since it may take up to 90 days to receive a visa and have the passport returned to the student, participating in consecutive study abroad programs in different countries, particularly between summer and fall, may be problematic or even impossible. Students must plan carefully if they need to travel internationally prior to the start of a study abroad program to make sure that they will have necessary travel documents in hand. They should consult with an Education Abroad Adviser if they are considering consecutive study abroad programs or have additional international travel plans in mind that could affect their ability to obtain a visa.
International students should consult with International Student Programs regarding their U.S. student visa status and plans to study abroad.
The Campus Post Office hosts two passport days each year (September and February) so that students may sign up to submit their passport applications to a U.S. passport agent without traveling off campus. All application materials and payment must be provided at these appointments, or the agent will not be able to accept the application. An announcement with details is posted each semester, and spaces fill up quickly. Students may contact an Education Abroad Advisor if they have questions about passports or any aspect of the application process.
More details are available in After Acceptance and on the U.S. Department of State passport website.
Students applying to a Davidson-administered program for the fall, spring, academic year, or summer must select the desired Davidson program, click on the "Apply to Program" button, then complete the Davidson online application.

An unofficial transcript must be uploaded to the application. This can be requested through the Registrar’s Office at Transcript Requests, following the instructions for an unofficial, electronic transcript. Students should allow enough time for transcript requests to be processed and received prior to the application deadline.
Depending on the program, one or more faculty recommendations are required. Students should request these recommendations electronically by entering the email address for the recommender after asking if that person will serve as a recommender. Please see below for additional instructions for requesting recommendations.
Students may apply to a total of three programs per term, although they should discuss their interest in multiple programs with an Education Abroad Adviser to determine if there are any conflicts with their chosen programs. If applying to more than one program, students will complete only one Davidson application while submitting an application to each of the partner programs. All of the requirements for the Davidson application are the same, so no need to do extra work!
Most applications will require a copy of your transcript, which can be requested through the Registrar’s Office at Transcript Requests. Students should check the partner program’s requirements to determine if they need an official or unofficial copy and follow the instructions on the Registrar’s Office website.
Additionally, many applications will require one or more recommendations. Tips on requesting these from professors or other individuals are listed below.
Fall, Spring, Academic Year
Students must complete 1) a Davidson application and 2) an application directly with the partner (third-party) program (e.g., CIEE, IES, SIT, etc.). The Davidson application grants “permission” to study abroad, and the partner application grants “admission” to that program.
Students must complete 1) the Summer Program – Partner (Non-Davidson) application and 2) an application directly with the partner program. Please see additional information about summer options on the Summer Programs page.

Winter Break
Students must complete 1) the Winter Break Program – Partner (Non-Davidson) application and 2) an application directly with the partner program. A list of recommended programs is available on the Winter Break Programs page.

All application materials, including transcripts, recommendations, and any supporting documents for Davidson AND the partner programs, must be submitted by Davidson’s deadlines, irrespective of the partner deadline. If all materials are not submitted by the Davidson deadline, approval to study abroad may be revoked. (Note that a few partner programs have deadlines earlier than the Davidson deadline, and in those cases, the partner program deadline supersedes Davidson’s deadline.)
Fall, Academic Year, Summer: February 1
Spring, Winter Break: October 1
Davidson reviews all applications shortly after the deadline. Many partner programs accept qualified students on a rolling admission basis, and students could learn of their acceptance as early as two weeks after their application is submitted. Other programs may take up to six weeks after an application deadline to send students an admissions decision.

When requesting a recommendation, students should provide professors or others with at least 3 weeks advance notice before the deadline. Additionally, students should follow these guidelines:
  • Ask recommenders politely (preferably in person) if they believe they know the student well enough in XX academic area and if they can provide a positive letter of recommendation. For language assessment recommendations, it is to the student’s advantage to ask their most recent professor to provide a letter.
  • Remind the recommender of the course(s) taken with them, if applicable, including the semester and final grade. It is also helpful to include a written assignment or exam from the class. If a more extensive letter is required, please include a résumé or at least information about GPA, extracurricular activities, accomplishments, interests, reason for selecting the study abroad program, and the goals for the term abroad.
  • Explain the type of recommendation being requested by the program. For example, is there a prompt? Is a full letter required, or is the recommendation a short form to complete?
    • The following Davidson programs require a short form: Cádiz, China, Ghana, France, Madrid, Peru, and Zambia.
    • Davidson in Cambridge requires a written letter that will be copied into an online form.
  • Share the deadline with the recommender and remind them of the request a few days before the deadline if you see within the application that it is still incomplete.
  • If the recommender needs to mail the recommendation, include a pre-addressed, stamped envelope.
  • Students have the option to view the information their recommender submits. If students choose not to waive their right to view the information, they should inform their recommender so the recommender can let the student know whether he or she is comfortable writing a recommendation on their behalf.