Global Williams

At Williams, you’ll engage with the world in many ways. Whether you’re studying on campus with classmates from around the globe or immersed in a program far from your familiar routine, your education will introduce you to new ways of thinking, living, and viewing the world differently. 

Global Williams encompasses courses in every area from language to politics to the arts; an expansive study abroad program backed by generous financial aid; and our renowned Center for Development Economics, which for 50 years has attracted future world leaders from across the developing world—one of whom might sit beside you in your next class.

A Williams education excites creativity and wonder, fuels intellectual exploration, and prepares you to succeed in a connected and culturally diverse world. 


The curriculum at Williams is infused with international courses and programs—nearly a quarter of students enroll in a foreign language or literature class each semester. Our Center for Global Languages, Literatures and Cultures (CGLLC) sponsors faculty seminars, public lectures, exhibits, performances, colloquiums, forums, and film series that highlight diverse cultures and focus on global issues with an international scope.

The Center for Development Economics (CDE) operates a specialized master’s degree program for public sector professionals from developing countries, impacting the policy-making responsibilities of its 1,400+ graduates in more than 100 nations. Many CDE courses are also available to undergraduates, as well as CDE-sponsored talks, conferences, and a multitude of student engagement opportunities.


Our Office of Global Education and Study Away provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in a different culture and learning environment through an evolving and dynamic list of approved programs. Nationally, only about 10% of undergraduates study abroad; at Williams, nearly 50% of the junior class studies away both domestically and internationally each year!

Williams also offers two exclusive study away programs: Williams-Mystic, an interdisciplinary program focused on maritime literature, history, policy and science in Mystic, CT; and the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford University, which emphasizes tutorial intensive education at Exeter College within Oxford University. Additionally, each January, over 100 students choose to study abroad with Williams Faculty through subsidized Winter Study travel courses or by proposing independent Winter Study projects.

Summer Undergraduate Fellowships are another avenue for students to continue their intellectual pursuits during the summer months through summer research and travel fellowships or grants that support intensive language study abroad. The Fellowships Office also offers guidance and support for many prestigious post-graduate global opportunities.


The global community is a vibrant and vital aspect of the Williams experience—students come from more than 70 countries and international students make up over ten percent of our student body. Undergraduates mingle with graduate CDE students; international teaching associates sponsored by the CGLLC; and international visiting faculty and scholars.

It starts with an admission process committed to building a community that includes the brightest minds from around the world. Admission representatives travel extensively to meet these students in their home countries, and international applicants follow the same application procedures as U.S. citizens, with no additional forms or tests required.

Once here, International Student Services (ISS) provides holistic advising, immigration services, programs, workshops, training, advocacy and much more. In addition to international student programs, there are a multitude of globally-themed groups and clubs among our 200+ student-run organizations.


Williams students are sought after by leading employers and graduate schools worldwide. Dedicated to their future success, the ’68 Center for Career Exploration is a one-stop resource for career exploration, internship and job searching, résumé critiques, interviewing advice and networking.

The Alumni Sponsored Internship Program funds summer internships that enable students to explore career fields, develop skills and experience, and build a network for life after graduation. Recent international internships have taken students to Japan, Kenya, Canada, Singapore and more. There is also an extensive alumni network across the globe that partners with the Center for Career Exploration to offer students experiential opportunities across the country and around the globe.


Williams faculty are driven to look beyond the U.S. borders for their own research as well as their teaching, and model for students what it means to be not just conscientious researchers but also engaged global citizens. Faculty are supported in their international endeavors through several college funding opportunities, including the Global Initiatives Venture Fund and the World Fellowships. Faculty connections provide sound networks around the globe, leading to many opportunities for summer, Winter Study, junior year and post-graduate internships.

Williams also offers funding opportunities for students to experience international summer or post-Baccalaureate research and study, administered by the Office of Fellowships and several other academic or administrative departments including Asian Studies, the Career Center, Special Academic Programs, Center for Environmental Studies, Center for Learning in Action and others.


The global Williams network is powerful, with alumni located in every corner of the world. The Career Center created EphLink to provide a convenient way for students and alumni to connect, network and build meaningful relationships. Mentees can search for mentors by a broad range of criteria including industry and region, and alumni can choose the level of engagement they wish to offer, from quick emails to job shadowing.

Since 1981, Williams alumni and friends have embarked on outstanding travel-study opportunities through the Alumni Travel Study program. All trips are led by faculty or expert alumni who provide a unique understanding of the locations and/or topics explored in the program, and study leaders provide lectures, field commentary and optional readings prior to the trip. Think of these programs as “mini” study abroad experiences designed for Williams alumni and friends!