Q: Why apply to CISLA?

The mission of CISLA is to educate students to become culturally sensitive, socially engaged, politically informed leaders, and to give them the skills to thrive in a globalized world. CISLA prepares students to internationalize their major and to become responsible citizens of the global community. We seek to engage students as leaders of tomorrow by preparing them today with the global professional skills, knowledge, and lived intercultural experiences required of people in positions of leadership.

Q: What are the three CISLA questions and why are they significant?

  1. How do we interact with the multiple origins and dynamics of power structures and social hierarchies today?
  2. How can a given body’s (person’s, nation’s, discipline’s, institution’s) history shape future possibilities for discovery?
  3. How can we address the material, spiritual and ethical challenges facing us today?

These three questions ask you to put your own work into a broader liberal arts context. The three questions are introduced in IS 201 and IS 401 and returned to in IS 302 and Is 401 and must be addressed throughout your time as a CISLA scholar, and in the addendum (CISLA reflection paper) to the final senior integrative project.

Q: What if I change my mind about my proposed integrative plan of study after the application has been approved?

Change is implicit, and we have created this program to be flexible. We encourage you to discuss your developing ideas with faculty in your major and faculty in CISLA. As your research evolves, we ask that you capture those changes in an updated CISLA SIP proposal. Put your new ideas in writing and we will review and approve any changes. We are happy to discuss any changes you may have at all stages of development up until December of your junior year. Any significant changes to your project (e.g. location, main topic) must be approved by December 31st of your junior year.

Q: When do I have to declare my major? What if I change my major?

The College asks you to declare a major in March of your sophomore year. If you are not positive about your major when you apply to CISLA, simply put down what you assume your major will be. If you change it at a later date, please notify us. Keep in mind that if you change your major you may need to re-examine your support courses.

Q: Can I do Study Away?

Yes. Studying away either in a traditional program or SATA does not interfere with your CISLA requirements and usually enhances your overall experience. 

Q: Can I study away in one place and do an internship in another?

Yes, though it is encouraged to study away and intern in the same country. Usually you will study away in an area that speaks the language that you intend to use during your internship. For example, you could study away in Spain and go to Ecuador for an internship, or study in France and intern in Senegal. Occasionally a student who has command of more than one language will study in a different linguistic area. This is acceptable, but you must be certain that you have an excellent command of the language where you are to do your internship. If you have a plan that is unconventional, come see us to discuss it and explore possible options.

Q: What is the difference between the Senior Integrative Project (SIP), an Honors Thesis and an Independent Study?

The SIP can be done either as an honors thesis in the major (two independent studies) or as a one-semester independent study (usually in the major). An honors thesis is eight credits of work over two semesters and represents a substantial piece of research. An independent study is four credits and is done during either the fall or spring semester. In both cases the requirements, criteria, deadlines and approvals are department specific so you must establish plan ahead and identify a faculty member to work with in the department in which you plan to do the SIP.

Q: If I am a double major, can I do my integrative project in either major? Can I do my integrative project in my minor?

Yes, you just need approval of the departmental adviser for the project.

Q: What if I don't get a 3.0 this semester?

Students are accepted to CISLA based on their GPA and other criteria. If at any time your cumulative GPA falls below a 3.0, we will meet with you to discuss the matter and your status in CISLA will be considered provisional. In any event, you will not qualify for the stipend to do the internship if you do not have a 3.0 GPA.

Q: I hear that IS 201 is really hard; will I be able to take five courses?

IS 201 is demanding, but not more so than many courses at the College. You should determine for yourself if you can manage five courses. It is always a question of time management.

Q: Do I have to get written recommendations from the faculty that I have named on the application?

No, CISLA staff will reach out to them for your recommendation. You should have a conversation with the faculty letting them know that you have applied to CISLA, and asking if they would be comfortable with you listing them as a reference. If they agree, you can let them know that CISLA will be contacting them for a recommendation.