Students across campus are beginning to make their plans for May Term. However, new policies concerning international travel could change those plans.

Students who want to travel internationally during May Term are now required to go through an application process.

The process, adopted this year, requires students to apply for one course and supply other documents including a personal essay, detailing how the trip will benefit the student and his/her academic goals and a copy of the data page of the student’s passport, or a completed passport application.

After the initial application deadline, Sept. 26, students will be notified if they were accepted into their chosen course or not. If a student is not accepted he/she can then apply for another course that has openings.

According to International Education Coordinator Jay Wilkinson, Simpson is not the only school to institute an application process.

“Like many other colleges and universities with excellent study-abroad programs, Simpson is instituting an application process for international May Term courses,” Wilkinson said. “The components of the application process will help ensure that students are likely to be successful and have a positive overseas experience.”

Wilkinson also said the decision to have students focus their application on a single course was motivated by feedback from professors.

“Professors indicated that, in the past, it was difficult to know how many of the students expressing interest in their course would actually participate in it, since students could sign up for more than one course at a time,” Wilkinson said.

CoryAnne Harrigan, associate professor of English, agrees. Harrigan and Allison Wolf, assistant professor of philosophy, will be teaching a course called “Globalization and Development in Costa Rica.”

“The fluctuating enrollment of students has been an issue in the past,” Harrigan said. “Fluctuating numbers could often lead to trips with small groups with higher costs or to groups with 40 students and two faculty members.”

Students have mixed feelings about the new policies. Junior Katie Larsen didn’t like the new policies at first.

“At first I wasn’t a big fan of the new policies, but I’ve actually come to realize the meaning behind it,” Larsen said. “I haven’t traveled abroad for May Term yet, but I know many who have, and it always seems like a rat race to get signed up for the trip you want.”

Larsen said the new method will allow students who are truly interested in a trip a better chance to travel abroad.

Senior Paul Peppmeier said he doesn’t have any major issues with the new policies.

“I’m fine with it as long as faculty don’t only choose students based on their major and whether that trip will work for them,” Peppmeier said. “This will also be a good way to get younger students involved in May Term trips.”

Harrigan said she believes the new policies will benefit both faculty and students.

“The new policies will give faculty more control over enrollment and make it easier to determine what students are interested in the trip,” Harrigan said. “The policies will also make students think critically about their goals, and what they want to get out of a study-abroad experience.”

Wilkinson said that, as with any change, the new policies will take some getting used to, but they are worth it.

“The academic and administrative benefits promise to further enhance the quality of the already-excellent short-term study-abroad opportunities at Simpson,” Wilkinson said.