SIT in Switzerland: International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy
SIT Study Abroad offers a field-based, experiential approach to learning. Each program has a small group of students (typically 10–35). On an SIT program, students gain high levels of access to many different stakeholders and experts relevant to the issues the program is examining. While some learning will be conducted at the SIT program center, extensive learning is done outside the classroom — in host communities, field stations, NGO headquarters, ecological sites, health clinics, and art studios.Many students go on to use their Independent Study Projects as a basis for senior theses on their home campuses. Others use their undergraduate research and overall study abroad experience to successfully apply for fellowships such as Fulbrights and Watsons.
Students will earn 9 credit hours for this summer program. Classes will be taught in English, but students will also be taking a French language course. The set courses for the program cover topics related to:
- Multilateral diplomacy
- International security
- Politics of the European Union
- Economic diplomacy
- Humanitarian Law
- The UN system
Please visit the SIT Study Abroad website for details on the program courses (including syllabi), educational excursions, and housing.
There is no "typical day"on an SIT program. Activities may take place on any day of the week and at any time of day to be in accordance with local norms and to take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities. Thus, the schedule and structure of the program are likely very different from what students are used to on their home campuses. The summer progresses in phases. Summer programs last for six or seven weeks. Much of that time is spent in the field, with visits to sites relevant to the program theme.
Throughout the summer students participate in:
- thematic seminars and educational excursions
- language instruction focused on improving practical communication skills
- one to two homestays, typically
On some programs, students complete a practicum or research project.
At the end of each program, students participate in debriefing and reentry sessions.
The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During the homestay, students become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program. Students will experience a five-and-a-half-week homestay with a family in the French-speaking canton of Vaud, where they will be immersed in Francophone culture. Students will be able to enhance their language skills and gain insight into the traditional values of the Swiss political system: federalism, tolerance, respect for minorities, neutrality, and direct democracy.
Most homestay families are northeast of Geneva near Nyon. Students typically use the area’s excellent public transportation system, traveling by train or bus. Students will live with their host family for the length of the program. You will also stay in a hostel during the orientation period.
Here are the estimated costs for the Summer 2018 program: SA SIT Switz Sum 18.pdf
Binghamton and SUNY Scholarships
Students applying for this program are highly encouraged to apply for the
For more information about scholarships and financial aid in general, click here.
SIT awards nearly $1.3 million in scholarships and grants annually.All scholarships and grants are need-based. Awards generally range from $500 to $5,000. The SIT Pell Grant Match provides matching grants to all students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding when it is applied to an SIT Study Abroad program. Students who receive a Pell Grant should also apply for the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship. Additionally, any Binghamton/SUNY student who is accepted to an SIT program that is approved by Binghamton University for summer term will automatically be granted a $750 reduction in program cost (this is already reflected in the cost sheet)!
Federal and New York State financial aid is generally applicable to study abroad programs. The amount of financial aid that you may be eligible to receive is of an individual nature. All students should print out the above estimate of costs sheet, bring it to the Financial Aid office, and consult with a counselor there about what the implications of this cost would be for them individually. The Binghamton Financial Aid Services Office is able to consider only the application of students matriculated at Binghamton for degree study.
When a student commits to an education abroad program in their Terra Dotta online program application, the Office of International Programs (IEGI) mirrors the Binghamton University Student Accounts refund policy for tuition, tuition differentials, and all program fees.
SIT Switzerland Summer Program Webpage