The Compass Program (SM)

The Program

What do Amersterdam, Berlin, Paris, and London have in common?

They are all cities you will visit as a participant of The Compass Program SM sponsored by The University of Southern Mississippi's Office of International Programs.

BrandenburgThe Compass Program SM is a unique study abroad program designed around the concept of portable learning. Be prepared to move yourself from city to city, and to be moved by what you see, do and learn along the way.

Your journey starts in Amsterdam, moves on to Berlin, then to Paris and finally, London. As you use your Eur-Rail pass to travel between cities, you'll experience what The Compass Program SM calls "Authentication Travel." It's about you making your own plans, booking your own lodging, charting a course that gets you where you need to go, learning and exploring every step of the way. You will reconvene in another new city to continue the work of The Compass Program SM, learning and living every day with a gusto that will drive your five week journey and influence you long after you've returned home.





(click here to view 2013 program cost)

Housing and Authentication Travel

Let's talk about the program specifics - housing/food and authentication travel. While The Compass Program SM is in session in Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris and London, your housing will be centrally located and included in the program price, as will your breakfasts and at least one group dinner in each of the cities. (In Amsterdam, all of your evening meals are included, helping you to save food money for later in your journey!) The Compass Program SM staff will help you plan your two periods of Authentication Travel, so that you can make the most of your time, budget and experience. Your housing and meals during Authentication Travel are your own responsibility, and are considered supplemental costs beyond the program price.

Building in ParisUp to this point in your life, you've probably traveled with others leading the way. If your companions were experienced travelers, chances are things went pretty smoothly. Now it's your turn to be in charge. Duing Authentication Travel, you make your own plans. You could choose to travel with other program participants, or experience the rush of freedom and excitement that comes from setting your own course to a destination you alone have selected. You will have two periods of Authentication Travel on the program, each lasting five days. As you discover Europe, your confidence and self-reliance will grow, so will your time management skills, as you'll need to complete academic assignments in conjuction with the Compass Needle, which is required of all students.


Oh, let's not forget about the credits. Have you ever had a semester when your classes all seem to work together? When what you read in your literature class actually helps you follow your history professor better? This is everyday life on The Compass Program SM. Your courses share themes and a chronology, and are designed to be enmeshed. Your professors will puch each other as much as they push you. Together you'll search deeply into the heart of a continent whose people and beliefs utterly changed the world. In Amsterdaym, Berlin, Paris and London, you'll use The Compass Needle - a three credit interdisciplinary course required of all students - to follow the gloried and horrific paths of the European idea of progress, from the Renaissance through the Holocaust. You'll choose a course on The Compass Dial, adopting it's disciplinary specific tools to help you navigate through a topography that is simultaneously mad and civilized, beautiful and horrible, warring and peaceful, criminal and just.

Parliment in LondonExcited yet?! Apply now as space is limited to first come, first serve. You don't want to be disappointed, do you?

To view program specifics, click below on a program topic....

Financial Aid

The Compass Program SM qualifies for financial aid in the form of guaranteed student loans, Pell Grants, or applicable graduate assistantships. Southern Miss students requiring financial aid should contact Frances Sudduth at the International Programs Office before requesting a 2013 - 2014 Study Abroad Financial Aid Application from the university's Financial Aid Office.

Application and Payment Deadlines

Completed online application, with $250 deposit, will be accepted until TBA, space permitting. Southern Miss will acknowledge receipt of applications and students will be informed of their registration status. The balance of fees will be due on TBA. Applications are processed in the order of receipt. Students may apply at any time prior to the deadline and are urged to apply early.

Cancellations and Refunds

Except in cases of academic ineligibility or course cancellation, deposits are non-refundable. Fees, exclusive of deposit, are refundable if written notification is received prior to TBA. Thereafter, no refunds will be available. The Office of International Programs should be notified, in writing, of all cancellations.

For additional questions, please contact

The University of Southern Mississippi
Office of International Programs
118 College Drive #5069
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
Phone: 601.266.4344
Fax: 601.266.5699