International Scholars

The International Scholars Program at the College of Charleston is a joint initiative of the School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs, the International Studies Program, and the Honors College. The program is designed to help students develop a clear and comprehensive understanding of global issues and international perspectives through mentoring, study abroad opportunities, and in-depth discussion of current events.

Each academic year, the program recruits approximately ten students. 

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Program Requirements

The International Scholars Program seeks students who are willing to look at the world through different perspectives and are committed to identifying solutions to critical global issues.

Admission Process and Requirements: 

To become an International Scholar, CofC applicants must first be admitted to the Honors College (fulfilling all Honors College admission requirements) and demonstrate an intermediate-level language proficiency.  

Following acceptance to the Honors College, eligible candidates will receive invitations to interview for the Honors College Charleston Fellows Program. Interested candidates must select the option to participate in an additional interview for the International Scholars Program when accepting their Interview Weekend invitation. 

Read More: Information on How to Apply


Participation Requirements:

International Scholar students must be members of Charleston Fellows Program and maintain all Honors College requirements. International Scholars are required to double major, with one major in International StudiesThe second major is the student’s choice. Students may receive permission to major in International Studies with two minors instead of double majoring with approval from the Program Director.

Students receive academic advising from the Program Director, and attend mandatory events one to two times per semester.


The International Scholars Experience

Students accepted to the International Scholars Program will:

  • Join a cohort of like-minded students.  chinagroup.png
  • Learn to be comfortable moving between different cultures and languages.
  • Take HONS 173 (Introduction to International Studies) with their academic year cohort. 
  • Study abroad during the month of May at the end of their freshman year (May Away).
  • Participate in a Colloquium series twice per semester with all International Scholars and LCWA Faculty.
  • Study or intern abroad during your junior and/or senior year(s).
  • Receive four years of academic mentoring from the Program Director.
  • Connect with an experienced Career Mentor
  • Gain access to a LinkedIn group of past and current International Scholars students and advisory board members.

Program Features:


At the end of their freshman year, International Scholars study abroad for three weeks with a professor who is affiliated with the International Studies Program. The trips focus on current global issues and provide International Scholars with a more informed perspective on other cultures and people.

All International Scholars receive nearly comprehensive funding to participate in this program and are eligible to apply for additional funds from the Center for International Education.

Read More: Recent Mayaway experiences 


Colloquium Events:

Each semester, all four international scholar cohorts gather with LCWA faculty to discuss critical international issues. Students of all academic years have the opportunity to share ideas and hear the perspectives of experienced staff. Colloquium events occur twice per semester.

Recent Colloquium topics include "Global Consequences of Russian invasion of Ukraine”,  “Russia and its expanding sphere of influence”, “Afghanistan and the long shadow of September 11th, 2001”, and “Coup d'état in Myanmar – What happened, why and what’s next?”. 


Career Mentorship:

Starting in their sophomore year, International Scholars receive the opportunity to connect with experts with extensive international experience in a variety of fields. Students are paired with one of these experts (who also serve as LCWA advisory board members) to receive professional mentorship and career-related advice. This Career Mentorship lasts throughout the student’s time on campus and is designed to facilitate the student’s professional networking and development.

Read More: A list of current Career Mentors


What draws students to join the Program

Andrea KimpsonAndrea Kimpson, 23' shares her reasoning for choosing CofC and the International Scholars Program and talks about what she hopes to gain from being an International Scholar.  Andrea is a native of Columbia, South Carolina who is majoring in International Studies, with a concentration in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Economics, and minoring in Political Science. 

I chose the College of Charleston because of the International Scholars Program (ISP). Before learning about the program, I genuinely did not know about the strength of the International Studies major and the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs. The opportunity to become proficient in a language, study abroad at least once, and concentrate in a particular region were all things I looked for in a program, and CofC had everything. Further, the major and School of LCWA set itself apart from other schools I considered because it had a dedicated team of faculty and staff who were (and still are) invested in student success from day one. At no other institution did I have professors recommending different classes or areas of study before I even submitted a deposit. It was important to me to be more than just a number and to have a chance to interact and learn from passionate and dedicated professors. The benefits of the ISP took everything to the next level. I was looking for programs that would offer mentorship and study abroad opportunities. Learning that I would be paired with a career mentor in my sophomore year was exactly the structure that I felt would benefit me as a student and as a future professional. The study abroad opportunity offered in the summer after freshman year was also incredible. As someone who has been out of the country once, I really wanted to take every opportunity to see other parts of the world. Many of the schools I considered did not permit students to study abroad until their junior year, making ISP and CofC an incredible exception.

As an International Scholar I hope to gain opportunities to broaden my perspective and pursue intellectual curiosities. The International Studies major truly exemplifies an “interdisciplinary education,” but ISP takes this a step further and pulls together students of all majors and interests to discuss and learn from one another. Through our colloquium series, I have had the opportunity to learn about international issues outside of my wheelhouse, bolstered by the expertise of faculty and students that I would have infrequently interacted with because we are on different academic tracks. This has broadened my perspective as I have had unparalleled opportunities to seek out different perspectives and add them to the ways in which I can interpret the world. One of my favorite things about this Program is how flexible it is. Given that we are required to double major, I have had the opportunity to take a variety of classes and participate in extracurricular activities that have helped me not only discover my second major but also discover interests outside of the academic world. Pursuing intellectual curiosities in this manner is something I have greatly valued as it has helped me better understand my own passions, without sacrificing academic progress. I am confident that broadening my perspective and pursuing intellectual curiosities while at CofC will serve me well after my four years. The benefits of this program will help me develop a life-long love of experiential, discussion-based, and interdisciplinary learning. Additionally, the new interests I have gained through the flexibility of the program will stick with me going forward.