Chemistry majors can and do participate in study abroad programs during their four years at Davidson. Creating space to go abroad in the typical chemistry major's schedule, however, can be a challenge. Below are some scenarios that have worked for previous majors (All the comments refer back to the suggested course schedules on the major advising page):
- Abroad Experience during Spring Semester, Sophomore Year
Students who arrive at Davidson with CHE 115 credit through AP/IB tests can get ahead in their chemistry coursework. This leaves a natural “hole” in the spring of sophomore year to go abroad. Many students with CHE 115 AP/IB credit also have MAT 130 credit. A student in this situation might take the physics courses during the first year and then MAT 135 in the fall of sophomore year. In this scenario, the student does not have to take a science course while out of the country. (The student, however, may need to take courses in order to meet the social science and/or humanities core requirements, which generally are easy to obtain in study abroad programs.)
- Abroad Experience during Fall Semester, Junior Year
The fall of junior year is the most popular study abroad semester. Most chemistry majors who go abroad as juniors attend a program that offers physical chemistry (thermodynamics), the equivalent of CHE 351. Examples of such programs include St. Andrews University (Scotland), the University of Sydney, and Humboldt University (Berlin). Students in these programs return to Davidson in the spring and take CHE 352 and 361. Then in senior year they take CHE 401 and 371 in the fall, and CHE 391 and an elective in the spring.
- Abroad Experience during the Summer
The Study Abroad Office [link to study abroad] offers many study abroad programs that take place over the summer. Summer abroad experiences are not disruptive to the completion of coursework at Davidson, but summer also is a common time to explore research. A workable scenario for many students is to go abroad during the summer after their sophomore year and then seek out research opportunities for the summer after their junior year.
Fitting in an abroad experience can seem daunting for a chemistry major; but with careful planning, many majors have been able to make it happen. Just be sure to work with your advisor early if you are hoping to go abroad.