Many colleges give you the opportunity to study at another college for up to a year. Your studies at the second college count toward your graduation requirements at the first. Two colleges may have an arrangement with each other for an exchange program: They exchange groups of students for one or more terms. The students get to broaden their experience at another type of campus, take courses that might not otherwise be available to them, and make new friends.
Sometimes when several colleges are located near each other, they form a group called a consortium. Students at one college can take classes at the other colleges participating in the consortium.
For example, Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, University of Massachusetts, and Smith College are located within a few miles of each other. If you attend one of these colleges, you will be able to take certain courses at the other four colleges. You get some of the educational advantages of an exchange program without going away from your main college for a long period of time.
In some cases, colleges work together to provide opportunities for students that they might not be able to offer individually. The Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) has a dozen member colleges from Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.
Among the programs that GLCA supports is the Philadelphia Center. This program, founded in 1967, provides opportunities for students from GLCA member colleges, as well as other colleges from across the country, to spend half a school year in Philadelphia.
Students spend four days a week in various work environments throughout Philadelphia. They attend a couple of seminars every week that are led by the Center’s faculty. In addition, the students take an evening course that focuses on the cultural concerns of a large city.