Smith College is a highly selective liberal arts college for women founded in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1871. Since then, it has stayed true to its mission of providing women with the best education available in the liberal arts and sciences. The emphasis given to preparing and encouraging women for leadership positions is a reflection of Smith's goal to empower women through education. Smith College is an excellent training ground for careers such as engineering, sciences and astrophysics that might still be considered non-traditional for women. Smith also has a long standing tradition of study abroad programs which offer students the opportunity to enlarge their horizons and discover other cultures and languages. In this context a Smith College program was opened in Geneva in 1947. It was the first international agreement of collaboration signed by the University of Geneva with a foreign academic institution with the aim to develop student and faculty exchange.
The International Studies Program in Geneva welcomes about 35 students annually to its center in the heart of the city. It begins with an intense orientation period of French classes, cultural integration and introduction to Geneva. Students have a wide range of study interests but many are international relations and government majors who are attracted by the wealth of international organizations located in Geneva. Students on the program can study in most University of Geneva departments in addition to following in-house French and International Relations courses at the Smith Center. Most students intern part-time and complete a research paper related to their internship giving them direct access to the professional world of Geneva's international organizations and NGO’s. Smith College also has an agreement of a joint BA-MA with the Graduate Institute for International Studies. Three full tuition scholarships are offered to University of Geneva students to study at Smith College in Northampton and at Smith'sconsortium colleges: Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and University of Massachusetts at Amherst.