Study Abroad for Physics Majors
The Physics Department encourages study abroad for majors since it allows our physics majors to play an active part as citizens of the world scientific community. As with any major, careful planning is needed to be sure that requirements for the major are fulfilled, and sophomores intending to declare a Physics major are strongly urged to study these requirements for the major so that they can determine the optimum semester to study abroad. At Wesleyan we believe that the best study abroad experience will include work done in the major, since this provides the student with a natural community of fellow-students with shared interests and background, and greatly facilitates the process of cultural integration. Physics majors are thus urged to consider direct enrollment in a university abroad where they can take courses related to their major interests.
Credit Towards the Major
While it is not required, two credits towards the physics major can be brought in from elsewhere. Courses to be brought in from study abroad must be pre-approved by the student's advisor: the form for this approval is part of the study abroad application packet and can be downloaded from the Office of International Studies website or obtained from OIS in 105 Fisk Hall. Second-semester sophomores should discuss their plans with a departmental advisor as soon as they have declared the major.
Preferred Programs for Physics Majors
The Physics Department has an exchange agreement with Dublin City University in Ireland. This spring semester opportunity allows students to study in a fully-integrated environment under the guidance of members of the Dublin City physics faculty who engage in collaborative research work with members of the Wesleyan Physics Department. Students will be placed in a laboratory and will participate actively in current research activities closely working with Dublin City physics faculty.
Foreign Language Study: Students with a good knowledge of French, Spanish, German or Italian have opportunities to take physics courses as part of a semester abroad through the medium of those languages. Information on all these opportunities can be obtained from the Office of International Studies
Programs in English-speaking countries: Students have received credit for the physics major in recent years from universities in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K.
British universities, where students are likely to have a good overall experience and find very good physics:
- University of Durham
- University of Exeter
- University of Sussex
- University of Bristol
- University of Lancaster
- University of Leeds
- University of Manchester
- University College London
- Queen Mary College
- University of Sydney
- University of Melbourne
- Listing with links for Australian Departments of Physics
The Process for Planning Studying Abroad
We believe that study abroad should be carefully planned with the advice of an academic advisor and the staff of the Office of International Studies. This should be an experience that adds significantly to a liberal education: one of the essential capabilities defined at Wesleyan is "Inter-cultural competence", and study abroad is an excellent way for students to foster the knowledge and empathy which characterize such competence.
All study abroad for credit during the academic year is processed through the Office of International Studies. Students are encouraged to visit the OIS website to investigate programs approved for study abroad, and to familiarize themselves with the process. The next step is to visit OIS in 105 Fisk Hall to consult program materials and student evaluations, and to discuss options with the staff and with students who have returned from study abroad. Drop in hours are MWF 10-12, TTH 2-4, or by appointment: 865 2550.