Blocks Away: Getting Started

The Block Plan can make study away a reality for any student.

You have questions.  Sure. That's natural.  Blocks Away are a concept built out of Colorado College's unique block plan.  We hope we have the answers you are looking for.  Review the topics below and find out all you could ever want to know about our faculty-led, short-duration, intensive, immersive blocks away and abroad. 

A block away is exactly what it sounds like, a Colorado College course, taught by Colorado College faculty and sitting squarely in the curriculum of the college, but offered somewhere other than on our Colorado Springs campus.  While many on-campus courses may include local or regional field experiences, a CC Block Away is a course with a significant portion of the course taught at another location across the USA or around the world.  These can be travel programs that comprise 10 or more days of a standard block or it could mean, and often does, that the entire block is taught at a different location.  Whether it is in other domestic destinations such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, or Hawaii, or an international destination such as recent blocks in Paris, Athens, Florence, Berlin, Costa Rica, India, or Slovakia. 

Whereas some universities offer 1-course short-programs only in January or May, at Colorado College, every block from September through Summer is a chance to take a course away from campus and blend experiential learning with fields of study ranging from the natural sciences to the humanities, arts, and everything in between.  In a typical year, Colorado College offers between 12-18 study away blocks during its eight primary academic year blocks, so any time of year could be the time to explore the world through a CC Block Away.  

All CC Blocks Away are Colorado College credit, no transfer required, and all are taught by CC faculty and filled with your fellow CC students, creating a learning community that shares the experience with you.  It is a unique study away opportunity, perfect for both the new traveler and the experienced globetrotter.

Academic Departments report their schedules for the following year in December and January.  It is at this time when Global Education finalizes the roster of proposed off-campus blocks for the following year.  After a brief review period, Global Education puts together the full portfolio of Off-Campus Blocks for the following year.  Our goal is to have the full portfolio ready for publication by mid-January each year, in time for our Study Away Fair, the primary application window in February and March, and well before official class registration periods for the Fall in April.   When the roster is announced, a new page listing all the off-campus block opportunities, will be added to the website, with a link in the drop down menu above and via buttons on all the primary Block Away webpages.  Announcements are also made through the "Today @ CC" website and email digests to all students, faculty, and staff.

Colorado College offers a wide and varying selection of blocks taught off-campus every year. The blocks for the following year are announced in January and the application "window" for all blocks opens with a Study Away Fair.  The primary application window runs From February 1 through March 15.  All students who apply during this window for the next year's blocks (from Block 1 in August all the way through Block 8 in May) are automatically reviewed for a potential aid award to cover travel costs.

The Application Process involves the following steps:

1. Research:  Attend the Block Away Fair, or visit the Global Education website to learn about each block offering.  Speak with the Faculty leader for each block, and speak with your advisor about how the block course fits with your academic goals.  

2. Apply on Summit: All Blocks Off-Campus begin with an application form on the Summit online platform, using the Global Education portal.  Once submitted, applications are reviewed by the faculty leader for each block.  Leaders may also require additional application steps such as a questionnaire or interview about the course and the student's interests.  Admission requirements for each block may be handled differently, so interested students should contact the professor or department who is offering the course for any application/interview requirements. The application for aid awards is built into the program/course application. 

3. Complete Online Forms:  Once accepted into the program, a new round of required documents become available on the Summit online platform.  Students are notified of their acceptance in the program and should then return to Summit to complete these required forms and waivers.  Once those are completed a button will appear, asking students to confirm their acceptance of the invitation to join the program roster.  

4. Class Enrollment: Once all required forms are uploaded on Summit, students will receive the Consent of Department (COD) Code needed to register for the course during standard pre-registration and registration periods for the Fall or Spring.  Since only students who have been accepted into the travel program can enroll in the course, it is important to "confirm" participation in Summit and receive the COD Code.  Confirming does not lock students into a financial commitment, as all students have until their program's Student Confirmation & Withdrawal Deadline to withdraw with no financial penalties.  (For more information on withdrawals, please visit the Block Away: Billing & Aid webpage.

The primary application window for Academic Year Blocks Away runs from February 1 through March 15.  A secondary application window exclusively for Block 7 or 8 programs is available each Fall during the school year's first block, though we recommend applying in the spring as some Block 7 or 8 programs may fill during this period and remain closed during the secondary fall window.  If a program remains open after the primary application window, students may apply later, however, aid awards are not as likely outside of the application window as all aid may be assigned to students who have applied during the February-March period.  

Global Education recommends applying as early as possible in each year's application period.  Why? Because many faculty use a first-come, first-approved rolling admissions process. This means that some programs may close prior to the March 15 end date for the application window. 

Is it possible to apply after the March 15 deadline?  In many cases it is, however there are courses which will close to new applications once they are full and have a reasonable course waitlist.  It is also true that there is a limited aid pool each year, and that students who apply after the March 15 deadline are not included in the initial aid review.  This may greatly reduce the possibility of a student obtaining an aid award.  The best way to ensure that you receive full consideration for an aid award (as well as a spot in the course) is to apply within the application window. 

Applying to Multiple Blocks

It is possible to apply to multiple block away programs at the same time.  Just as with selecting a college, we recommend having a ranking for yourself of the blocks you have applied to.  Once you receive acceptance notifications, you can then determine which block you will join. You should then return to Summit to complete two tasks, first to complete the post-acceptance forms and confirmation for your chosen block, and second, to use the blue "Request Cancellation" button to withdraw from all of the other blocks which you have not chosen.  Failure to withdraw from the other blocks could lead to program fee charges once the Student Commitment & Withdrawal Deadline has passed. 

Participation in Multiple Blocks

It is possible to participate in multiple blocks away (Academic Year or Summer) within the same calendar or academic year, but there are some important considerations to take into account.  

  • If you are anticipating Block Away Aid Awards as a means to cover the program fees and airfare costs, you should remember that all students are limited to 2 Block Away awards during their CC careers, so participating in more than 2 individual Blocks Away would require self-funding for the expenses of the trip. 

  • While many travelers are able to visit our program destination countries without a visa, this is often limited to a stay of no more than 90 days within any 6 month (180 day) period.  This can produce issues for students who wish to join multiple programs in the same year, or to pair a block away with a semester or half-semester program. Most CC faculty-led programs do not qualify for longer stay student visas, so it may not always be possible to combine block and other programs in the same year due to visa constraints.  If you are considering any combination of programs in the same academic or calendar year, you should speak with Global Education to determine if you may have any visa restrictions that could produce issues for your planned combination of programs.  

All Off-Campus Blocks charge a program fee above the semester's tuition and room & board fees. You can find out all the details about block away program fees and aid available for our blocks away on the Blocks Away: Billing & Aid webpage.

Yes. Students who receive need-based aid for their studies on campus are automatically considered for an aid award if they apply for an off-campus block during the standard application window. You can learn more about Block Away Aid on the Blocks Away: Billing & Aid webpage
No, it does not. Students taking 1 block away during the fall or spring retain their housing assignment on Colorado College's campus and are able to leave their belongings in their rooming assignment, with the exception being the final block of the year.  Students who are departing campus for a Block 8 off-campus course should plan on moving out of their campus housing at the conclusion of Block 7. 
Students do not receive a refund of housing costs for a 1-block study abroad program as they retain their rooming assignment.  Students with a meal plan will, however, receive a reimbursement for 1 block of meal points. This money is provided to students via direct deposit and should be used to purchase meals while participating in the Block Away course. 
Not really. All Programs which span multiple blocks are considered either Semester or Half-Semester programs.  These have different application and financial models.  You can explore these programs on our Semesters Away webpage.


Block 7 or Block 8 Application Deadline:  September 18, 2024:  

All students who apply to a Block 7 or Block 8 off-campus course by this date are reviewed for aid eligibility and aid awards are granted by early October.  Applications may be accepted outside of the window, but aid may not be available after the window closes in September.   Please check with the faculty leader of your preferred course about capacity in the course before applying.

  CC Block & Semester Study Away Fair: January 30, 2025

Held in the Worner Center lobby from 12pm-2pm on the 30th, the 2025 Block & Semester Study Away Fair will have tables representing all of the following year's block away options. It is the perfect one-stop shop to explore all the options and find the perfect block away course for you. 

2025-2026 Block Away Application Window: February 1 -- March 15. 2025

Applications are open on Summit through March 15.  All students who apply during this window are reviewed for aid eligibility and aid awards are granted by late March.  Applications may be accepted outside of the window, but aid may not be available after the window closes in March. 

What about withdrawal deadlines? When are they?

A full list of the Student Commitment & Withdrawal Deadlines for all 2024-2025 Blocks can be found on the Blocks Away: Billing & Aid webpage

Possession of a valid passport and any appropriate visas for entry to a program destination country is essential for participation in any study abroad program.  For details on passport requirements, visa processes, and potential concerns for students who seek to engage in multiple study away programs in the same year, please visit our Eligibility & Policies Website and review the information provided.

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Report an issue - Last updated: 06/10/2024