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Planning Your Off-Campus Semester

A great off-campus study experience requires careful planning.  Research your options carefully before you decide on a program.
Students on an interfaith trip to Turkey

How to Get Started

Know what to do when. The planning timeline will help you avoid last minute headaches and missed deadlines. You may need to check additional deadlines, such as those for applications to Approved Programs, as well.

Attend an Off-Campus Study 101 Session. Learn about the range of options, resources available, University polices concerning off-campus study, and strategies for finding strong programs and a good fit. OCS 101 Info Sessions will be held throughout September on Mondays and Thursdays at 4:15 in Lathrop 101, beginning Thursday, September 5. Check for additional times and places.

Talk to faculty in your intended major. How will off-campus study fit with and enhance your curriculum on campus? What courses might you need to take while you’re away? What do you have to take on campus?

Meet with an OCSIP Adviser. After you’ve taken “OCS 101,” call 315-228-7216 for an individual advising appointment that will help you develop a short list of possibilities and refine your plans.

Research your short list. Admission requirements, semester dates, and housing options vary. Be sure you understand your Colgate Study Group or Approved Program’s requirements and structure. The OCS resource library and advisers are great sources of information. Don’t forget the Colgate Study Group Fair on Tuesday, October 8 from 6-7 in the Hall of Presidents, as well as additional Study Group and Approved Program Info Sessions announced here and in the Maroon News!

Familiarize yourself with Colgate policies. Be sure you understand Colgate’s policies on all aspects of off-campus study, from costs and financial aid to academic credit.

Consider program costs. All students studying off-campus, whether on Colgate Study Groups or Approved Programs, pay Colgate tuition plus required program expenses. Financial aid packages may be increased to meet additional costs for one semester of off-campus study plus one Extended Study course.

Consider special needs/concerns. Health needs, academic accommodations, safety concerns, dietary restrictions and other needs may all be important factors in your decision. Research your intended host country and be sure you feel comfortable with your program choice. Research your intended host country’s culture.

Check your travel documents. If you don’t have a passport, get one! If you do, check the expiration date. Most countries want you to show a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the end of your program. Renew now if necessary. If you are not a US citizen consult with International Student Services about the special steps you may need to take to study off-campus.

Dream big! There are Colgate study groups and approved programs throughout the world. Take time to review your options and decide which will be the best fit for you.