The key to having a successful off-campus study experience is to spend time researching possibilities, thinking about your goals, considering your plans, and talking to others. We encourage you to speak to returned off-campus study students, OCS Advisors, and to your academic advisors. The more people you speak with, the more research you do, and the more thought you invest into choosing your program, the better your ultimate choice will be!
What to consider?
Other considerations include location (and its characteristics, such as urban, rural, the political climate etc), accommodation for learning differences (if applicable), pedagogy style (methods of assessment, types of assignments in your program’s curriculum), and your physical and mental health.
How NOT to choose: Make your academic and personal needs your top priority in this process. Find the best program for your own individual needs; don’t choose a program or semester simply because your friends are applying there.
Keep in mind – it is perfectly fine to also remain at Colby! Deciding to go abroad because your friends are going, to escape from an unsatisfactory campus or personal situation, or because you feel pressure to go off campus in order to succeed are not good reasons to study abroad. Remember that there are other study abroad opportunities including summer experiences, JanPlan, fellowship opportunities, or graduate study if a semester or year abroad isn’t feasible for you at this time.