International Student Information and Application Page
Hobart & William Smith Colleges is dedicated to educating young men and women to lead lives of consequence. Through a challenging interdisciplinary, liberal arts curriculum, the Colleges prepare students to think critically and make astute connections. In partnership with the Geneva and global communities and through robust programs in career development, study abroad, service, leadership and athletics, the Colleges foster an environment that values global citizenship, teamwork, ethics, inclusive excellence, social justice, and cultural competence.
Since Hobart’s founding in 1822 and William Smith’s founding in 1908, Hobart and William Smith Colleges have stayed true to their mission of providing a student-centered, residential learning environment, globally focused, and grounded in the values of equity and service. Located on 195 acres on the shore of Seneca Lake in a setting of incomparable beauty, Hobart and William Smith Colleges enjoy a rich heritage based on a two-college system now unique in higher education.
Hobart and William Smith is a small, private liberal arts institution. You can expect to study in relatively small classes and build close relationships with your classmates and professors. Virtually all students are being housed on campus. Living so close to each other has many advantages: it is relatively easy to get to know new people, get involved in clubs and activities, and make an impact on the community.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges are among the best 100 schools in the nation, according to Forbes magazine. The publication listed HWS as 87th in "America's Top Colleges". The Princeton Review also lists Hobart and William Smith as among the country's best institutions for undergraduate education in its annual college guide, "The Best 376 Colleges". Hobart and William Smith have been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
At HWS, a normal course load is four classes per semester. This means that you will be in class for between 12 and 15 hours every week, or more if you take courses requiring labs or studio work. There are different types of classes. 100 and 200-level classes are usually introductory classes and have a wider focus. 300- and 400-level classes have a narrower, more specific focus.
Foreign students often find that Americans are very competitive. This also reflects on the system of grading. You will find that you will have many opportunities to prove your knowledge of a subject in class. Many professors will give short, unannounced quizzes that test your knowledge of the course material assigned for that day. Exams are bigger, announced tests that cover the course material of a longer period of time. The standard full-time course load at Hobart & William Smith Colleges is comprised of FOUR 1.0 unit courses. Usually, that is the load that our exchange students take while at HWS. Exchange students who prefer a lighter work load OR whose degree program at home requires more credit may choose only 3.0 or as many as 5.0 units.
To find the curriculum that will be on offer during your semester with us, please navigate to the HWS Registrar page: www.hws.edu/offices/registrar/ and scroll to the schedule of courses link(s) toward the bottom of the page. After finding the courses you are interested in taking, visit our on-line catalog: http://www.hws.edu/catalogue/ to find complete descriptions of all courses that are offered at HWS. Open the appropriate catalog link and search for the courses that are of interest to you.
To view upcoming academic calendars, view our academic calendar page: http://www.hws.edu/news/calendars.aspx. Remember, international exchange students have a mandatory orientation the week prior to the new student orientation, so please do not book flights before confirming your arrival dates with our office.
Please note that FINAL deadlines for the receipt of materials for the spring semester is November 1 and for the fall semester is April 1. We are always happy to receive applications earlier and will be able to respond to your application within a few weeks of receipt.
Within the Hobart and William Smith community are dozens of smaller communities--those of the individual residences. The range of housing options is extensive, with coed or single-sex college residences, cooperative houses, theme houses, and town houses among the choices you’ll find over your time here.
Residence halls offer a variety of configurations, with traditional singles and doubles as well as suites. Some recent theme houses have included Jewish Culture House, Multicultural Sisterhood House, Writers House, and International Awareness House. The ten cooperative houses provide an alternative to standard residence-hall living, with residents sharing responsibility for food and housecleaning arrangements.
Our experience has been that many of our exchange students enjoy living in a co-op, theme house, suite, Odell’s unit, or other specialty residence, although occasionally exchange students request a traditional residence hall. We also recruit a number of HWS students who have studied abroad and who have volunteered to be roommates or housemates with international exchange students. Please note that all students must purchase and utilize a meal plan but if you prefer to cook at least some of your meals with a group of housemates or on your own you should request a theme house, co-op or Odell’s unit which allows this.
Visiting exchange students can participate in a wide-array of curricular and co-curricular field trips and excursions offered by the Colleges to all students. These may include field-studies courses for geoscience or environmental studies students into local forests or natural areas, tickets to a show, lecture or musical event in a nearby city or in downtown Geneva, or visits to area historic sites and museums. In addition, the Center for Global Education coordinates monthly excursions just for exchange students. Each semester there is a visit to Niagara Falls, including a ride on the “Maid of the Mist” https://www.maidofthemist.com/the-maid-experience/take-a-ride/. Depending upon the season, other excursions include hikes at Watkins Glen State Park https://parks.ny.gov/parks/142/, Chimney Bluffs https://www.parks.ny.gov/parks/43/aspx, tickets to see the professional team “the Buffalo Bills” play American football, a day of lessons and skiing at Bristol Mountain, and day trips to the nearby cities of Rochester, Ithaca or Corning New York.
Exchange student tuition fees are waived but you must provide documentation to show that you have adequate personal resources to cover room, board, books and health insurance (at least $7,800 per semester).
Select 'Apply' Now at the top of this brochure to begin the application process. Select the term you wish to apply to and then enter your email address and password to create an account. You will need to click on each blue link in your application portal and submit the required application materials. Your application is not considered complete until all boxes are completed with check marks. Please send an email to email@example.com once you have finished all components of your application.
Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS until you have received final confirmation of the program start/finish dates for the specific semester you are attending. Dates included in versions of the program handbook intended for previous semesters do not necessarily apply to future programs.
NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please email the CGE for more information.